What is Artificial Intelligence?

By Samantha Wargo

technologyai

If you pose this question to a computer scientist, a marketer, and a philosopher, you'll get at least three different answers. However, when most people discuss artificial intelligence, they are referring to A.I. software. In the context of software, "artificial intelligence" generally means a system that learns and improves without being directly programmed by human beings.

Think of artificial intelligence as software that automates the process of coding the next, improved version of itself. As with all automation, it takes a lot of up-front work to build the mechanism that can perform the automated task but, once built, the system can make jobs that were previously impractical practical, and previously impossible possible.

With artificial intelligence, tasks that were previously impractical or impossible to program can now be performed by A.I. software. One of the clearest examples of this is computer image recognition, which powers products like Facebook's photo-tagging, Google image search, and the navigation systems of self-driving cars.

Manually programming a software system that can determine whether a photograph depicts a person, let alone identify the specific person in a picture, is virtually impossible. People come in all shapes, sizes and colors; wear an incredible variety of clothing; and are shown from a dizzying array of angles and viewpoints. Writing a set of hand-coded rules that can account for all these variables would take decades, if not centuries -- assuming it was possible at all.

Instead, A.I. developers created a very basic set of programs that could break down photographs into patterns and shapes. They then fed those software algorithms a series of photographs -- some depicting a variety of people, some not -- so the software could write its own "rules" for distinguishing between pictures with human beings in them, and pictures without them.

By feeding literally billions of images to algorithms like these so they could constantly improve those rules, we now have hundreds of software solutions available today that can recognize both human beings and human faces in pictures and images. If these systems have the right training data, they can even identify specific people shown in videos and still images. This previously impossible technology is now so well understood that it comes standard on any modern smartphone.

Now, imagine what algorithms like this could do when, instead of pictures, they are fed decades of case law and sample legal agreements, as well as all the academic analysis that separates good contracts from bad ones and valid legal decisions from those that were overturned.

You get an A.I. system that can do lots of the same legal analysis as an actual lawyer.

LinkSquares offers one of the most useful and easy to understand legal-centric A.I. solutions available today. With LinkSquares, you can use artificial intelligence to analyze and categorize your contract portfolio, avoiding the grunt work of manually reviewing all your past and current legal agreements for outdated language and unexpected liabilities. It's the perfect "gateway to A.I." for any in-house legal team or any law practice that wants to avoid hours wasted reading and classifying old contracts and agreements.

If you're ready to automate your contract analysis process -- and start prepping your company and your career for the legal A.I. revolution -- contact LinkSquares today.

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