Can AI beat mankind in legal practices?

2020-12-12 Global Communications

On the evening of December 4, the Law Artificial Intelligence Challenge, China’s first AI-mankind competition on contract review, made its debut in the Zhejiang University Law School Auditorium. It was co-hosted by Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School, the Language Technology Lab at the Alibaba DAMO Academy and Zhejiang University College of Computer Science and Technology.

There were 5 teams in the contest: 2 human teams, 1 AI team and 2 human-AI hybrid teams. According to the rules, contestants should review 5 house rental contracts and make marks on risk points in them.

At 19:30 sharp, the contest started. In contrast with human lawyers, AI lawyers completed the reviewing task with stunning rapidity in just 2 minutes. 

The two human-AI hybrid teams clinched first and second places and the AI team came in third. “We tackled tough questions on the strength of AI’s review, which could tremendously boost our efficiency in such legal practices as contract review,” said WANG Lingping, a lawyer from Zhejiang T & C Law Firm and also the leader of one of the human-AI hybrid teams.

“During the converging process of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the 2nd Machine Revolution with intelligence as the core driving force, law will accelerate its paradigmatic shift with the support of disruptive technologies, such as AI, the mobile internet and the blockchain,” said WU Zhaohui, President of Zhejiang University. “This Law Artificial Intelligence Challenge will not only provide new inspiration and insights for human-computer collaboration in contract review and other legal practices, but it will also promote the construction of the rule of law in China.”

“AI is an important revolution which will usher in a cascade of technological changes. I hope that everyone will take this competition as an opportunity to enhance the deep integration of law and AI, promote talent cultivation in the rule of law and AI and speed up the application of intelligent legal services,” said JIA Yu, Procurator of the People’s Procuratorate of Zhejiang Province.

“This competition has contract review as a starting point to explore a novel working mode of human-machine interaction,” said ZHANG Jianfeng, President of the Alibaba DAMO Academy, hoping that AI will see more application in diverse industries and add vigor and vitality to innovation.