A three-year study to identify and remove barriers to artificial intelligence in legal services is to receive £1m in the latest round of government funding for AI research. The research, headed by Professor John Armour of Oxford University 'seeks to identify how constraints on the implementation of AI in legal services can be relaxed to unlock its potential for good', the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
The funding is part of £3m allocated under the AI and Data Grand Challenge announced in last year's industrial strategy. Other projects will investigate 'next generation insurance value chains' and 'innovating next generation services through collaborative design'.
In a statement with the announcement, the lord chancellor, David Gauke, said: 'Ensuring our world-leading legal services industry remains the primary choice for international businesses as we prepare to leave the European Union is a priority for this government.
'Widespread use of Artificial Intelligence is set to transform the £24bn sector, allowing innovative companies to accurately review contracts at high speed and develop ground-breaking tools that could be used to help predict case outcomes. This new funding will foster innovation and increase understanding of AI to strengthen the UK’s reputation as a global centre for legal services and emerging technologies.'
John Armour, Hogan Lovells professor of law and finance at Oxford University, is an expert on company law, corporate finance, and corporate insolvency. The research will include studies of the training and educational needs for lawyers' engagement with technology and programmers' engagement with law.
The projects begin next month and run for three years.