Embrace Artificial Intelligence While Embracing Our Humanity

From the recent Commencement Speech at Columbia University Engineering School “An Engineer’s Guide to the Artificial Intelligence Galaxy

Kai-Fu Lee, Founder & CEO, Sinovation Ventures and President, Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute, suggests that what separates humans from AI is the capacity to love.

And in the future, even if an AI diagnostic tool is 10 times more accurate than doctors, patients will not want a cold pronouncement from the tool: “you have 4th stage lymphoma and a 70% likelihood of dying within 5 years.”  Patients will want a “doctor of love” who listens to our complaints, gives us encouragement, like “Kai-Fu had the same lymphoma, and he survived, so you can too”, and perhaps visits us at home, and is always available to talk to us. This kind of “doctor of love” will not only make us feel better, and have greater confidence, but a placebo effect will kick in and increase our likelihood of recuperation.

He does not specifically mention the legal realm but it strikes me that this same argument applies strongly to the use of AI in legal. Certainly there are lawyers for whom their main differentiator is technical skill. But in general, for most, the ability to show empathy for clients and explain legal issues with empathy is crucially important.

I wonder about the role of the lawyer will come to be seen as someone who focuses on translating between an artificial intelligence agent and the client.



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