Microsoft Chatbot Has Eliminated 21,000 Hours of Work – How Can Law Firms Benefit From Generative AI?

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Photo Credits - Tadas Sar via Unsplash

Generative AI has been growing exponentially in popularity, and a spotlight has recently been shone on a Microsoft chatbot. It isn’t alone, though, as many executives have highlighted the benefits of AI integration in their company.

Below, we examine why so many companies are embracing AI and how law firms could implement it to benefit themselves. We also explore what the benefits could look like should law firms decide to do so.

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Microsoft Chatbot Improves HR Efficiency

Despite concerns about whether AI lacks the empathy, reasoning, and decision-making of people, many companies have welcomed its benefits. From answering questions more efficiently to improving process productivity, several executives claim generative AI frees up time for higher-value work. With this in mind, a McKinsey report outlined how AI would likely enhance people’s work rather than replace jobs altogether.

An example of this is the Microsoft chatbot, which has wiped out 21,000 hours of work. Amy Coleman, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of human resources and corporate functions, recently elaborated on this. She stated the chatbot resolved queries more efficiently than people but left the complex issues to HR to deal with.

Aside from the Microsoft chatbot, companies like Schneider Electric, the global energy management company, have also utilised AI. Their human resource vice president, Justine Cooper, explained how GPT would go through their policies, assisting individuals with prompts. Here, the AI could scan company policy and popup questions to employees at the relevant time.

Generative AI Can Analyse an Employee and Progress their Career

However, generative AI isn’t limited to just speeding up an employee’s job. Following its implementation, it could assess an individual’s career goals and link them to relevant opportunities based on their skills. This occurred at Schneider Electric when an employee in marketing secured a senior role in HR following AI intervention.

Furthermore, AI has helped Healthscope improve its rostering by predicting attendance levels up to 10 weeks in advance. Their chief executive, Greg Horan, has emphasised how this has allowed them to offer optimum levels of care.

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Finally, the insurance company IAG has used AI to streamline and accelerate claims handling. They’ve decreased assessment times by ten days, meaning they process 150 claims an hour, up from 500 a day previously. As a result, free time has opened up to enable employee upskilling to identify and support customers who’ve experienced trauma.

AI Could Revolutionise the Time-Short Legal Industry

As highlighted, using AI integration, like the Microsoft chatbot, could benefit various companies in numerous ways. The legal sector is no different, and if implemented correctly, law firms and those within could take advantage.

The likes of LexisNexis have outlined the possibilities of generative AI propelling legal research, complex document analysis and drafting. Their director of strategic management, Mark Smith, added how the technology could answer legal queries accurately and more efficiently than previously seen. This could revolutionise an industry renowned for constantly needing more time.

However, there has been scepticism over using AI, like the Microsoft chatbot, in the legal sector. This is mainly because legal work requires great accuracy and precision, leaving no room for error. Alison Rees-Blanchard, head of TMT legal guidance at LexisNexis, discussed one of these concerns. She explained how AI sometimes “hallucinates” or makes up an answer when it cannot find it.

Obviously, this cannot happen in the important work legal firms carry out. Despite this, she explained that if the technology worked on a trusted, closed system, confidence could be increased in its use. Furthermore, Isabel Parker, partner in Deloitte Legal’s transform to operate service, suggested AI errors could be neutralised via a human quality control step.

In practice, the likes of the Microsoft chatbot could begin to be used in non-legal admin work. This could be utilised to improve communication times with clients. Another example outlined by Andrew Cooke, general council at TravelPerk, involves its use in “low-value tickets”. Here, the technology could answer questions like “What’s the registered address of…?”.

As generative AI becomes more advanced, Isabel Parker believes it will take a more sophisticated holding in legal work. She explained how AI could undertake legal risk management, including audits across a company.

The Microsoft Chatbot – Our Final Thoughts For Law Firms

Regardless of the different views currently held by law firms, AI like the Microsoft chatbot are going nowhere. With its proven benefits of increased efficiency and productivity, it may be the case that those who steer clear of the technology get left behind.

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Understandably, firms will want to ensure their work remains accurate and precise. However, AI is great with words and documents, a significant part of legal work, and it will only improve. Therefore, it may be the case that firms begin introducing the technology in low-level work. As it advances, its implementation could increase, speeding up processes and providing legal professionals more time for high-value work.

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