As experimentation with the ChatGPT bot continues, articles have started to abound suggesting that an AI replacement for lawyers is much closer than many might think. Based on what I've been hearing from those who work and research in the artificial intelligence space, the near-term impact of AI is being both overestimated and underestimated. Overestimated by those who see sea changes in their breakfast cereal and think all will be different tomorrow, but underestimated by those who fail to appreciate how quickly the pace of exponential change can be.
For legal services and AI, I see the likely path as a middle road. Human lawyers do far too many varied tasks for their clients, in various contexts, requiring different types of judgment and experience, to be fully replaced by an AI product without generations of improvement from what is available today. AI won't "replace" lawyers tomorrow, or next month, or next decade.
But as I've commented before, will lawyers be using AI technology to "enhance their work," as this article suggests, or to generate templates, perform research, or otherwise become more efficient? I'd submit that the best lawyers and law firms will certainly do so. Perhaps they already are!