Remember when we all learned that humans use only about ten percent of their brains? Well, apparently that is an urban myth – science has shown that we use all parts of our brains every day. However, it turns out that humans are responsible for the current stunning underuse of advances in artificial intelligence that could be easing their mental workloads.

Even at DLA Piper, one of the major users of legal technology (such as the contract and document analysis programs available through Kira Systems), Director of Innovation Adam Hembury estimates that his firm is using only one percent of the overall potential AI support currently available to its lawyers.

At a recent legal AI forum in London, Hembury explained that it is not that the technology isn’t useful, but rather that “especially in a large, international law firm, getting the message out and [encouraging] partners and practice groups to make regular use of AI solutions, especially where training is needed [… is] a challenge.”

The Artificial Lawyer, which hosted the forum, views Hembury’s comment in a positive light, underscoring the fact that AI offers much more than document review and analysis. “Although AI systems are now ‘through the door’ and have proven their value,” The Artificial Lawyer article advises, “what is needed now is a significant ‘capacity building’ programme inside law firms to ensure uptake across the partnership.”

Other speakers at the forum pointed out that especially in national and international firms, adoption of new technology can require buy-in from senior lawyers at several different sites, which adds to the complexity of implementation. Many firms do not have the resources – including the critical component of time – to invest in the major educational initiatives that are needed to facilitate effective technological support.

At what critical point do humans stop what they are doing every day and invest the time that is needed to make what they are doing every day easier? It is a difficult – and an expensive – question that requires brain power of the human variety to solve.

How are you addressing this issue at your firm? Please let me know your thoughts on this or any other matter related to the law, either in the comments section below or directly via email.