Friday, October 15, 2021

Kashifu to young lawyers: Embrace Artificial Intelligence before it takes over your jobs

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, has advised legal practitioners, particularly upcoming lawyers, to adopt Artificial Intelligence, AI, in their practices.

Mr Inuwa gave the advice while giving his remark at The Young Wigs Conference with the theme: “Techonomy: What Law School Doesn’t Teach You” organised by The Legal Concierge in Kano State.

According to him, Artificial Intelligence is taking over everything, including legal services.

Mr Inuwa said: “We need to look at how this digital system displaces our own jobs and professions.

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“As lawyers, most of your work is to analyse documents, give advice and other things, which AI can do better than you.

“Now, are you going to compete with the AI, or are you going to augment what you do?,” he asked.

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The NITDA boss added that this challenge could be seen as an opportunity that could be used as a source of inspiration, to think on how Artificial Intelligence can be used to help clients, and make work better.

He said: “Today in our generation, the big question is, to what extent our lives should be governed by a powerful digital system and on what terms? We have social media that try to control what we see and what we do.

“We also live in an increasingly technological era where it is very difficult to separate your online life with offline; what happens online is almost the same as what happens offline.

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“This, increasingly quantifies society whereby all what you do is captured, stored and processed by this giant tech.

“They know everything about you; they can picture you more than you can picture yourself, because they are aware of every minute of your life, and who you spend time with.

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“And this gave them a three-fold effect on us; firstly, they put a constraint on whatever we do, they have their own internet regulation – this is what you can say, and this is what you cannot say.

“Secondly, they control freedom of movement with autonomous vehicles, the vehicles are programmed, and they won’t stop until they reach their destination.

“Lastly, they control our perception, whatever we are doing, we rush to Google, and Google gives personalised information. The answer they will give you, can be different from what they will give to another person,” he said.

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He, therefore, noted that as learned professionals, young lawyers should focus more on how to govern this system, “build a system with a legal mind and perception, because AI is taking over everything.”

“You can also use AI for legal services because based on a World Bank report, even in the US, more than 80 percent of Americans do not have legal services.

“The focus should be on how we can make legal services available to everyone? How can we build a system with a legal mind? How can we use AI in legal services to be more human-centric?” the DG implored.

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