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Meet Ross, the World’s First Robot Lawyer

May 12, 2016, 3:23 PM UTC
Photograph by Karen Bleier — AFP/Getty Images

Ross, the first artificially intelligent attorney, just got a job.

Global law firm Baker & Hostetler, one of the nation’s largest, recently announced that it has hired a robot lawyer created by ROSS Intelligence, Futurism reports. Ross will be employed in the law firm’s bankruptcy practice which currently employs close to 50 lawyers.

Ross was built on IBM’s (IBM) Watson. It can understand your questions, and respond with a hypothesis backed by references and citations. It improves on legal research by providing you with only the most highly relevant answers rather than thousands of results you would need to sift through. Additionally, it is constantly monitoring current litigation so that it can notify you about recent court decisions that may affect your case, and it will continue to learn from experience, gaining more knowledge and operating more quickly, the more you interact with it.

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Baker & Hostetler is just the first to make this announcement. According to Andrew Arruda, ROSS Intelligence co-founder and CEO, other law firms have signed licenses with Ross, and we can expect more announcements soon.

Though this could be welcome news for someone who needs a good lawyer, it may also fuel concerns that automation is replacing human employees. Some argue that this isn’t an issue because job availability has historically increased as technology advances, but artificial intelligence is a fairly new territory that many worry can put an end to that trend.