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Alexsei's Mission to Automate Legal Research

Alexsei is hyper focused on a single mission: to answer complex questions of law with precision, at scale, and at very low prices. We are focused on doing all three of these things simultaneously for the following two reasons: 1) Now, unlike ever before, it is actually possible; and, 2) doing so has the potential to transform our society by eliminating the cost prohibitive reality of engaging with the legal system that so many people face all too frequently.

Why has it only now become possible?

There are several reasons why automating legal research—i.e. offloading much of the intellectual cost of gathering, consolidating, and formulating concise principles of law to software—has only now become possible.

First, the proliferation of the internet has allowed for massive amounts of data aggregation, and I don’t just mean aggregation of online legal databases, such as case law and legislation, but also the aggregation of work that lawyers do on a daily basis, the work that helps to make sense of all this law.

Second, fairly recent advances in computer science and natural language processing have allowed for highly intelligent analysis of text data, and data generally. We’re no longer required to program a piece of software with explicit instructions for how to handle every single expected data input. Instead, for large complex projects, like building an autonomous car or lawyer, we can now write software that learns and adjusts as it encounters more and more data, which makes generalizing an algorithm to perform well when it encounters new, unseen data possible.

Third, and somewhat related to the first, computers are now everywhere, which means software is everywhere. An intelligent system, like an artificially intelligent lawyer, can be where it needs to be when we need it.

What is stopping the development of an A.I. lawyer?

There is very little preventing the development of a truly intelligent system that can perform in the way we envision for Alexsei. It really is just a matter of time and lots of hard work. There is nothing technical nor social standing in the way. There is no capital cost that is too great. Nor is there a lack of expertise. The only possible threat that I see, one that could significantly prolong its eventual arrival, is that lawyers will either fail to employ it for lack of understanding or wrongly act on the misguided notion that their business will be more profitable without it. This, I now believe, is the greatest threat to the continued development of an affordable and accessible legal system.

The near future

Over the next several months, Alexsei’s primary focus is to make every lawyer in Canada aware of its existence. We may not get to all 90,000-something lawyers (or very close, for that matter), but I’ll be satisfied with a good dent. And, as always, we will be working hard on creative and important solutions for further automating legal research.

If you are a lawyer and interested in trying Alexsei, you can sign up here. If you are a consumer of legal services, please ask your lawyer how they use software to keep your fees down and encourage them to use Alexsei!

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