What Watson’s Victory Means for Lawyers

Earlier in the month (the other) Simon alerted us to IBM’s development of a natural language savvy (and trivia stuffed) machine that ran rings around the human competitors in Jeopardy.

But no sooner had the victory occurred when lawyers started thinking … what if.

What if they hadn’t cleared copyright on the encyclopedias they stuffed Watson with? <>

But the best analysis is contained in a provocative and imaginative piece by IBM GC Robert Weber in the National Law Journal, summarized in the ABA Journal.

“Imagine a new kind of legal research system that can gather much of the information you need to do your job—a digital associate, if you will. With the technology underlying Watson, called Deep QA, you could have a vast, self-contained database loaded with all of the internal and external information related to your daily tasks, whether you’re preparing for litigation, protecting intellectual property, writing contracts or negotiating an acquisition. Pose a question and, in milliseconds, Deep QA can analyze hundreds of millions of pages of content and mine them for facts and conclusions—in about the time it takes to answer a question on a quiz show.”

The implications for advanced ediscovery search engines are highly suggestive.

Could Watson do legal research? Read on…

Here is what Watson might do as a sentencing judge.

One blogger is sceptical pointing out that computers can’t make small talk with each other.

And finally what it all means for law librarians:

What IBM’s Watson Means for Law Librarians from Jason Eiseman on Vimeo


  1. That Jason, what a card! ;)