Thomson Reuters and IBM announced earlier this month that they will be joining forces to “enhance customer solutions across Thomson Reuters using Watson.” A very interesting, if not a somewhat inevitable, development in 21st century legal research.
In the press release Mike Rhodin, senior Vice President of the IBM Watson Group enthusiastically said:
“Working with Thomson Reuters, and their vast trove of data, is an incredible opportunity to combine Watson’s cognitive capabilities with a global leader in decision making solutions across science, legal, tax, and finance. The result will be accelerated discoveries for the professionals that rely on these important information solutions, ultimately bringing new levels of speed and precision to critical decisions.”
I had the opportunity to attend a lunch session on IBM Watson that Gale Cengage hosted in January. It was a great introduction. In my notes I wrote: “don’t really know what’s coming next, but need to seize on this opportunity, you plus Watson, the assistant who knows all of the research/knowledge in your domain; humans can’t do this alone, ability, biases, etc.” Although, it seems I also commented: “fascinating and terrifying.”
So what do you think? Are you ready for your new legal research assistant?
And, for obvious reasons, and certainly with no intended disrespect for this initiative, I cannot help conjuring up the HAL 9000 whenever I think of IBM’s Watson. So I am compelled to leave you with one of HAL’s many pithy yet soothing quotes:
HAL: I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you. —2001: A Space Odyssey