Could IBM’s Watson Make Experts Obsolete?


When IBM’s Watson beat two human challengers to win the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, a collective “Wow!” was heard at just how far artificial intelligence has developed. The show required Watson not merely to answer questions, but to process clues presented in the form of answers and give the correct response in the form of a question, all within milliseconds.

Watson barely had a chance to savor its victory before speculators of all sorts began to ask, “What will it do next?” Members of the legal profession were no exception, offering predictions of how Watson could be used for everything from legal research to e-discovery, and even suggesting that Watson’s offspring could someday serve as stand-ins for judges and lawyers.

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