Kunkel on Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Proletarianization of the Legal Profession

Rebecca Kunkel (Rutgers Law) has posted “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Proletarianization of the Legal Profession” (Creighton Law Review, Vol. 56, 2022) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Recent advances in computer programming, broadly categorized as “artificial intelligence,” (“Al”) have renewed debates over machines as viable replacements for human lawyers. Some prominent lawyers and legal scholars now adhere to a vision of the future heavily seasoned with Silicon Valley-style techno-utopianism: the legal profession may endure but only in a form in which it would be almost unrecognizable today, while legal innovators will need to immerse themselves in the possibilities opened up by artificial intelligence in order to survive. For others, the view of artificial intelligence and its potential application to law is more limited, as they argue for the impossibility of automating many essential aspects of legal service. These views share key assumptions about the nature of Al technology: that technological development follows its own course and that the widespread adoption of technologies is primarily determined by objective measures of efficacy. This essay offers an alternate Marxian account of legal Al which places it in the larger history of automation and proletarianization.