by Dr. Lance B. Eliot
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Abstract: As AI is further intertwined into the law, there are pundits suggesting that the number of laws will likely increase. For example, AI infusion will reveal existing legal gaps or loopholes, requiring additional laws to plug those omissions. If this comes to pass, it could be that we’ll also correspondingly need to have more lawyers (assuming a valid correlation exists between the number of laws and the number of lawyers, which is an open question).
Key briefing points:
- A recent study estimated how many laws there are today and growth rates over time.
- The research results offer vital food-for-thought about the future of the law.
- Thinking outside the box, ponder the number of lawyers in the past, present, and future.
- An additional twist for the future will be the advent of AI-enabled legal reasoning systems.
- Advances in AI and the law might impact the number of laws and the number of lawyers.
Section 1: Introduction
There is a legendary adage in statistics that correlation does not denote causation.
This is an insidiously simple notion that oftentimes is entirely overlooked. When we hear that one factor is correlated with another factor, it is easily misinterpreted to assume that there must be a cause and effect involved. A favorite such example involves a study that examined the statistical relationship between countries that tended to consume a lot of chocolate in comparison to the number of Nobel Prizes won by each respective country.
Lo and behold, there was a statistical correlation between those two factors. Does that mean that we can reasonably assume that eating more chocolate produces more Nobel Prizes? Doesn’t seem to pass the smell test, despite the delicious aroma of chocolate, though one idly supposes that perhaps eating a lot of…