AI & Law: Primer On AI And The Law

Lance Eliot
6 min readJul 10, 2021
Essentials and foundations about AI and the law

by Dr. Lance B. Eliot

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Key briefing points about this article:

  • There is some confusion about what “AI and the law” constitutes
  • Some see only a part of the whole and become focused solely on a particular piece
  • Thus it is useful to take a holistic look at the entirety of AI and the law
  • This quick primer depicts a two-way street framework
  • In short, there is: (1) AI applied to the law, and (2) Law applied to AI


Sometimes it is hard to see the big picture.

There is much discussion about AI and the law, oftentimes occurring in somewhat fragmented ways. This can especially occur when mired in the details. It is the proverbial seeing of the trees and not grasping the entirety of the forest. Let’s consider taking a look at the forest for the trees, doing so in the case of AI and the law.

Turns out that any confusion or misconceptions about AI and the law can readily be put to bed since the whole phenomena can be relatively directly defined, as will be covered briefly herein.

First, it perhaps appears obvious that there are two elements involved, namely the overarching aspect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with a presumed intertwining somehow with the law (you already know about the law, due to serving as practicing attorneys or acting in other legal capacities). Since AI for you is ostensibly the least understood element of the two, you can go with a somewhat simple definition of AI for now, whereby AI is any machine or computer-based system that can be made to exhibit intelligent behavior.

I realize that seems a bit scant and could encompass a motley slew of possibilities.

I’ve previously provided an in-depth analysis of definitions about AI as covered in my columns, including this formalized statement from a regulation passed by the U.S. Congress: “An artificial system…

Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.