No, the robots aren’t coming to take lawyers’ jobs. Tomorrow’s law offices aren’t going to be invaded, Terminator-style, by marauding androids looking to shut them down. Quite the opposite—artificial intelligence (AI) can be an invaluable tool as law firms look to improve efficiencies and deliver better results to clients.

That was the message ROSS Intelligence CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda delivered to Bond Dickinson and Womble Carlyle. Arruda spoke to both firms as part of their joint observation of International Innovation Week.

AI consists of four basic branches, Arruda said: learning, speech, vision and language. Recent advances in computing power, available data (via the Internet) and algorithms have greatly enhanced how machines can learn by analyzing past behavior to predict probable results. For example, Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri are examples of AI systems that recognize human speech. Similar AI systems now exist that can recognize complex visual images by comparing them to thousands of similar images.

“These systems aren’t perfect—we know that,” Arruda said. But they are getting better every day. AI is being employed to improve outcomes in such fields as healthcare, finance and transportation.

So how is AI used in the legal world?

Arruda said ROSS Intelligence uses AI to conduct legal research. Lawyers are able to conduct “natural language” searches, rather than translating their needs into a Boolean search request. The result is more precise information with far fewer inaccurate results to sort through.

AI “enhances lawyers’ abilities by cutting down on research time,” he said. “It supplements the tools we currently have.”

ROSS Intelligence is working with Womble Carlyle to provide legal research solutions to benefit the firm and, more importantly, its clients.

On Wednesday, March 22nd, Bond Dickinson and Womble Carlyle attorneys will take part in a “Beta Blitz” exercises, employing Design Thinking methods from the Stanford Design School in a series of creative, hands-on exercises.