• 26Mar

    Professor Burkhard Schafer Inaugural Lecture
    Edinburgh Law School

  • Event Starts: 26th Mar 2018 5:15pm
    Event Ends: 26th Mar 2018 6:30pm
    Location: Playfair Library, Old College
    Contact Email: law.events@ed.ac.uk

    ‘Who Needs Flesh and Blood(y) Lawyers? Legal AI, Rule Following and Computational Creativity’ 

    Burkhard Schafer

    Professor of Computational Legal Theory

    Director, SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP Law


    Recent years have brought the AI revolution in general, and legal AI in particular, to the forefront of the public imagination. Robots, (and immigrants, and immigrant robots) so we hear, are coming to take our jobs - not any longer just dirty, dangerous or dull jobs that we are glad to give to them, but those of skilled workers too, and even the professions face  potentially significant challenges and disruptions. Popular wisdom has it that the more creativity a job demands, the more it will be protected from this technological disruption. For the legal profession, this poses a conundrum: while we may aim to  instil “creative problem solving skills" in our students, and law firms regularly claim to be “creative innovators and industry leaders, there is an inherent tension between law and creativity, and creative lawyering seems to be but one step away from “creative bookkeeping”. The talk will explore these issues from a historical, jurisprudential and computational perspective: what do we mean with legal creativity, will it protect legal services from the fourth industrial revolution, and if not so, how will the future of the legal profession and of legal education have to change?


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    This event will be recorded and images may be used for promotional purposes.