It’s hard to express how grateful we are to read a long-form article about artificial intelligence that A) doesn’t declare the end of human employment as we know it and B) manages to discuss AI in depth without once using the word “robot.”
Says Ross’s Andrew Arruda, “This is one of the best articles on AI I have read in a long time. [The writer] Katz avoided the hyperbole and describes where we are at with AI today, how things continue to develop, and she nails what the impact of AI tools are when it comes to knowledge work, particularly when it comes to ROSS.” More about that in a moment.
Written by Miranda Katz, an Associate Editor at Backchannel (Conde Nast), she explains how Google spent much of 2016 “reworking its translation tool to be powered by AI — and in doing so, it created something unnervingly powerful. Google Translate, once known for producing stilted but passable translations, had begun producing fluid, highly accurate prose.” As a bilingual, frequent user of the tool, I can say that Google Translate is much more reliable today than it was earlier — and it is unintentionally hilarious far less often.
Says Katz, “Call it the First Pass Era. AI is now powerful enough to make a solid first attempt at countless complex tasks, but it’s not so powerful that it seems threatening. For more thought-intensive, subjective work, we still need humans.” Which brings us, and Katz, to ROSS.
Speaking to lawyers at Fennemore Craig (an Arizona-based law firm and ROSS partner), Katz reports that “[ROSS] generates clean memos, and while it’s no Hemingway, it offers up a functional first draft filled with summaries of applicable case law, some basic analysis, and a straightforward conclusion. A human lawyer then adds deeper analysis and punches up the language, making the text something that might actually be enjoyable to read — for a lawyer, at least.” ROSS Intelligence’s Andrew Arruda describes ROSS as a productivity tool, not an AI attorney. As Anthony Austin, a partner at Fennemore Craig, puts it: “With the help of ROSS, he says, ‘you look like a rock star.’”
After an analysis of the effect of AI on different industries, from publishing to graphic design and script approval [see our upcoming article on this topic], Katz concludes with the following: “We have to come to terms with the fact that embracing AI is rapidly becoming be a prerequisite for excelling in many fields. We have to welcome these new AI coworkers, and correct them when they make mistakes — all the while acknowledging that at some point, we just might teach them enough that they start climbing up the corporate ladder.”