Man v Machine.

Who would you trust more in these circumstances:

1. To review a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) and whether there are any clauses that should be challenged.
A. Team of 20 highly qualified lawyers with many years experience
B. Computer with AI?

2. Lymph node biopsy to detect cancer
Expert pathologist
B. Computer with AI?

3. To value a property for sale or to let
Very experienced, traditional estate agent
B. Computer with AI?

Buckle up for the answers

Futurist David Wood spoke with some of our Mastermind Groups this month and offered some highly relevant and slightly scary insights as to how technology is truly changing the world.

First up the lawyer test. In an assessment overseen by Stanford University and Duke Law professors 20 lawyers were individually asked to review 5 different NDAs and identify any of the 3,213 clauses that they would draw their client’s attention to. On average, the lawyers identified 85% of the suspect clauses taking up to four hours each and averaging 92 minutes. The computer found 94% of the clauses in 26 seconds.

Please note the suspect clauses in the NDAs weren’t mathematical mistakes or similar. They were legal and commercial terms that would need flagging to a client before signing.

Next the cancer test. Perhaps even more concerning is that an expert pathologist, examining 30 slides for 30 hours, detected 73% of the cancer cells, whereas a computer, armed with AI, found 89% in as many seconds.

Both of these tests required understanding, “intelligence”, to be able to identify the legal issues or the presence or not of life threatening cancer cells.

So what about the property valuation test. Who do you think won that one? Agent or computer? Well the test hasn’t been done yet. It seems that detecting cancer and even analysing legal agreements are greater priorities for developers of Artificial Intelligence – but for how long? I’ve heard many agents say that you can’t value a property without seeing it but I wonder, with so many advancements in virtual reality, etc. how long before a computer powered by AI will be able to look at photos, floor plans, videos and AR plus locality search, etc. and come up with something at least as accurate as the most experienced local estate agent?

And if you’re in the “it’ll never happen” camp then how about this final test David Wood showed us. Professor David Cope from University of California at Santa Cruz set out to see if a computer could compose music to the standard of the great classicists such as Beethoven, Mozart or Bach. An audience of musicians and aficionados listened to three pieces of music, one composed by Bach, one by a Bach authority and one by a computer equipped with AI. And guess which piece the audience stated “had to be Bach it was so wonderful” – yup, the computer’s composition.

I’m imagining you might fall into one of three groups here:

1. “Nah, it won’t happen, not in my time anyway”
2. “Geez that’s scary, I don’t like the sound of this”
3. “Wow, how exciting. Let’s see how we can capitalise on this”

If you’re in Group 3. and would like to discuss how you might improve your business into the future then please get in touch.

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