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The scale and scope of artificial intelligence is well-described. Merrill Lynch predicts an “annual creative disruption impact” of $14 to $33 trillion by 2025. Accenture estimates AI could double annual economic growth for 12 developed nations by 2035. Stephen Hawking predicts “the rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.”

Already, AI technologies are being adopted in medicine, law, finance, manufacturing, transportation, policing and retail, to name a few examples. And it’s been well-reported that AI has the potential to transform our legal system. But how? AI undermines basic assumptions about causation, reliance and the role of human agency and supervision.

While legal efforts are underway to address the military applications of AI, including lethal autonomous weapons, civil commercial law is unprepared. Companies and their lawyers should be thinking now about the changes AI may bring and how to manage the risks where possible.

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