“Maybe the only significant difference between a really smart simulation and a human being was the noise they made when you punched them.”

–Terry Pratchett

 The roots of modern Artificial Intelligence, or AI, can be traced back to the classical philosophers of Greece, and their efforts to model human thinking as a system of symbols. More recently, in the 1940s, a school of thought called “Connectionism” was developed to study the process of thinking. In 1950, a man named Alan Turing wrote a paper suggesting how to test a “thinking” machine. He believed if a machine could carry on a conversation by way of a teleprinter, imitating a human with no noticeable differences, the machine could be described as thinking. His paper was followed in 1952 by the Hodgkin-Huxley model of the brain as neurons forming an electrical network, with individual neurons firing in all-or-nothing (on/off) pulses. These events, at a conference sponsored by Dartmouth College in 1956, helped to spark the concept of Artificial Intelligence.

The development of AI has come a long way since its inception. In 2018, LawGeex, a legal tech startup, challenged a group of 20 experienced lawyers to test their skills and knowledge against its AI-powered algorithm. The LawGeex AI achieved “an average 94 percent accuracy rate, higher than the lawyers, who achieved an average rate of 85 percent. It took the lawyers an average of 92 minutes to complete the NDA issue spotting, compared to 26 seconds for the LawGeex AI,”