The number of lawyers using generative AI tools at least once a month has more than doubled in half a year, according to a survey.
Twenty-six per cent of legal professionals say they now use tools like Chat GPT, or in-house equivalents, every month, up from 11 per cent in July 2023.
Thirty-five per cent revealed that even though they do not currently make regular use of the technology, they plan to do so in the near future.
The survey of 1,200 UK legal professionals, which was commissioned by legal analytics provider LexisNexis, also found that nearly two-thirds of law firms have already made operational changes in response to AI.
These have included hiring AI experts, developing policies on its use, and launching AI-powered products developed in-house, such as the contract negotiation tool launched by magic law firm Allen & Overy in December.
Stuart Greenhill, Director at LexisNexis, said: “The appetite for generative AI technology in the legal sector is unprecedented… However, the demand is for generative AI tools that are grounded and trained on legal sources.”
Lawyers’ top fears around the technology were found to be security, a lack of trust in the free-to-use technology and ‘hallucinations’, the phenomenon of AI technology generating false information.
Meanwhile, the British government will spend more than £100m building artificial intelligence research hubs and preparing regulators as it plans an “agile” approach to controlling the burgeoning technology.
The government has set out its approach to regulating the surging technology in its highly anticipated response to a consultation on AI regulation published last March.
It wants to introduce “targeted, binding requirements” for the most advanced systems, known as foundation models.
Microsoft, Google Deepmind, and Amazon all welcomed the government’s plans for AI regulation.