May 5, 2023

Artificial and Emotional Intelligence in the Legal Sphere

Sarah Malik and Swetha Sivaram

Emotional intelligence? Artificial intelligence? The legal sphere? Surely you have all heard these terms but what is the link between these three?

What is the importance of emotional intelligence in the legal sphere?  What is the influence of artificial intelligence in the legal sphere? 

Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Since the beginning of the century, artificial intelligence has had a major impact in some shape or form in all sectors. The legal sphere has also seen changes owing to this development. 

Digital transformation in the legal world has certainly made lawyers’ lives easier in many aspects. By incorporating these technologies into their work, legal organizations can improve the quality of their services, increase their competitiveness, and better meet the needs of their clients. For example, instead of spending time trying to keep up with ever-changing legal updates, they rely on trusted legal tech to do that for them – freeing up time and energy to focus on the other aspects of the legal practice.

There are now numerous artificial intelligence tools that assist lawyers to draft consistent, appropriate, and up-to-date documents, both in the transactional and litigation spheres. This is carried out by referencing a huge database of precedents.

Digital tools improve collaboration between lawyers and their clients, allowing for real-time communication, document sharing, and project tracking. This can lead to better client relationships and improved client satisfaction.

Digital tools also make legal services more accessible to a wider range of clients and allow for better access to the law for litigants in person, which indirectly reduces certain social inequalities.

Legal project management tools can help lawyers and legal teams to better manage cases and projects, set priorities, and track progress. This can improve overall productivity and help ensure that projects are completed on time and within the set budget.

The COVID-19 pandemic almost forcibly accelerated the development of digital transformation. Whereas physical meetings were preferred earlier, most professional meetings and conferences are now undertaken by videoconference. Moreover, the Courts around the world have also adapted to conducting hearings over videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

More specifically in the UAE, the authorities are determined to develop artificial intelligence and have integrated artificial intelligence into all procedural levels of administration. 

In addition, the DIFC and the ADGM, two financial freezones located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, have developed incubator regimes for many kinds of technologies which, indirectly, have encouraged the inclusion of technology such as Artificial Intelligence in start-ups.

However, at present no legislation exists to regulate artificial intelligence. Therefore, this legal void could be problematic, particularly with regard to the collection and processing of personal data. A clear code of compliance or ethics is more than likely to be adopted at some point in the future, which users of artificial intelligence systems will need to comply with.

Moreover, special attention must be paid to industries such as healthcare, law, and finance, which are ready for the utilization of artificial intelligence and already have dedicated regulatory bodies in the UAE.

With the exponential growth of the use of artificial intelligence, it is also important that individuals in the legal field possess the requisite emotional intelligence. 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to process emotional information accurately and efficiently, including that information relevant to the recognition, construction, and regulation of emotion in oneself and others. 

Some studies suggest that the training provided to lawyers, especially at the start of their career, should be expanded to enable them to develop their emotional intelligence. Although it is essential to have a strong foundation and training of the law and legal principles, it is equally important to possess the requisite soft skills which further assist lawyers to provide effective legal advice to their clients, especially in sensitive cases involving family law or criminal law. Universities and traditional academia do not teach such essential skills which leaves lawyers more often than not with a feeling of unease whilst dealing with certain matters. 

Lawyers must be open-minded while perusing documents provided by a client or during a meeting with a client in order to gather all the relevant facts of the case. They must not at any time be judgmental regardless of what the facts of the case are. At times during negotiations, tensions run high, and it is up to the lawyer to suggest breaks to the client to help calm them down. It is also vital to exercise control to ensure intellectual intelligence does not switch to hyper-sensitivity. The lawyer must always remain capable of detaching their activity from their morality and must not be emotionally affected by a case either.

Both emotional intelligence and artificial intelligence are important in their own ways, and their significance depends on the context and purpose.

Companies based in the UAE have focused on emotional intelligence by and an understanding of the interplay between artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence. This is demonstrated in the following case studies:

Emirates NBD Bank: This bank has been recognized for its use of AI and digital technologies to enhance customer experience. However, the bank also recognises the importance of emotional intelligence, with their leadership team completing Emotional Intelligence training to better understand their customers’ needs and how to communicate effectively with them.

Dubai Police: The Dubai Police have been using technology to improve public safety, including AI-powered cameras that can detect crimes in progress. However, they also recognize the importance of emotional intelligence, and have been training officers to have empathy and better communication skills when dealing with members of the public.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA): DEWA has been using digital technologies to improve the efficiency of its operations, including a smart grid system that helps to manage electricity demand. However, they also recognize the importance of emotional intelligence, providing training to their employees to help them better understand their customer’s needs and provide more personalized service.

UAE Ministry of Education: The UAE Ministry of Education has been using digital technologies to improve the quality of education, including online learning platforms and virtual classrooms. However, they also recognize the importance of emotional intelligence, providing training to teachers to help them better understand their students’ needs and provide more personalized support.

Dubai Health Authority: The Dubai Health Authority has been using digital technologies to improve healthcare, including telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. However, they also recognize the importance of emotional intelligence, training healthcare providers to have better communication skills and empathy when dealing with patients.

In summary, these case studies illustrate how organizations within the UAE are using digital technologies to improve their operations, but also recognizing the importance of emotional intelligence to enhance customer and employee satisfaction. By combining digital transformation with emotional intelligence, these organizations are better equipped to navigate the post COVID-19 world.

Emotional intelligence is crucial for human interactions, relationships, and leadership, as it allows individuals to understand and manage their own emotions and those of others. It helps people communicate effectively, build strong relationships, resolve conflicts, and lead effectively. Emotional intelligence is also essential for jobs that require empathy, such as counseling, coaching, teaching, and healthcare.

On the other hand, artificial intelligence is essential for automating routine tasks, processing large amounts of data, making predictions, and solving complex problems. AI technologies are transforming various industries such as healthcare, finance, transportation, and manufacturing. AI can analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns that humans might miss, leading to better decision-making and improved efficiency.

Overall, both emotional intelligence and artificial intelligence have significant roles to play in the legal sphere. Emotional intelligence is essential for building relationships, leadership, and negotiation, while artificial intelligence assists in tasks such as document review, prediction and analysis, and contract management.

This publication is not intended to offer legal advice and is solely for informational purposes.