Getting to know Kim: How lawyers can work with artificial intelligence
Adam Shutkever introduces us to Kim, and describes how even lawyers can create virtual assistants to help them manage their business more effectively.
Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession: What does Kim stand for, and why did you choose that name?
Shutkever: “Kim” stands for Knowledge, Intelligence and Meaning. Given that our product acts as a virtual assistant, we thought it was appropriate that it should have a person’s name so that, for example, a user could say “I’ll get Kim to do that”. We asked ourselves what the key characteristics of our virtual assistant were, and what it was bringing to the table. Then we boiled that down to three things:
- Knowledge (of processes, priorities, people etc.) which is built on a core layer of data to which Kim is introduced,
- Intelligence (the ability to apply knowledge to a range of tasks); and
- Meaning (the ability to understand the context of information, in order for its intelligence to be effective).
Happily, that built to a name, Kim, which is simple, easy for all to pronounce, not gender-specific but with personality.
Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession: What kind of tasks are managed by Kim? To what extent do you still need a personal assistant?
Shutkever: Kim allows knowledge workers, business owners and even lawyers with no programming skills to create virtual process assistants to automate data, documents and workflows for their own businesses and/or for their customers.
Its artificial intelligence assimilates everything needed to create such virtual assistants quickly and easily, irrespective of industry and size of business.
As to whether personal assistants are still needed, many of the tasks formerly carried out by personal assistants are already carried out in different ways, enabled by technology such as integrated electronic calendars, mobile email, smartphone apps etc. Arguably the role has shifted to that of a knowledge worker, responsible for managing and manipulating information in a vast range of forms. Technology such as Kim helps to empower knowledge workers by increasing their efficiency and effectiveness within any organisation.
Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession: What else could Kim do in the future? Could it answer the phone? How about advising you to leave for a client meeting 10 minutes earlier than you anticipated, because it has seen that there are delays on the tube/roads?
Shutkever: I’m sure that Kim could do all of these things, but the primary purpose of Kim is to help knowledge workers and business owners manage themselves more effectively by automating data, documents and workflows for their own business and/or those of their customers - and, crucially, without the need for programming or complex IT implementation. Kim’s key strength lies in its ability to assimilate information and apply its knowledge across the whole range of an organisation’s activities. This makes it a powerful enabler of artificial intelligence.
If I want an alert on traffic conditions I can already get that with Siri. Similarly, there are plenty of applications which will answer my phone. If, however, I want to ensure that my team is working efficiently- the right people doing the right work at the right time and cost, that currently is a challenge, and one which Kim helps to solve. The next stage for Kim is to take that and help me to understand, in real time, the risks that my businesses is subject to and how I should set out to control those risks. Future applications will include such predictive and directive capabilities- e.g. analysis of a given situation leading to suggested changes in practice/strategy to improve performance. Kim can do this because it applies its knowledge of my business and the context and meaning of that knowledge in order to create intelligent solutions for me. At some point it might be useful to have a virtual assistant to mow my lawn and walk the dog, but for now I am pretty excited about being able to manage my business more effectively!
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