Machine learning is a process whereby software applications get better at predicting specific outcomes or scenarios without the need for user input. Put differently, people no longer need to program apps because they can teach themselves.
How is machine learning important to law firms and other professional services firms? It means that apps (like chatbots) draw on past experiences to become even more efficient and effective.
In this short guide we’ll explain:
- How machine learning works
- The benefits of using it
We’ll also provide examples of machine learning so you can understand its application within a marketing context.
How does machine learning work?
Machine learning is all around us if we look hard enough. Your LinkedIn social feed is a case in point. The app suggests content to you based on previous user input. Which is another way of saying that machines learn experientally – adapting their algorithms to make surprisingly accurate predictions.
On a slightly more technical level, machine learning:
- is a sub-class of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that improves without the need for direct programming
- is about apps developing autonomously by using big data to develop deeper insights and improve
- involves pattern recognition – a process whereby apps use previous computations to make future decisions
What are the benefits of machine learning?
Machine learning comes with an equal range of advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of machine learning
- Spot trends even faster. Imagine being able to spot trends and patterns even a genius would struggle to see. With machine learning, it’s possible to understand human behaviours to adapt service delivery or target them with tailored advertisements.
- Never stop improving. The more data you feed in, the more accurate and efficient the application becomes. Contrastingly, people learn slower and have an upper threshold limit.
- Zero human input is required because machines learn autonomously. Your teams will therefore have more free time to concentrate on other tasks.
Cons of machine learning
- It takes time to work. Although AI machines have a near infinite capacity to learn, they still need time to develop that knowledge. So don’t expect fast results.
- Interpreting the results. Your team will still need to review the results data (which can be hard to understand accurately)
- Massive resources are needed. Machine learning apps require more juice to function. This translates into more powerful (and pricier) computers.
Examples of how law firms are using machine learning
Machine learning is transforming how law firms interact with their customers, as the following examples attest.
#1 Document review and research
Legal firms worldwide are increasingly using intelligent apps to review and categorise documents so they can be used for specific cases. With each iteration of the process, the app learns – becoming faster and more adept at finding similar documents.
#2 Speeds up due diligence
Wading through reams of paperwork is no one’s idea of fun. A person’s concentration can wane over time too – leading to mistakes. But these issues fade into the background when you use artificial intelligence tools which can confirm facts and figures fast and without error.
#3 The rise of machine marketing
We’ve talked a lot about machine learning. But machine marketing is also an apt term.
Apps can be used by law firms to:
- Recognise patterns in human behaviours – so you can understand which buttons users are or aren’t using on your website and tweak the design.
- Predict which adverts users want to see based on previous interactions – resulting in better targeting and improved lead generation.
- Interact with customers via chatbots that learn from each conversation – meaning queries are solved faster and more efficiently (saving you time).
Machine learning has multiple applications and could prove advantageous to your law firm – provided you choose the right apps and are prepared to knuckle down by committing time to interpret the data. Just as importantly you’ll need to act on that information by tweaking your digital assets in response to customer wants and needs.
Contact us to discuss your marketing needs by booking your free consultation now.