Susskind calls for new UK institute to innovate and respond to rapid AI development reports legal tech insider

Susskind tells Legal IT Insider what stage the plans are currently at for the new UK innovation institute

Professor Richard Susskind has called for the creation of a new independent institute to help the UK maintain its leadership on the global legal stage and respond to the rapid development of AI.  

Speaking at a LegalUK gathering on the evening of 6 July, Susskind proposed the creation of a National Centre for Legal Innovation – in the spirit of The Alan Turing Institute and The Francis Crick Institute in biomedicine – to become a focal point in the UK for the new thinking required to improve access to justice; preserve the UK’s leadership position; and respond to the recent developments in AI, which Susskind described as “the most remarkable development in my 40 years.” 

Addressing an audience at The Central Criminal Court for England and Wales (more commonly referred to as the Old Bailey), Susskind pointed out the exponential growth path that AI is now on, commenting: “There is no finishing line. Our lives will be transformed by technologies that have not yet been invented.” 

However, the UK legal community’s response has been piecemeal and unstructured, Susskind said, observing: “There have been all sorts of events, blogs, lectures, papers and speculation, but little that is authoritative or that coherently harnesses the best of our legal minds and legal technologists.” 

He added: “There are clear opportunities for AI, for example, to help self-represented litigants to understand and enforce their entitlements, and yet the loudest voices have been of those who see problems rather than opportunity. 

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Susskind calls for new UK institute to innovate and respond to rapid AI development