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Artificial Intelligence

Why you need industry-specific GenAI tools despite concerns

· 8 minute read

· 8 minute read

Understanding the importance of industry-specific AI tools for legal, risk, and government professionals

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Concerns around GenAI

Why you still need GenAI

What to look for in an AI assistant


GenAI Report

2024 GenAI in Professional Services

Discover perceptions, usage, and impact on the future of work

View full report



In April, Thomson Reuters released its 2024 GenAI in Professional Services report, a survey of more than 1,100 individuals working internationally that examines how AI is and will be changing the ways on which corporate, legal, tax and accounting, and risk and fraud professionals work. Two-thirds of the industry professionals surveyed for the report believe that AI will have a “transformational or high impact” on their field and that it’s highly likely to redefine how industry professionals provide advice and guidance to their organizations and clients. 

There should be little doubt of it by now: Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) is going to benefit numerous professions in numerous ways. Legal, government, and fraud AI risks are among the main reasons why many professionals are wary of this rapidly emerging technology. But while the benefits of AI are real, so are the risks. The report also notes that industry professionals in these fields have serious concerns about the risks that GenAI may expose themselves to. The worries they express are certainly reasonable—no one wants to damage their hard-earned reputations for high-quality, high-value work.

These concerns point to the fact that industry professionals need an AI solution designed and developed specifically for their profession. It also reveals that as professionals conduct due diligence on potential AI tools, they should include as part of their considerations the distinction between public AI and private AI.  


Concerns around GenAI

Among the professionals surveyed in Thomson Reuters’ GenAI in Professional Services report, 44% describe themselves as “hopeful” or “excited” about the future of GenAI in regard to their work, while 16% say they are “concerned”. Not surprisingly, many respondents also express fears that GenAI will cause a reduction in industry professional positions and perhaps even the disappearance of their profession entirely. Even if jobs survive, industry professionals are concerned about the legal, government, and fraud risks that GenAI could expose them to. 

Top concerns on GenAI revolve around whether it will replace professional work and if misuage of it.

Consider, for instance, the use of GenAI in the legal profession. One of the biggest risks that concern attorneys about using a GenAI tool is a breach of client confidentiality due to client data being accidentally exposed online. Whatever the profession, the use of GenAI does require industry professionals to responsibly address ethical and technological risks. There is also the fear that AI-spawned deepfakes and other nefarious uses could damage their reputation or those of the organization they work for. So while there are benefits to GenAI, industry professionals still want to make sure they are paying attention to potential risks.

“I think [GenAI] has the capacity to increase the efficiency of some processes and thereby possibly enhance access to justice, but it has just as much potential to undermine the justice system if it is misused,” explained one government judge.

Common concerns noted by industry professionals are that GenAI could:  

  • Hurt the accuracy of their work 
  • Compromise the security of their data 
  • Affect the ethics of their profession 


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Why you still need GenAI

Although there are worthy concerns, GenAI has made tremendous strides in a very short time, the technology is still relatively new and it’s continuing to evolve. While many of the risks will be mitigated over time thanks to GenAI’s ability to continuously “learn” and improve, industry professionals will still need to be vigilant when they use this technology in their work.  

Still, there’s plenty of evidence that the benefits of GenAI outweigh the potential risks. In the 2024 GenAI in Professional Services report, 51% of law firm professionals, 62% of corporate risk professionals, and 47% of government court professionals believe that GenAI should be applied to industry work

Top reasons to be excited for GenAI revolve around reducing mundane work and creating new opportunities.

Expect increased efficiency and productivity

GenAI can pore through vast amounts of data and other information in seconds rather than hours. It also can automate repetitive tasks such as document review and drafting, reporting, and data gathering (to name just a few). It also can engage in more accurate and efficient research than human beings can conduct. These are uses that professionals across all fields cited in the 2024 GenAI in Professional Services report.

Looking at specific professions, legal professionals use GenAI for document review; government professionals use GenAI for legal research; and risk professionals use GenAI for risk assessment. 

A corporate risk manager said, “My job primarily looks for characteristics of bad actors in the payments industry. I believe [GenAI] can be trained to weed these out much more efficiently than the current third-party software and manual processes utilized.”

In any case, the efficiencies that AI promises can allow industry professionals to shed necessary but tedious grunt work so that they can concentrate on what they were trained to offer and are being paid to provide: high-level insights and strategic expertise 

Can be transformative for industries

With its capabilities of rapidly analyzing millions of documents and data points, a GenAI tool can reveal patterns, historical trends, and past cases that can help industry professionals shed light on current trends and patterns. By identifying these past patterns and noting real-time changes in laws and other sources of information, decision-makers can plot out more plausible future scenarios that can help them anticipate potential risks that their firms, businesses, or clients might need to plan for. 

Though users of GenAI tools do need to be diligent, it’s also true that AI can protect against existing risks. One example is the risk of non-compliance with regulations affecting the industry professional’s organization or that of his or her client. A GenAI tool can monitor and identify new legislation and new rules both domestically and internationally. It can even keep an organization up-to-date and compliant with regulations specific to AI 


What to look for in an AI assistant

In determining the most beneficial GenAI tool, they’ll want to ensure that the AI assistant’s developer has experience in or at least demonstrable knowledge of the industry professional’s field. A truly valuable AI assistant should access reliable information when the professional’s needs involve trends, data, and other types of research.  

An AI assistant, and the company providing it, should also be able to prove that the tool will become even more helpful, accurate, and efficient in the future, evolving as one’s profession evolves. A question any industry professional should ask should be, will this tool help me uncover insights and meet challenges for situations that have yet to arise?  

Public vs private AI 

All this noted, there is a distinction between public AI and private AI. The main difference is that public AI scrapes the entire internet for research and data. As a result, a public GenAI tool may inadvertently access and make use of false information, private data, or material under copyright—major risks for any profession. By contrast, private AI uses “proprietary” databases that have been developed to access specific and trusted sources of data and research.   

Choosing the right solution 

Not all AI tools are created equal. Legal, government, and risk professionals must conduct thorough research to minimize their exposure to potential industry AI risks. With Thomson Reuters’ CoCounsel, these industry professionals can do just that and more.  

  • Rapidly understand complex documents and find critical information by asking CoCounsel questions and receiving thorough and nuanced answers.
  • Get relevant answers to your legal questions with AI-assisted research that taps into Practical Law and Westlaw content and expertise to make better-informed decisions.
  • Pinpoint key information that could be scattered across thousands of documents by simply asking CoCounsel and easily share information across your organization.

This industry-specific private GenAI assistant can perform sophisticated research and analyze dense, voluminous information — and then deliver reliable, accurate, and thorough answers as quickly as you need them. It has been trained by industry experts to handle essential but repetitive tasks so that professionals can focus on more profitable uses of their time. With the latest technology, you can clarify the complex. 


GenAI Report

2024 GenAI in Professional Services

Discover perceptions, usage, and impact on the future of work

View full report



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