“Artificial Intelligence does not Replace Human Expertise,” says Abiodun Olatunji, SAN

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Abiodun Adediran Olatunji, has submitted that a technology driven legal practice in Nigeria must respond to the demands of Artificial Intelligence and deploy its use effectively and responsibly.

He advised that Nigerian Law firms must invest heavily in technology and artificial intelligence competencies for their lawyers, thereby seeking to understand the potential and limitation of how AI can enhance their work.

He, however, cautioned that AI does not replace human expertise, and so lawyers must still leverage their knowledge, ethical judgement, creativity, and emotional intelligence to complement the tools of AI.

Mr Olatunji gave this advice while delivering the Maiden Alumni Lecture of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan. His lecture was entitled “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Legal Profession.””

The Alumni Lecturer concluded that as our society is fast becoming more and more dependent on systems using AI, legal practitioners must continuously acquire new skills and competencies such as data literacy, data protection, digital fluency, critical thinking and adopt new ways of working and collaborating with AI.

The representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kayode O. Adebowale, mni, FAS, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research,Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Professor Oluyemisi A. Bamgbose, SAN, said Alumni Lectures serve as a valuable resource for alumni’s personal and professional development, as well as encouraging knowledge sharing.

She added that such lecturers bring real-world experiences and expertise to their lectures, offering valuable insights and practical advice to current students.

The DVC said Alumni lectures provide avenues for networking opportunities for students to connect with successful professionals in their field, potentially leading to mentorship, internships, or job opportunities.

She commended Mr Abiodun Olatunji, SAN, for embodying the spirit of excellence and service that UI holds dear.

She noted that Mr Olatunji’s dedication to the University’s mission is evident through his active involvement in activities at the Faculty and University.

Professor Bamgbose said UI is grateful for his significant contributions. He described Mr Olatunji, SAN as an Alumnus per Excellence who has become a beacon of hope for indigent students in the Faculty of Law, providing them with opportunities to pursue their dreams and excel in their studies.

The Dean of Law, Professor Simisola O. Akintola had explained in her welcome address that the lecture was organised to engage in a discourse of immense importance that will shape the trajectory of the legal profession in years to come.

She said the advent of AI has ushered in a new era, “one that challenges our traditional notions and prompts us to re-imagine the boundaries of our profession, ” she said.

Professor Akintola said legal practitioners, scholars, and students stand at a pivotal juncture, where embracing technological advancement is no longer an option but a necessity.

The Law Chorale group entertained guests at the well- attended lecture.

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