Large And Small, AI Is A Service For Us All

artificial-intelligence-4111582_1920We tend to think that only large, well-established companies such as Amazon and IBM can use artificial intelligence advantageously. But AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) is an emerging trend that enables startups and small and midsize companies to use AI tools on equal footing with larger corporations. 

The term “AIaaS” is a bit ambiguous and in flux at the moment, as it can be similar to software-, platform-, and infrastructure-as-a-service offerings. We know that AIaaS allows companies of every size to access advanced AI capabilities without spending decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop AI tools themselves. This aspect delivers significant benefits to all.

Lower Costs Expand Access To AI Tools

Just a small AI team can cost a business about $320,000 per year in technology development expenses alone. That figure doesn’t include the many thousands of additional costs in hardware, software, training and maintenance, regulatory compliance, and more.

AIaaS providers design and offer AI tools and services in a cloud environment with subscription-based access. This way, companies do not have to build, purchase, or maintain expensive AI programs and infrastructure. Instead, they pay a recurring fee and simply sign in to the vendor’s cloud platform to use AI tools and services as needed. 

Now, organizations of every size can instantly access the same cutting-edge technologies as larger organizations without the upfront costs. Startups can embed AI capabilities into product and business processes without hiring a team of specialized developers to write and maintain custom code. And many more companies can now use AI to develop new products and services, automate processes and tasks, and gain insights from customer and operational data. 

Prepare For The Future Of Work

According to The State of AI in 2022 report, the most commonly adopted AI uses cases today include:

  • Service operations optimization
  • Creation of new AI-based products
  • Customer service analytics

And they find the most significant revenue effects in marketing and sales, product and service development, and strategy and corporate finance, with the highest cost benefits in supply chain management.

From customer service chatbots to data analysis, companies of every size can now take advantage of AIaaS to reduce labor costs, increase efficiency, and create new revenue streams. And they can quickly scale up or down depending on their needs, thanks to subscription-based access.

AIaaS will ultimately benefit us all. And by understanding its potential, lawyers can make informed decisions about using AIaaS to improve their and their clients’ operations and services.

Are you seeing AIaaS and AI questions arise in your legal practice? Are you using AIaaS to handle routine tasks and repetitive jobs in your legal department or law firm? I’d love to hear about it.


Olga MackOlga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board SeatFundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and  Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.


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