Artificial intelligence can be thought of as machines that can accomplish mental tasks only humans could previously do. The next task that machines seem poised to take over in legal research is producing a research report in response to a question, which could have huge implications for the practice of law. It's going to take time for this promise to come to fruition, but it's worth understanding how the technology is developing and thinking about what it will mean for the profession.
Here are some resources to help get you started:
This video explains how Watson answers Jeopardy questions. The same techniques apply to answering legal questions.
There is still a lot of work to be done refining the tools that allow computer systems to interpret questions and find relevant information, but there is even more development needed to take that information and create an accurate research memo. Attempts are being made in many fields to automate complex writing.