• Richard Susskind:  By 2036, he posits, “It is neither hyperbolic nor fanciful to expect that the legal profession will have changed beyond recognition.” Check out this article for comments by several others regarding the future impact of AI on lawyering. (My prognostication is that Susskind’s predictions are closer to what we’ll see than those of most of these nay-sayers.)


  • One of the developments that has caught me by surprise is the number of major players in AI who have open-sourced their tech. Here’s such an announcement from Intel. This is particularly good news for smaller companies (and law firms) who want to get into the game without huge investments. This author agrees about the benefit to smaller organizations.


  • Clifford Chance is staffing up to focus on cutting edge tech.


  • Big investments in:

Legal AI: Legal research leader ROSS Intelligence has landed an $8.7M investment from a group led by iNovia Capital. ROSS uses the IBM Watson AI engine and is now working with more than 20 law firms.

Marketing: A group led by Insight Venture Partners has purchased Nashville-based “Emma” a tech-driven eMarketing company.


  • The porn industry has been a driver of many tech innovations (e.g., VCRs, DVDs, augmented reality, Internet streaming). Now Pornhub is using facial recognition to identify and tag the “stars” of their videos.


  • Here’s a fun comparison by Time of where AI seems to really be headed vs its portrayal in Sc-Fi.
(Original Caption) Boris Karloff, Colin Clive and Dwight Frye in a scene from the 1931 Universal Pictures production of Frankenstein.
  • According to a report (AI: The new wave of legal services), produced by Legal Week Intelligence and Bird & Bird, “Law firms should do more to share the benefits of artificial intelligence technology with their clients.” Some see AI as a chance for increased collaboration between law firms and their clients. (Note: the report is based on 15 in-depth interviews).


  • Here’s a two-minute video showing Reed Smith doing a proof of concept with iManage’s RAVN, demonstrating that the software does learn and that it achieves “better, faster, cheaper.”


  • More on self-executing contracts: according to Artificial Lawyer, with BlockCAT “people who need to create commercial contracts do so simply by buying a smart contract from their online marketplace, fill in the details and upload the ‘paper’ to the Ethererum blockchain.”


  • Better, faster, cheaper “deal rooms.” This from press release: “The new Intralinks® VDR is its fastest platform to date. It is 50% faster* across the board and now means a data room can be set up in hours, not days. Its integration with artificial intelligence technology (AI) expedites the due diligence process and reduces deal completion times through the automation of deal room set-up, contract analysis and organisation.”


  • The Chicago-Kent College of Law “Center for Access to Justice & Technology” offers “A2J Author® a software tool that delivers greater access to justice for self-represented litigants by enabling non-technical authors from the courts, clerk’s offices, legal services programs, and website editors to rapidly build and implement customer friendly web-based interfaces for document assembly.”


  • This from NYT/DealBook: Masayoshi Son the founder of SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate, predicts that we will have reached “The Singularity” in 30 years (when artificial intelligence “outstrips” human intelligence), and that by then there will be 10 billion humans and 10 billion sentient robots.


  • Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II: Clifford Chance and Thomson Reuters are collaborating on the development of a “joint offering for MiFID II (that) includes a full scoping and analysis service to identify the best approach to re-paper a financial institution’s full inventory of legal documents within the shortest period of time. It also provides robust and detailed playbooks and a suite of templates to ensure compliant documentation, plus cost effective and scalable teams of full-time legal and financial professionals globally to provide the managed services of drafting, client outreach and negotiation work. In addition, it handles all the related project management capabilities to ensure a successful outcome and minimize the impact and demand placed on internal teams.”