• There’s a lot of talk this week about AI laws and regulation, most of which is unrelated to the accident in Tempe. Here’s what I’ve seen:

Here’s a very good discussion regarding medical diagnoses.

This editorial from the Washington Post does reference the death in Tempe as it calls for regulation beyond autonomous vehicles. “Researchers, manufacturers and, yes, lawyers must start thinking about accountability as they’re designing A.I. Programs must include feedback that can be used to properly apportion legal liability.”

– That said, according to this article, French President Macron is pushing back against the EU’s data regulations as inhibiting Europe’s ability to compete in AI. “The 40-year-old president is ramping up French efforts in the race to deploy artificial intelligence and he’s being held back by Europe’s culture of privacy.”

– Back in the USA, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) and Todd Young (R-Ind), sponsors of the FUTURE of AI Act (the title is an acronym standing for “Fundamentally Understanding The Usability and Realistic Evolution of Artificial Intelligence”), say Congress needs to much better informed about AI.


  • From Manatt, this discussion of “The Promise of Data-Driven Healthcare: Megatrends for 2018.” (Downloadable webinar content.)


  • From Law.com: “Two partners who helped create the Data Law Center have left Akerman, announcing last week the launch of a now eight-lawyer boutique in Chicago called Actuate Law that they said will be focused on building more expert systems without what they described as Big Law bureaucracy.”


  • Here’s a list and discussion of the top US graduate degree programs in AI (Carnegie Mellon at the top, of course), and here is a discussion of the top such programs in Canada.


  • Major AI conference: 20th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence – ICAI 2018, July 30-August 2 at the Luxor in Vegas.
  • I’m sure you’ve seen this news: “First Fatal Accident Involving Autonomous Uber Car Raises Novel Legal Issues.”


  • It seems AI is getting better and better at using sentiment analysis and related technologies in recruiting. Here’s the latest from IBM.


  • From the Georgia State University Law School, this discussion of the use of AI-based evidence in court. “We’re talking about an area of law where there is very little precedent.” …. “If we commit to a system where AI is being used to help formulate a criminal sentence, we do in fact have an ethical obligation to share the foundation of that system with the very people whose lives are affected.”
  • From the Mintz Intellectual Property Advisory, “AI: The Path of the Future or Industry Hype?” The post includes some examples of AI in use and an explanation of Machine Learning. The thrust of the article focuses on the patenting of AI systems, concluding with: “(i)n sum, while it is less than certain how far the technology will ultimately take us, it is clear that the field of AI is young, disruptive, and here to stay.”


  • Here’s another solid explanation of Blockchain, including a bit of history and some cautions.


  • From Artificial Lawyer: “KPMG International has announced a range of AI-driven doc review services under an expanded strategic alliance with IBM Watson’s AI technology.  …(S)olutions utilising Watson now available include the KPMG Contract Abstraction Tool for IFRS 16 lease accounting compliance and KPMG Research Tax Credit Services with Watson.”


  • This piece discusses possible uses of AI in the Indian judicial system. Canadian and US applications of AI are discussed.

“Unless artificial intelligence and machine learning are deployed effectively in judicial administration, trial, and adjudication of cases at the earliest, the worrying long-term trend of a pile-up of cases from the lowest courts to the highest will continue unabated. Moreover, like in other pillars of democracy, artificial intelligence, when effectively put to use, can also play a key role to help address challenges of transparency and red tape. With the responsible adoption of artificial intelligence, the Indian judicial system can bring about a drastic transformation to ensure that justice is neither delayed nor denied.”


  • Book release: “Co-authored by Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer, and Jim Wilson, managing director of information technology and business research at Accenture Research, Human + Machine is being published by Harvard Business Review Press and will be widely available March 20. Based on the authors’ experience and on quantitative and qualitative research with 1,500 organizations, Human + Machine debunks the widespread misconception that AI systems will replace humans in one industry after another. The authors show that while that will be true for some jobs, with AI being deployed to automate certain tasks, the technology’s true power is in augmenting human capabilities.”
  • Read this ==> Here’s “Stagnation And The Legal Industry (Part 2) What Real Transformative Change Could Look Like: Envisioning a radically changed future for legal services,” the followup to Ken Grady’s recent provocative piece. The first step he describes (digitization of contracts, laws, decisions, etc.) is not at all far fetched. Then Ken gets into AI: as a tool, as an owner of IP (?), and as a liable entity (?). As is repeated so often when discussion AI, “it’s all in (or ‘about’) the data.” Ken also paints a picture in which risk management regarding the law will be less risky. I especially like Ken’s distinction between law firms and law companies as they strive to provide service to clients that is better, faster and cheaper (my words). As he points out, “this is one version of the future.” It is a thought-provoking one.


  • “…7-Eleven is rolling out artificial intelligence at its 11,000 stores across Thailand…. 7-Eleven will use facial-recognition and behavior-analysis technologies to identify loyalty members, analyze in-store traffic, monitor product levels, suggest products to customers, and even measure the emotions of customers as they walk around. “…(I)t will be using technology developed by US-based Remark Holdings, which says its facial-recognition technology has an accuracy rate of more than 96%.” More here.


  • Law firm (and KPMG) news:

Mintz Levin: “AI: The Path of the Future or Industry Hype?” This is a good overview of the history and state of AI, including a bit about AI and IP, including Alice.

Brinks Gilson & Lione: “Trade Secret Theft Cases Reflect A Ferocious Race To Be First In The Autonomous Vehicle Space.”

Jackson Lewis: “Partners with Ross Intelligence on Firm-Wide Artificial Intelligence Initiative.”

KPMG: “Rolls Out AI-Driven Tax Doc Review With IBM Watson.” (From Artificial Lawyer.)


  • For your Friday musings, several guesses as to what our AI world will be like in 50 years. Interesting.
  • Be sure to check out Artificial Lawyer’s summary of Kevin Gold’s presentation at this week’s British Legal Technology Forum in London. It’s a good overview of driving change in law firms (e.g., the lawyers must be heavily involved, and the oldest, most powerful, are often least motivated/engaged).


  • “In a first, Microsoft researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can translate news from Chinese to English with the same quality and accuracy as a human. Researchers said that their system achieved human parity on a commonly used test set of news stories, which was developed by a group of industry and academic partners.” Details here.


  • Stephen Hawking certainly had thoughts about AI.

From the Business Standard: “Stephen Hawking warned Artificial Intelligence could replace human race.”

From Business Insider‘s collection of best Hawking articles: “We need a ‘world government’ to stop the rise of dangerous artificial intelligence.”


  • In this post from Artificial Lawyer, Seal co-founder Kevin Gidney makes it clear that Seal’s solutions are not limited to the mysterious black box world of neural nets and the like, but also frequently employ straightforward rules-based techniques.


  • News you can use: DoNotPay marches on!! Also from Artificial Lawyer, “Joshua Browder’s pioneering legal bot platform, DoNotPay, has launched the first ever fully automated consumer service to reduce the price of your flight after you have booked.” I’ve GOT to try this. More here from The Verge.




  • From Jones Day: “Protecting Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Innovations Through Patents: Subject Matter Eligibility.” The Alice test is discussed in some detail.


  • Legal Talk Network: Sharon Nelson and John Simek (Sensei Enterprises) talk to Bob Ambrogi (Lexblog) and Andrew Arruda (ROSS) about “Creating Your Own Legal Tech Startup” with focus on useful tips.


  • From Artificial Lawyer: “Legal AI-driven litigation analytics start-up, Gavelytics, has closed a $3.2m funding round from prominent Southern California investors, including the backers of Legal Zoom and Qualcomm.”


  • AI Regulation:

From Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill, ““The future of U.S. innovation is at stake—this should be a cause of concern for everyone.” “This administration’s science, immigration and education policies are all working together to reduce the U.S. lead in AI technologies.”

From the WSJ: “Artificial Intelligence Rules More of Your Life. Who Rules AI?” This is a pretty thorough discussion of the need for regulation.

From the LA Times: “Artificial intelligence can transform industries, but California lawmakers are worried about your privacy.”


  • AI and the environment:

From Science Daily: In a new article published in the journal Conservation Biology, scientists from the University of Helsinki, Digital Geography Lab, argue that methods from artificial intelligence can be used to help monitor the illegal wildlife trade on social media.

From the Environmental Law Institute: “When Software Rules: Rule of Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.” Abstract: “This report … provides a brief history of AI and discusses current concerns with AI systems, … an overview of potential environmental applications to AI and discusses different possible forms of semiformal and formal governance, and … provides the private AI sector, programmers, governments, and the public a set of recommendations on how AI governance can include consideration of environmental impacts.”

  • ICYMI, over the weekend, John Oliver (HBO’s Last Week Tonight) offered this entertaining warning about investing in cryptocurrencies. Stick around for the “special guest.” (NSFW)


  • From Stanford Law Fellow Eran Kahana, his Top 10 intriguing issues regarding AI and the law. These are all concerning the ‘practice’ (as opposed to ‘business’) of law.


  • Ken Grady’s recent absence from posting has provided a bit more perspective about technology and change in the legal industry. This sobering post includes: “(c)ertainly, some software does amazing things and represents state-of-the-art applications in law. But, that is not the issue. The issue is whether we have updated the fundamental way law is practiced. The answer is a resounding ‘no’.” Ken recalls, “the CLO of one of the Big Four accounting firms came to me and said, ‘We both know the real problem here. We have the tools and ways to radically change legal services for the better. That isn’t the issue. The real issue is that those in the industry are not ready to accept change.’ He was right then and would still be right today.”

He closes this essay with, “(i)In my next post on this topic, I’ll give a glimpse of what that real change could look like.” I certainly look forward to it.


  • Artificial Lawyer reports that “London-based law firm, BLP, … has claimed what it believes to be a first for the English legal system by utilising machine learning predictive coding ‘through to full trial’, in what could be a watershed moment for the technology in the UK.”



  • From Bryan Cave: “Hong Kong Managing Partner Kristi Swartz will present March 23 at the Asia Asset Management Roundtable Seminar, “The Inaugural Seminar on Digital Asset Management – Evolution or Revolution?” Panelists will discuss the future of asset management with fintech and blockchain, how artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming financial services, cyber security, and the issues and challenges associated with robo advisers in Asia.”


Speaking of AI and the stock market, “Nasdaq Analytics Hub launched long signals on U.S. stocks, derived from an Artificial Intelligence technique called Ensemble Voting.”


  • While Musk continues to warn of the existential threat posed by AI, the EU has established a commission calling “for a wide, open and inclusive discussion on how to use and develop artificial intelligence both successfully and ethically sound.”


  • “Google, which recently announced a multiyear sponsorship deal making it “The Official Cloud of the NCAA,” has begun the first ad campaign for its cloud computing product with commercials in March Madness coverage.”


  • Finally, from the ‘creepy AI’ desk: “Staqu’s AI-powered ‘Smart Glass‘ is capable of a hybrid of speech and image recognition and can warn the law-abiding citizens against any potential threat around them.”
  • This post by Roy Storm via Law.com is an excellent recap of where we are and where we are headed with AI in the practice of law. I’d say it’s a “must read” for practicing lawyers, especially young associates.

  • This is the first time I’ve ever posted a link to a complete issue of a journal, buy hey, it’s Friday, and I believe you should take a few minutes to scan through the current issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. It’s a “Special Issue on Evolving Legal Markets and Technology: The Future of Law Practice.” As does the Law.com story posted above, one of the articles references Lola v Skadden (620 F. App’x 37, 45 (2d Cir. 2015)):

“In (which), the Second Circuit held that contract attorneys performing discovery document review may not be engaging in the practice of law,” at least in North Carolina. The court held that “an individual who, in the course of reviewing discovery documents, undertakes tasks that could otherwise be performed entirely by a machine cannot be said to engage in the practice of law.” If courts hold that AI constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, legislatures may liberalize laws to specifically exclude such products as the practice of law.” (I added the bolding.)


  • Thanks to Artificial Lawyer for this coverage of the legal AI on other side of the globe:


  • Back in the USA, “…lawmakers voiced their concerns about shrinking government R&D funds Wednesday in the second of three House Oversight IT subcommittee hearings on government’s role in developing and implementing artificial intelligence.”
  • From press release: Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg has become the first US law firm to implement the new iManage Insight for enterprise search. The firm has replaced their existing knowledge management system, Recommind, with the AI-based RAVN technology. According to Sonia Menon, Chief Operating Officer, “We’ve already started using one of Insight’s key features – Insight Knowledge Graph – to identify hidden experts and expertise throughout the firm. We are excited to take this step and we see it as a foundation for advancing knowledge management for the firm.”


  • From Artificial Lawyer, this discussion of Neota Logic’s efforts to increase Access to Justice (A2J) by working with 14 law schools around the globe. It’s not just about hackathons.


  • Jani Ihalainen of Reynolds Porter Chamberlain Authored this piece for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice. Abstract: “The article opens up the conversation around copyright and artificial intelligence, highlighting possible issues and solutions through other jurisdictions outside of the EU and common law countries. Potential legislation could be considered through this conversation, which will alleviate the growing pains from the coming era of artificial intelligence.”


  • According to  at Bloomberg Law, “Law firms looking at artificial intelligence and other technology solutions can expect to make a big investment in the humans to implement it.” Quoting BakerHostetler’s Katherine Lowry, “There’s certainly evidence that some of the tools can save time and cost, but it’s too early to tell about others. But if you don’t invest time in them now, you won’t be ready for the changes coming two to five years from now.”


  • POLITICO, with Accenture Applied Intelligence as the founding partner, is launching a global AI forum to help business leaders and government policymakers understand the impact of AI innovation and to inform responsible use of AI. Details here. I hope a law firm will take a seat at the table. The initiative will hold a series of AI summits and roundtables in multiple cities in Europe and the US. The first AI Summit will take place on March 19-20, 2018 in Brussels. POLITICO also launched a monthly AI newsletter that includes news, analyses and examples of how companies and organizations apply AI.