• The big news yesterday was Thomson Reuters’ launch of “…Westlaw Edge, an updated, artificial intelligence-assisted legal research platform. The updates include new warnings for invalid or questionable law, litigation analytics, a tool to analyze statutory changes and an improved AI-enhanced search called WestSearch Plus.” Here’s their video promo piece, and here the press release. Kudos to Thomson Reuters for garnering so much coverage, such as here and here. This early review by Bob Ambrogi is especially interesting, as is this from Jean O’Grady.

At the same time, Artificial Lawyer has this coverage of Eikon Digest, Thomson Reuters’ “new algorithmic research service aimed at the financial sector, in a move that shows the increasing use of machine learning, NLP and related tech.”

 

  • Meanwhile, “LexisNexis® Legal & Professional today announced the launch of Lexis Analytics, a comprehensive suite of analytics tools that leverages advanced technology, vast stores of legal content and expert curation to give lawyers a decisive competitive advantage in the business and practice of law.” Here’s the press release.

 

  • From LegalWeek, here are Jeffrey Catanzaro’s thoughts about: What junior lawyers need to know about artificial intelligence. “The new lawyers of today are the managing partners and general counsel of tomorrow, and although some commentators may assert that the profession is disruption-free, an increasing body of evidence does suggest the contrary. As the American media mogul Ryan Kavanaugh once said: -The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don’t react to it decades later. You can’t fight innovation.'”

 

  • Tracy Molino of Dentons has these thoughts about: The practical uses of distributed ledger technology, beyond cryptocurrencies. She breaks down the applications by industry. “Dentons is proud to be the first Canadian law firm to join the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC).”

 

  • This piece from The Economist, Law firms climb aboard the AI wagon, doesn’t break any new ground, but provides an overview of law firm applications of AI and the possible ramifications thereof. “Will legal employment eventually shrink? The jury is still out. Some firms expect to employ fewer graduates. But others argue that cheaper services could encourage clients to consult their lawyers more. And although some tasks are automatable, many others rely on human judgment. AI might pinpoint atypical clauses in contracts, for example, but it cannot decide if the anomaly is a deal-breaker. In any event, lawyers should start to find their work more interesting.”

 

  • Here’s a new A2J tool! “An artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed for businesses is to help staff at food banks and MPs’ surgeries refer legal enquiries from members of the public to lawyers….” “What we will be offering is a tool to connect advice givers and lawyers, rather than a replacement for initiatives already taking place.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, “US law firm Fenwick & West has taken the unusual step of making a public announcement about the positive impact its use of legal AI technology, in this case mainly Kira Systems, is having on the firm, stating that use of automated review technology has cut the time needed for such work ‘by half’.

 

  • Press release: “Seal Software, the leading provider of content discovery and analytics solutions, today announced the acquisition of Apogee Legal, a global leader in advanced contract analytics for the enterprise, in a move that will bolster Seal’s award-winning suite of market leading Intelligent Content Analytics (ICA) AI solutions and its global management team.”

 

  • I’ve posted several times about the burgeoning field of AI-based sentiment analysis and it’s use in applications from police departments to job interviews to advertisers. Now there’s an app for that, so you can try it yourself. “The app uses the latest emotional artificial intelligence (Emotion AI) to read 43 facial muscles 14 times a second, using the front camera of a smartphone. The app gives you seven emotional states – fear, anger, disgust, happiness, contempt, sadness, and surprise. It works while you’re watching a video from a friend, recording your reaction at the same time using the front camera. The recipient and the sender both can see the emotion results in real-time, with the top two emotions given priority. These top two emotions are shows with percentages, indicating which emotion is felt the most by individuals concerned.”

 

  • And finally, here’s a weekend thought piece for you: The New Intelligence: Modern AI and the fundamental undoing of the scientific method. “The days of traditional, human-driven problem solving — developing a hypothesis, uncovering principles, and testing that hypothesis through deduction, logic, and experimentation — may be coming to an end. A confluence of factors (large data sets, step-change infrastructure, algorithms, and computational resources) are moving us toward an entirely new type of discovery, one that sits far beyond the constraints of human-like logic or decision-making: driven solely by AI, rooted in radical empiricism. The implications — from how we celebrate scientific discovery to assigning moral responsibility to those discoveries — are far-reaching.” It’s thought provoking, to say the least.

While looking for something I wrote a while back on measuring marketing ROI (I still haven’t found it), I ran across this short post from Attorney At Work from five years ago. This process is certainly not the same as you would get by engaging the services of a serious branding organization like Right Hat or Greenfield Belser, but for many firms it would be a substantial improvement from where they stand today, and the fundamental principles are sound.

How to Develop Your Law Firm Brand

By  | May.29.13 | Business DevelopmentDaily DispatchLaw PracticeLaw Practice ManagementLegal Marketing

Congratulations! Your law firm has a brand. In fact, maybe several. You may have no control over it, but when people hear your name and recognize it, they think … something. So the first question is whether you want to control your law firm brand, or allow your competitors and random market forces to define you. The former seems preferable.

Of course, you could attempt to brand each attorney (good luck with that). If you do, though, you won’t end up with any sort of coherent brand platform from which to market the firm—no clear image of why the firm is a safe choice or should be chosen over any of the myriad other options. You are merely a hotel for lawyers.

To be effective, your brand must be consistent with your firm culture and the actual business of your firm, attractive to the clients and prospects you want most, and as different from the brands of your major competitors as possible (brand differentiation). Do all that, and you have a position that’s worth something (brand equity).

Sit in a room with some smart lawyers and you can make up a brand. They’ll have fun doing it, and you are very likely to end up with a brand that satisfies none of the conditions above.

Doing It Right Isn’t That Difficult

While it may seem a daunting task, developing and leveraging your law firm brand is a fairly simple process.

1. Gather and understand information. Study the past several years of your firm’s finances, interview 10 to 20 of your lawyers of various levels and practices regarding firm culture and strategy, and interview at least a dozen key clients from various practice groups. (You already have a client feedback program in place, right?) Then spend some time trying to figure out the brand platforms of your key competitors. You’ll have most of what you need to develop a real strategy. So far, the cost has been very little.

2. Learn from the marketplace. Now, if you can afford it, survey your marketplace via phone interviews using a set script. Ideally, you will survey buyers in 30 to 50 companies you’d love to have as clients. Without identifying your firm, ask how they select law firms and what they think of your firm and your key competitors. At first they’ll say they “engage lawyers, not law firms.” Keep pushing, and you’ll quickly get past that BS. They buy both. The relationship may be with the attorney, but the law firm makes the lawyer a safe choice and provides the infrastructure necessary to practice. If you can’t afford a survey, convene a focus group of clients (about three) and not-yet-clients (about nine) and ask the same questions. The other BS you will hear is that they are not at all influenced by “brands” or advertising. Again, keep pushing and you’ll get to their real opinions. (Believe me, it always proceeds this way.)

3. Build the message on what you’ve learned. Next, sit down with your team (including a few opinion-leading lawyers and a brand consultant if you can afford one) and decide what message your brand platform should convey. Work very hard to bang that down to the shortest effective brand statement you can manage, and present it to everyone in the firm, along with your supporting evidence as to why it is right for your firm. (Lawyers respect evidence.)

4. Communicate widely and consistently. You have to achieve buy-in because everyone is a brand ambassador, from the mailroom guy who coaches your client’s girls’ soccer team to your practice group leader at a United Way board meeting. Post it all over the firm. Express the brand in all you do—from your website to your pitches to your media releases to your ads to your event invitations to the script your receptionist uses answering the phone. Everything.

That is affordable by every firm. The ROI may be very subtle, but it will be real.

  • From Mayer Brown, this 24-minute video presentation: Staying Ahead of AI with Rebecca Eisner. It’s a discussion of AI generally, followed by the implications for “technology lawyers.”

 

  • Ed White of Clarivate Analytics prepared this piece: Artificial intelligence and the future of the patent system. He outlines three major changes to the patent world and concludes: “These issues taken together challenge the utility of the patent system. If not addressed, they could potentially devalue it and lead to decline in its use.  There is simply way too much data for a human to read, analyse and understand.  It is clear we need help.  Step up artificial intelligence (AI).” He then gives a basic explanation AI and how it can help address these issues.

 

 

  • This post (AI crucial to value-based care, but security challenges and time constraints remain) from Healthcare IT News includes an interview with Buchanan Ingersoll’s Pam Hepp. “AI can be beneficial because it incorporates predictive outcomes coupled with decision-making tools, but providers need to be willing to adopt and use such technology, and that is often a difficult ‘sell’ for many practitioners….” She goes on to discuss some of the issues inherent in these applications of AI and big data generally.

 

  • Naughty lawyers: “The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained final judgments against attorney T.J. Jesky and his law firm’s business affairs manager, Mark F. DeStefano pertaining to the illegal sales of UBI Blockchain stock. Both Jesky and DeStefano profited.” …”the SEC says the pair made approximately $1.4 million by selling shares in UBI Blockchain Internet during a 10-day period from Dec. 26, 2017 to Jan. 5, 2018. The sales halted when the SEC stepped in and temporarily suspended trading in UBI Blockchain.” Coverage here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, the second best news for Kira this week (the first, of course, being the addition of Allison Nussbaum to their team!): Allen & Overy Formally Adopts Kira Systems for AI Doc Review.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, this post by Victoria Duxbury, Associate Director, Knowledge Development Lawyer at Bryan Cave: AI Contract Review is for Life Not Just for (the Pre-) Christmas (Rush). It’s an interesting discussion of moving from the fundamentals of contracts with systems such as those from iManage/RAVN and Kira Systems to a “move away from traditional, static Word-based products to live reporting will offer us all greater visibility, more fluidity and an opportunity to truly collaborate: what’s not to like about that all year round?”

 

  • Here (audio and transcript), Ari Kaplan interviews Emily Foges, the CEO of Luminance, re AI and the law firm of 2030. She discusses Luminance’s offerings, obstacles to adoption and then moves on to her predictions for 2030. “I think it is going to be a really exciting place full of bright, enthusiastic, interesting lawyers who have been freed up from the shackles of all of this tedious, repetitive work that increasingly young lawyers have to deal with now and are really applying their minds to really creatively solving problems on behalf of their clients and adding huge amounts of value to their clients.”

 

  • Fasken will elaborate in an extended version of this, and next month’s bulletins will be published in the August 2018 issue of DRI’s For The Defense. For now, here’sPart 1: Could Artificial Intelligence be Considered an Inventor? (Spoiler alert! Short answer: “maybe.”)

 

  • This, by Kayla Matthews, is a fascinating read with several legal implications: How Blockchain Technology Could Help Prevent Medical Fraud. “Health-related fraud affects people at every level of the industry, whether they are the people receiving care or those giving it. Even though some of the possible solutions outlined here haven’t been widely used yet, they demonstrate why blockchain technology could turn into such a reliable tool for making medical fraud cases less abundant and costly.”

 

  • Thomson Reuters just posted this fun and informative infographic. 7 Things Legal Professionals Need to Know About AI. (There’s a link to a white paper on the subject.)

  • Easily the most reported AI story in the past few days has been: UK & France sign major deal for AI & Cyber Security cooperation. “The plan will see the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, The Alan Turing Institute, partner with French counterpart DATAIA on research and funding initiatives.” Coverage here, here and here.

This post from Artificial Lawyer takes an in-depth look at the British Government’s support of legal tech per se.

– Another perspective on the UK’s attitudes and uses of tech in law is presented in this post: “Imagine Y Combinator of the tech world fame, but inside a law firm with open access to the partners, associates, technology infrastructure, and staff.” “…(S)ince the passage of the 2007 Legal Services Act, which allows non-attorney ownership of law firms (also known as an ABS structure) there has been an explosion in innovative business models combining great lawyers, business professionals, and technologists (think Riverview Law). UK Biglaw also seems to get that times are changing.”

 

  • But, while the UK and France are planning to become more competitive in AI, here, from CB Insights are the nine companies who have been acquiring AI startups:

 

  • Also from Europe: “Researchers from the European University Institute have developed a tool designed to use artificial intelligence to scan companies’ privacy policies to identify violations of data protection laws….”

 

  • Singapore’s government is also committed to investment in AI, in this case, specifically legal AI. “The city-state’s government has established programs to advance innovation in the legal profession. Can Hong Kong, Asia’s other financial center, catch up?”

 

  • Here, from Thomson Reuters, are more thoughts about use of AI in smaller firms. “So, what can a small law firm attorney do to gain the insights of large law firms and more experienced attorneys? The answer is artificial intelligence.” Much of this post is taken from their eBook, “Not All Legal AI Is Created Equal.

 

  • One of the ways AI is expected to become available to smaller organizations is ‘AI as a service’ (AIaaS). This area is expecting rapid growthWorldwide Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS) Market 2018-2023: A $10.88 Billion Opportunity – ResearchAndMarkets.com.

 

  • Gowling has come up with an interesting way to get its employees comfortable with blockchain. “International law firm Gowling WLG has introduced a new blockchain-based peer-to-peer recognition scheme for 1,178 UK employees working at its London and Birmingham offices. The Gowling WLG Reward Token scheme (GRT), launched on 2 July 2018, was designed internally to educate employees about blockchain technology and help staff to earn and share rewards.” More here.

 

  • This (Vera Cherepanova: AI doesn’t solve ethical dilemmas, it exposes them) is an interesting read and unusual perspective about AI and ethics, focused on compliance applications and implications.

 

  • Here’s more coverage of China becoming a ‘surveillance state’. “In some cities, cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted. Billboard-sized displays show the faces of jaywalkers and list the names of people who can’t pay their debts. Facial recognition scanners guard the entrances to housing complexes. Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States. Such efforts supplement other systems that track internet use and communications, hotel stays, train and plane trips and even car travel in some places.” The specific examples are fascinating.
  • A2J?This ‘Serial Entrepreneur’ Thinks Finding a Lawyer Can Be as Easy as Hailing an Uber. “For $20, Kevin Gillespie’s ‘Text A Lawyer’ service lets consumers send a legal question to a pool of lawyers to pick up for a response.” “…(W)hich will solely focus on landlord/tenant issues in Oregon and Washington during its beta launch. He said the platform is also trying to get ‘up and running for immigration issues,’ and plans to cover other areas like employment, traffic, cannabis, and civil rights.”

 

  • More about AI for smaller firms or corporate legal departments (SMEs):

– Baidu no-code EasyDL tool could democratize AI for small businesses, bridge talent gap. “Baidu announced the launch of Baidu Brain 3.0, a central platform that helps enterprises more quickly and easily adopt artificial intelligence (AI) solutions—with or without programming talent. Baidu Brain provides 110 AI technologies, including face recognition, natural language understanding, and video understanding—all of which are available via open APIs or SDKs, according to a press release. Businesses can also use the platform’s no-code tool called EasyDL to build custom machine learning models without the need for programming skills….” Details here.

From WoltersKluwerThe role of AI in your small legal department.

2018 Is The Year Of Artificial Intelligence Transformation From RPA To SMEs. “Xineoh … says it has developed a platform for predicting customer behaviour with AI ‘which allows businesses to out-predict their competition thus allowing them to maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction’.” “It’s a bold claim and one laser-focused on SMEs. Its so-called bespoke AI solutions on Xineoh’s platform can be implemented rapidly without the cost, complexity and consulting required by other methods.” More here.

 

  • It seems the ACC is getting involved in blockchain’s use in law. This is a solid discussion of smart contracts. Smart Contracts: The Shared Ledger That’s Set in Stone.

 

  • And speaking of blockchain, this post about Series LLCs brings up some interesting points about the relationship between smart contracts, blockchain and lawyers. Here’s the sort of things discussed:

“This ability to learn and react diminishes the need for regular human management. Contracts written onto a blockchain could allow artificial intelligences to auto-resolve disputes, easing the litigation burden on courts when computers start doing business with other computers. The ability to safely share information on a blockchain will also lighten the burden of business management, able to quickly access relevant data from business and industry partners as well as different hubs of the same company. In the future, the computers may even run businesses themselves with auto-learning algorithms.”

“The biggest challenge to LLCs looking to join the blockchain revolution of the future will be finding programmers talented enough to code smart contract management programs, and the careful drafting of the “contract” in computer code languages. It also provides a challenge to lawyers: If initial contracts are written by coders, and subsequent contracts are written by the technology itself, where do lawyers fit in?”

 

  • This is an interesting discussion of how Malta is becoming seriously friendly to blockchain — it’s not just a marketing gimmick. Among Blockchain-Friendly Jurisdictions, Malta Stands Out.

 

  • Here’s more about Norton Rose’s chatbot ‘Parker’. Chatbot aids firms’ privacy compliance by finding client exposures within data breach laws. “The launch of the bot continues the steady incursion of artificial-intelligence-powered software into the Canadian legal market. Parker, a computer program that simulates human conversation, will guide clients in determining their exposure and obligations under new data breach laws and new regulations that will come into effect on Nov. 1 under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).”

 

AndLogan Breed, a partner with Hogan Lovells’ Antitrust practice, sits down with Daniela Combe, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at IBM. They talk about the explosion of data, the emergence of AI and cognitive computing – and the evolving relationship between in-house and outside counsel. Listen to the audio here.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, an interesting post about firms engaging multiple AI solutions and needing to integrate them and link databases. ‘More Law Firms Turning to More Than One AI Solution’ – HighQ

 

  • From Clifford ChanceClifford Chance launches two new innovation units: the next stage of the firm’s Best Delivery and Innovation strategy
  • Predictive analytics are going to be huge in the business (and practice) of law. This is my favorite example so far. “DLA Piper brought in Axiom Consulting Partners to assist in building a predictive-learning model that predicted with 75-80 percent accuracy those clients that will shrink or go dormant in the next year.” Check out the reported ROI.

 

  • Global law firm alliance, Meritas has made AI for its members a priority. “…Jill Wiley, the newest chairwoman of the board …, is looking to get independent law firms thinking about technology innovation and artificial intelligence. Wiley, also a managing partner at southern Arizona firm Waterfall, Economids, Caldwell, Hanshaw & Villamana, has set forth a priority to establish a Meritas international task force on the use of AI.” Details here.

 

  • Here’s an interesting roundtable discussion of the use of tech by in-house folks and their expectations of law firms. Several are already using AI and blockchain themselves, so they expect law firms to embrace such tech to achieve better, faster, cheaper. It’s a good read.

 

  • I am often asked whether and then how smaller firms can get involved with AI. My answer usually involves vendors who offer AI by the document or byte or user. Here’s an example (DATAVLT) of a firm “providing a cost-efficient data analytics service for these underserved SMEs.” (Or, join Meritas — see above.)

 

  • “Facebook is buying London-based artificial intelligence start-up Bloomsbury (AI) … a data analytics company that automates customer care and advice. It has proprietary algorithms that answer questions after trawling documents, which will prove a useful tool for Facebook’s battle against fake news. The Silicon Valley tech giant will pay between $20m and $30m (£15m-£22m)….” More here.

Also, Artificial lawyer reports that Bloomsbury AI is “one of the startups in Allen & Overy’s second cohort at its Fuse incubator.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, this interview “with Steven Lofchie, a New York partner in the Financial Services Department at top US law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, to hear about the firm’s custom-built legal research and knowledge management platform that leverages machine learning, known as the Cabinet.”

 

  • I keep saying I’m going to stop covering legal AI investments, but I can’t seem to help myself. To wit$200M In Two Months Says Investors No Longer Snubbing Legal Tech.

 

  • Nothing new here. Move along, move along. From Taylor Wessing: AI is disrupting the delivery of legal services – but to what extent and how? “The continued development of AI in all areas of the delivery of legal services can only be good news for clients. AI offers the potential to free up lawyers from the more mundane and often time consuming aspects of their jobs, allowing them to focus on the areas in which they can bring the most value to the client relationship, all for a lower overall spend.”

 

  • And don’t miss this! “In a landmark study, 20 experienced US-trained lawyers were pitted against the LawGeex Artificial Intelligence algorithm. The 40-page study details how AI has overtaken top lawyers for the first time in accurately spotting risks in everyday business contracts.” And don’t miss the link to the full story.

Must Read: This (Lola v. Skadden and the Automation of the Legal Profession) long (77 pages), heavily annotated (404 footnotes) scholarly article from the Yale Journal of Law & Technology “analyzes the long-term impact of the Second Circuit’s opinion in Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, 620 F. App’x 37 (2d Cir. 2015), on the legal field’s existing monopoly over the ‘practice of law.’  In Lola, the Second Circuit underscored that “tasks that could otherwise be performed entirely by a machine” could not be said to fall under the ‘practice of law.'” By distinguishing between mechanistic tasks and legal tasks, the Second Circuit repudiated the legal field’s oft-cited appeals to tradition insisting that tasks fall under the “practice of law” because they have always fallen under the practice of law.”

“The article proceeds by first discussing the procedural history and decision in Lola v. Skadden.  It then explains the technological advances that will impact the legal field and the tools used by the legal field to perpetuate its self-regulating monopoly.  The article then turns to the socioeconomic implications of technological disruption within the legal field and concludes with a discussion on how lawyers may prepare themselves for, and thrive within, an inevitably automated future.”

It’s a bit of a slog (not as onerous as you might expect), but it does an excellent job explaining why and how a future with machines practicing law in the US will come to pass.

 

  • They have become so common that I don’t usually post about investments in legal AI companies, but today’s a slow news day, and this one is bigger than most. Legal Tech Company Everlaw Gets $25M Investment. Here’s a good explanation of the Everlaw e-discovery platform’s automatic transcription for audio and video.

 

  • Here’s a compilation of three energy-related blocklchain stories from the K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer blog.

 

  • This post by Ian Altman provides a pretty broad survey of blockchain applications in the legal industry today and down the road. How Blockchain Will Transform Business And The Law.

 

  • DLA Piper’s former chief information officer and director of business transformation Daniel Pollick is to join DWF in the newly-created role of CIO, we can reveal, as the UK top 25 firm considers floating on the London stock exchange in order to raise money to invest in technology and its Connected Services division.” Details here.

 

  • Speaking of DWF and blockchain, here (from DWF) is a good, albeit superficial, intro to blockchain and some of its legal implications. It’s one of the better top line explanations I have seen, and thus a good marketing piece by the firm.
  • From Hogan Lovells‘ Lloyd Parker:  “According to a survey of over 200 brand owners, AI will revolutionise trademark prosecution and enforcement over the next five years.”

 

  • From Hogan Lovells and the University of Birmingham, here’s a discussion of Artificial Intelligence – time to get regulating?

 

  • It seems to be Hogan Lovells day. From the DC officeIn fraud and corruption investigations, artificial intelligence and data analytics save time and reduce client costs. “Peter Spivack, a partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., explains how the process of gathering, sorting, and evaluating enormous volumes of data has changed, and why skilled human intelligence is likely to remain a required component of an accurate analysis.”

 

  • More on AI regulation as in this video, “Ben Allgrove of Baker McKenzie says a ‘state of flux’ exists over how the applications of artificial intelligence should be regulated as the true capabilities of the technology have not been ascertained.”

 

  • Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law launches new “tech lab” to teach students, alumns, and lawyers about blockchain and artificial intelligence. “Beginning this school year, the center — dubbed the C|M|LAW Tech Lab — will launch the only law-school based interdisciplinary Cybersecurity and Data Privacy certificate, and a new C|M|LAW Tech certificate.” Details here.

 

  • More blockchain news: “Australian law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has teamed up with ConsenSys start up, OpenLaw, to achieve a breakthrough that aims to unlock the potential of the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts in the settlement of real estate and property transactions.”

 

  • Blockchain in court: “A court in China’s Hangzhou city has ruled that evidence authenticated with blockchain technology can be presented in legal disputes.”

“The court thinks it should maintain an open and neutral stance on using blockchain to analyze individual cases. We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable. … In this case, the usage of a third-party blockchain platform that is reliable without conflict of interests provides the legal ground for proving the intellectual infringement.”

 

  • A Blockchain law firmProminent Blockchain Attorney Joshua Ashley Klayman Launches Blockchain- and Digital Token-Focused Law Firm & Blockchain Strategy Consulting and Advisory Firm. “… a well known name in the digital token sale / blockchain industry, has departed Morrison & Foerster LLP to launch her own boutique law firm (Klayman LLC) targeting the industry she has been intimately engaged with for the past few years.

 

  • A2J: This is a sobering look at some of the instances where AI has failed to deliver on its Access to Justice promise/potential. “‘AI not delivering for poorest’ says technology reality check.”

 

  • There’s lots of good content from Artificial Lawyer today:

– FirstLaw Society Call For Evidence: Algorithms + Justice.

– And, “(t)op Irish law firm McCann FitzGerald, has launched a Credit Reporting Compliance App, using the expert system platform of Neota Logic.”

This is a particularly interesting development: “HighQ, the legal data collaboration platform, has signed a partnership deal with the global referral group, TerraLex. The referral group’s management team will also directly recommend the use of the collaboration platform to its 155 member firms and their 19,000 lawyers around the planet. I.e. there will be both a central hub use of HighQ to share data through TerraLex’s organisational structure, plus an effort to encourage the individual firms to also jump onto the platform.”

Finally, “(i)n an important step that will greatly support the development of global standards for smart contracts, global tech giant IBM has decided to join the Accord Project consortium.” This entire post is very much worth reading.

 

  • This story has received a LOT of coverage in the past couple of days. I suppose, in part, because it’s so easy to write click-bait headlines for it. Here’s a tame one: HAL-like robot to help astronaut in space odyssey. More coverage of the spherical AI bot named Cimon here.

 

  • Here’s some real futurist, almost sci-fi technology that’s probably coming in the next few years — “quantum computing.” (Want a deeper dive? Several good references are provided at the end.)

 

  • Since it’s Friday, and it has been a while since I’ve posted about AI’s existential and other threats to mankind (and rebuttals thereto), so here’s:

– Expressing apprehension that disruptive technology would hasten extinction of humankind, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus on Thursday warned companies against excessive use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Technology will expedite our extinction on planet Earth.”

– “Artificial intelligence is coming for the service economy, according to Allstate Corp. Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson. ‘It’s going to rip through this economy like a tsunami.'”

  • Here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s deep dive into facial recognition. Following protests from “rights and privacy groups” such as the ACLU, Orlando Police End Test Of Amazon’s Real-Time Facial ‘Rekognition’ System.

And this post about smart cities (How Cities Are Getting Smart Using Artificial Intelligence) includes a few thoughts about AI, facial recognition and privacy. “There will be 50 billion devices connected by 2020 including a billion cameras–all feeding data to artificial intelligence platforms. Perhaps you’ve noticed the marked improvement in facial recognition on Facebook this year. Police in Shenzhen are already ticketing jaywalkers using facial recognition. We are approaching radical transparency where every search, every move, every test informs a merchant, authority, or insurer. Want to preserve any privacy? That will take some new policies.”

 

  • How ARM Is Using Artificial Intelligence To Supercharge Its Patents. “When it came to doing the due diligence on ARM’s patents, the usually long-and-labourious process that can last for weeks on end, sped through in just a couple of days. The reason was software powered by artificial intelligence that could read documents at light speed, compared to humans. Both Softbank and the law firm Slaughter & May, which represented ARM during the deal, used the same AI-based tool to trawl through both ARM’s and Softbank’s patent portfolios.” More here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Legal Data Talent War Heats Up With Kennedys Hires.

– AI: Moving Legal Research + Innovation Forward. This post is a review of a presentation by Anand Upadhye of Casetext and Nina Jack of Fastcase. Among the comments, “By the end of 2019, Microsoft is aiming to move 90% of the company’s legal work to alternative fee arrangements.”

 

  • Lately, Above the Law has been more AI-focused than usual. Here are a couple such worthwhile posts:

– AI And The Practice Of Law: Realizing Value. “How does one reasonably prioritize and choose which projects to pursue and which vendors to work with?” This is not the only approach to such choices, but is one worth considering.

The Bleeding Edge Of Law: The long aversion to leveraging capital in law is changing fast. “(A)s a result of a number of factors — including the equity structure of law firms, the difficulty in measuring and quantifying legal risk, and the ability of underwriters to understand both finance and law — law had previously seemed immune to using capital as a force for positive change. That is changing fast, as capital is applied to litigation and a growing array of other areas of the law.” This is mainly a look back, but it sets the stage for profound change.

 

  • Blockchain – fFrom Perkins CoieBlockchain in Review – Weeks of May 7th through May 25th, 2018. Hearings in the House, before the Federal Reserve and SEC are reported.
  • Facial recognition AI has been in the news and on my mind a lot lately. Of course, there are legal implications, but regardless of that aspect, these developments are a big deal of which you should be aware.

– Traveling this 4th of July? Orlando’s airport has rolled out facial recognition for all departing passengers in an attempt to speed up lines (e.g., no need to show your passport at the gate). It takes two seconds and is 99%+ accurate. (Passengers can opt out.) This story from CBS News discusses the privacy implications.

– Could this get a bit out of control? Here’s a case study: “(a)cross China, a network of 176 million surveillance cameras, expected to grow to 626 million by 2020, keeps watch on the country’s over 1.3 billion citizens.” (That’s a camera for every two people.) And, the intent is total surveillance, including inside people’s homes. “According to the official Legal Daily newspaper, the 13th Five Year Plan requires 100 percent surveillance and facial recognition coverage and total unification of its existing databases across the country. By 2020, China will have completed its nationwide facial recognition and surveillance network, achieving near-total surveillance of urban residents, including in their homes via smart TVs and smartphones.” “Soon, police and other officials will be able to monitor people’s activities in their own homes, wherever there is an internet-connected camera.”

Are they effective? Last year, “(i)t took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology.” That story here. And the case of the stolen potato here.

– “We live in a surveillance society: A U.S. citizen is reportedly captured on CCTV around 75 times per day. And that figure is even higher elsewhere in the world. Your average Brit is likely to be caught on surveillance cameras up to 300 times in the same period.” This post describes how those images can be used to spot (and even predict) crime.

This post (This Japanese AI security camera shows the future of surveillance will be automated) shows AI technology being developed in Japan to spot shoplifters and discusses the concerns about such technologies.

Facebook and others (such as Adobe) are using such recognition technologies to disrupt terrorist networks and mitigate the spread of fake news. “(T)he biggest companies extensively rely on artificial intelligence (AI). Facebook’s uses of AI include image matching. This prevents users from uploading a photo or video that matches another photo or video that has previously been identified as terrorist. Similarly, YouTube reported that 98% of the videos that it removes for violent extremism are also flagged by machine learning algorithms.”

Amazon employees (like Google’s before them) are protesting their company’s selling of such technologies to the government. Amazon workers don’t want their tech used by ICE.

Many (including me) consider this a much more benevolent identity technology: Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips into themselves – here’s why.

 

 

  • “Mishcon de Reya has joined the ranks of law firms with high-level in-house data science capability, hiring UCL computer scientist Alastair Moore as head of analytics and machine learning.

 

  • From O’MelvenyFTC Seeking Input on Topics to be Explored at Public Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Topics include: “(t)he consumer welfare implications associated with the use of algorithmic decision tools, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.”

 

  • Here, from Digital Journal, is a discussion of the general ways law firms are using AI: Q&A: How technology is shaking up legal firms.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, Wolters Kluwer Joins Global Legal Blockchain Consortium. “The GLBC is a global network of key stakeholders in the legal industry, working toward rules for the standardisation, governance, and application of blockchain and related technologies in the global legal system. Its mission is ‘enhance the security, privacy, productivity, and interoperability of the legal technology ecosystem’.”

– More from Artificial Lawyer about Blockchain hereEY + Microsoft Enter the Blockchain IP + Royalties Sector. “Big Four firm EY and Microsoft have launched a blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management, joining a growing group of legal tech start-ups – which are operating at a much smaller scale – that have also developed similar blockchain-based IP solutions.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: Global AI Governance Group: ‘AI Decisions Must Track Back to Someone’. “A newly launched AI Global Governance commission (AIGG), tasked with forming links with politicians and governments around the world to help develop and harmonise rules on the use of AI, has suggested that at least one key regulation should be that any decisions made by an AI system ‘must be tracked back to a person or an organisation’.”

This Artificial Lawyer interview with Kira’s Noah Waisberg is more than just an overview of Kira’s rapid growth; it has good insights into doc review generally.

 

  • Here’s a somewhat entertaining look at how law firms are engaging AI vendors. Buying AI for Law Firms: Like a Trip to the Auto Show.

 

  • From Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. via JDSupraShould Law Firms Embrace Artificial Intelligence and R&D Labs? “Change is difficult, especially in the legal market. Yet a firm’s willingness to think differently reflects its ability to adapt, to ensure sustainability for itself, and to help solve that industrywide puzzle.”

 

  • This article from the NYT (Is There a Smarter Path to Artificial Intelligence? Some Experts Hope So) may sound negative as to Machine Learning being over-hyped, but it positively presents other types of AI. It’s a good read.

 

  • Also somewhat negative is this post from MIT about the AI threat: “AI programs capable of perceiving the real world, interacting with it, and learning about it might eventually become far better at reasoning and even communicating. ‘If you solve manipulation in its fullest,’ Abbeel says, ‘you’ll probably have built something that’s pretty close to full, human-level intelligence’.”