• Implementation of the GDPR is only a couple of months away, so from Healthcare IT News, here’s “Europe’s GDPR privacy law is coming: Here’s what US health orgs need to know.”


  • “GE Inks Legal Outsourcing Deal With UnitedLex, Eying Big Savings.” UnitedLex says the agreement will help GE shave 30 percent off its legal spend in areas ranging from e-discovery and document review to litigation and operations. Details here.


  • From Artificial Lawyer, “ThoughtRiver, the legal AI contract review and compliance platform, has been selected by global renewable materials company Stora Enso to run trials to pre-screen a wide range of sales agreements with the aim of reducing the time it takes to review its contracts.”


  • This Chinese consumer-oriented translation device sounds pretty impressive.


  • For the serious AI geeks out there, here’s a bit about recent efforts to better understand how AI systems make their decisions.


  • It has been a while since I’ve posted one of my Friday ‘thought pieces,’ so this week I’ll give you three:

– Here’s a good one from Smithsonian.com and the April edition of Smithsonian Magazine, “What Will Our Society Look Like When Artificial Intelligence Is Everywhere?” It’s definitely worth you time. (BTW, @SmithsonianMag always has a lot of great content.)


– From Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s council on education, gender, and work this essay: “If We Don’t Stop The AI Fearmongering We’ll Have a Lot More To Fear.”

“Unfortunately, the United States hasn’t yet taken the lead. There are no national plans to tackle the issue. And while a lot of discussion is developing around the idea of a universal basic income, that is a distraction, not a solution. Education and training are what matter, and solutions addressing them are most urgent.”


– And H/T to David Ackert for alerting me to a very interesting story in the current issue of Wired. It’s titled, “Fighting Words” and it tells the story of the Alexa Prize, Amazon’s contest to develop conversational AI via Alexa. Sadly, I have not been able to find it online. If you have a copy of Wired with this cover, go to page 72. Meanwhile, for a taste of what it’s about, go to your Amazon device and say, “Alexa, let’s chat.”

(BTW, a one-year subscription to Wired is available through Amazon for $5 and includes Kindle access (which works on Android and iOS devices, not just Amazon Fire.)

  • More related to the autonomous vehicle accident in Tempe. In this podcast, Jones Day partner Paul Rafferty discusses autonomous vehicles and their artificial intelligence-driven operating systems including the ethical questions unique to this technology.


  • Also from Jones Day, this discussion of product liability issues inherent in technologies incorporating AI. Included are thoughts about whether “courts will treat their AI technology as a product or a service, whether and how to allocate liability in agreements, and how industry standards may influence liability for AI.”


  • And more from the US Congress: on March 21, “Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, introduced the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Act of 2018. This new legislation would create an independent National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is the ability for computers and machines to learn, without explicitly being programmed.” More thoughts on this far-reaching bill here and here.


  • This post from the Harvard Business School suggests the road to increased productivity via AI will be bumpy, with numerous fits and starts. “As companies adopt artificial intelligence to increase efficiency, are their employees skilled enough to use those technologies effectively? Prithwiraj Choudhury looks to the US Patent and Trademark Office for a case study.”



  • 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.”