• Check out this new user interface and functionality from Neota Logic’s portal, Workbench. There’s a video demo.

 

  • From Sterne KesslerGlobal Patent Prosecution Newsletter – October 2018: Subject Matter Eligibility of Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications in the United States, Europe, and China. “This article surveys subject-matter eligibility requirements of AI patent applications in the United States, Europe, and China.”

 

  • This article appears in Law Week ColoradoAI in IP Opens Questions of Liability. “Artificial intelligence is filling the role of attorneys at law firms more and more. And that includes in situations that could get a law firm into trouble.” David London of Hogan Lovells is interviewed.

 

  • Yolanda Cartusciello contributed this piece to LexisNexis’s Business of Law Blog: AI in the Legal Sector. It’s a brief summary of the state of AI in the industry as discussed at the Somerville Forum this past June followed by her thoughts as to where we’re headed and how fast.

 

  • Dan Bindman postedClients ‘must be told whether legal advice is AI or human’. “Sir Geoffrey Vos, the Chancellor of the High Court cautioned: ‘We will, as a necessary safeguard, need to introduce systems that allow the client to know when they are receiving advice generated by [AI] and when they are receiving advice that emanates from a human lawyer.'”

 

  • From KennedysArtificial Intelligence: time for Alternative Insurance? “AI goes across every aspect of insurance, but here we concentrate on the three sectors we consider it has particular impact.” They are construction, healthcare and transport. “AI offers many opportunities, including a reduction of certain risks. Insurers will need to accommodate the shift in allocation of risk and new policies will need to reflect the changes in behaviours to enable the insurance market to benefit from all that AI can offer.”

 

  • International Family Law Group launch Australian AI technology. “Settify allows clients to provide information on their relationship status anywhere, any time. The online system  will assimilate this information and provide a clear set of instructions for  the lawyers. This is particularly beneficial for clients as it cuts initial costs and helps to speed up the process of their case.” “Created by family lawyers and launched in Melbourne in February 2017, Settify has won more than 3,400 new matters for its partner firms, representing legal disputes worth more than AUD7.2bn (£4bn) in aggregate. The technology has won several awards for innovation and is now ‘the new norm’ in Australia and New Zealand, with over 100 firms adopting the system since its inception, including most of the independently ranked ‘top tier’ and ‘pre-eminent’ firms.” More here.

 

  • Here’s more on Suffolk University Law School’s Learned Hands, “a new game that will help train an artificial intelligence model to spot legal issues and help close the access-to-justice gap.” “(T)he game takes 75,000 legal questions posted on Reddit dealing with family, consumer, criminal and other legal issues and asks the user to determine what the issue is.”

 

  •  postedAre Humans The Weak Link In Technology-Assisted Review? “If there is any shortcoming of TAR technologies, the blame may fairly be placed at the feet (and in the minds) of humans.”

 

  • This from the ALA’s Legal Management magazine: AI Shaping the Way Law Firms Function. The article is something of a primer, beginning with a definition of AI, then how AI is being used in law firms, followed by the question of AI and jobs, and ending with the suggestion that firms can gain competitive advantage via AI.

 

  • Kenneth Jones of Tanenbaum Keale postedHow Bridging The Gap Between Legal Operations And Technology Entities Is Benefiting The Legal Industry. “We in the legal technology field are seeing more and more unique combinations of entities working to deliver process improvements in the industry. It is important to note that the tighter alignment between legal and technology professionals — two classes of professionals who traditionally speak very different languages — seems to be a symbiotic relationship which is yielding better technology applications and services as time goes on. Bridging this gap seems to be an organizational strategy which is benefiting the industry as a whole.” Jones explores various aspects of this relationship in some depth.

 

  • Here’s a case study from iManage/RAVN: Howard Kennedy Improves Knowledge Management with iManage RAVN Insight.

 

  • Press release: “The California Lawyers Association (CLA) and Fastcase today announced a partnership that will provide free access to Fastcase’s nationwide legal research system for all members of the nation’s largest statewide voluntary bar association.”

 

  • From another vendor, Litera, this news: “Litera Microsystems has announced that Litera Desktop, its full document drafting suite, continues to replace multiple vendors at firms around the world. So far this year, firms totaling nearly 20,000 users have replaced multiple point solutions with a single vendor. These firms, including leading global law firm Clifford Chance, are experiencing how the full document drafting suite delivers greater client services.”

 

  • This is from the Thomson Reuters series AI ExpertsRecognizing the limitations of artificial intelligence. It’s a thoughtful (and not completely optimistic) discussion of the state of AI and its future, with a serious dose of ethics and governance thrown in.

 

  • According to this story from CBS, Robocop has arrived on the streets of NYC. At least this time he’s not armed. Robotic Security Forces On Patrol In NYC Prompt Privacy Concerns For Some.

 

  • AI writes a law firm TV commercialThis Is Every Lawyer Ad. If this came on late at night, I doubt I’d notice anything amiss.

 

Blockchain

  • Here’s a bit of a breakthrough for you: Australian State of New South Wales Mandates Land Registry Shift to Blockchain by 2019. “The NSW Land Registry Services maintains the system that defines the legal ownership of both public and private land across the state, according to the report. As of the start of the new financial year, according to ZDNet, all NSW property transactions will be required, under the government’s directive, to be stored digitally, eliminating the need for paper-based Certificates of Title.”

 

  • From HuntonSenate Banking Committee Explores Blockchain. “On October 11, 2018, the Senate Banking Committee held a wide-ranging hearing entitled “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem.” The hearing featured testimony from Dr. Nouriel Roubini, an NYU professor who famously predicted the 2007-2008 financial crisis, as well as a counterpoint from Mr. Peter Van Valkenburgh, the Director of Research from Coin Center.”

 

  • From Bob Ambrogi: Starting Its Second Year, Global Legal Blockchain Group Unveils New Guides and World Tour of Briefings. “(W)ith the aim of further accelerating understanding and adoption of blockchain in legal, the GLBC is unveiling three initiatives for members: 1) A series of non-technical blockchain guides for law firms and legal departments. 2) A global series of 25 regional briefings on blockchain in law. 3) A free “Blockchain 101” course for legal professionals and staff. More here.

 

  • Thomson Reuters sponsored this post from The Guardian: Can blockchain shake up the legal sector for the better? “Blockchain – one of the buzzwords of the year – could help the legal system run more smoothly and efficiently. But data privacy and regulations may limit its impact.”
  • This story has received VERY wide coverage, with headlines including:

Stephen Schwarzman Makes Anchor Gift For New $1 Billion School Of Artificial Intelligence At MIT;

MIT announces $1b outlay for study of artificial intelligence, computing; 

M.I.T. Plans College for Artificial Intelligence, Backed by $1 Billion;

MIT commits $1 billion to make AI part of every graduate’s education;

M.I.T. wants to build an AI-focused college using a ‘planned investment’ of $1 billion.

From Simpson Thatcher: “The Firm represented Blackstone Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman’s foundation in connection with the foundation’s $350 million gift to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The gift is a portion of a $1 billion investment to establish a college for computing and artificial intelligence. The college, called the M.I.T. Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, will address the global opportunities and challenges presented by the prevalence of computing and the rise of artificial intelligence.”

Coverage herehereherehere and here.

 

  • William Hays Weissman of Littler postedWhy Robot Taxes Won’t Work. Several arguments to support the thesis are presented, including: “… from a tax administration perspective, robots pay no income tax because they do not earn income, pay no sales tax because they do not purchase items, and pay no property tax because they do not own anything”

 

  • Knobbe Martens publishedFDA Expresses Priorities for Clinical Trial Efficiency, Artificial Intelligence. “According to (FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.), clinical trials “are becoming more costly and complex to administer” while “new technologies and sources of data and analysis make better approaches possible.” In order to take advantage of these better approaches, Gottlieb pointed to the FDA’s Breakthrough Devices Draft Guidance, which proposes streamlined procedures to develop flexible clinical trial designs for important medical devices. This will allow the FDA to “evaluate . . . innovative devices more efficiently.” Six breakthrough devices have already been cleared using this program.”

 

  • From GoodwinTreasury Department Imposes Mandatory Filing Requirement on Parties to Certain Foreign Investments in U.S. Critical Technology Companies. “‘Emerging and foundational technologies’ soon to be controlled pursuant to a separate, interagency process underway and expected to target technologies not currently subject to ITAR or EAR controls, possibly including technologies relating to artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, advanced materials, telecommunications, and biomedicine, among others.”

 

  • From Osborne ClarkeShaping future competition law enforcement in digital markets | Furman review calls for evidence. “The first set of questions in the call for evidence asks about the substantive analysis of competition in digital markets and considers: … artificial intelligence tools and their impact on competition, including whether algorithmic pricing raises new competition concerns.”

 

  • Can artificial intelligence change construction? “As IBM’s Watson adds its computational power to construction sites, tech sees an industry in need of an upgrade.” “On especially complicated projects, Fluor (a global engineering and construction company) will begin using two new tools, the EPC Project Health Diagnostics and the Market Dynamics/Spend Analytics, to make sense of the thousands of data points found on a crowded construction site. Constant analysis will help forecast issues before they show up, and automate how materials and workers are distributed.” “Fortune found many tech firms investing billions in construction tech firms, including Oracle, which purchased Aconex for $1.2 billion in February, and Trimble, which bought Viewpoint for $1.2 billion in April.” Much more here.

 

  • Mintz publishedStrategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, a Mintz Series. “The Journal of the American Medical Association in its September 18, 2018 issue included four articles on deep learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In one of several viewpoint pieces, On the Prospects for a (Deep) Learning Health Care System, the author’s conclusions aptly describe why health care providers, entrepreneurs, investors and even regulators are so enthusiastic about the use of AI in health care: Pressures to deploy deep learning and a range of tools derived from modern data science will be relentless, given the extraordinarily rich information now available to characterize and follow vast numbers of patients, the ongoing challenges of making sense of the complexity of human biology and health care systems, and the potential for smart information technology to support tomorrow’s clinicians in the provision of safe, effective, efficient, and humanistic care.”

 

  •  of Hunton postedLawyering Cashierless Technologies. “There is no doubt that there’s a revolution coming to the way consumers buy goods at brick and mortar stores as retailers seek to better meet customers’ need for speed and create novel shopping experiences. However, with this revolution comes new risks. There are a wide range of potential issues that retailers should consider before launching cashierless technology….”

 

  • Press releaseFirst-Ever Virtual Law Firm Puts Clients First. “By using Artificial Intelligence and robots, they’re (“2nd.law”) able to provide legal services for their clients at a steeply discounted price — up to 75% lower than the rates and fees that traditional firms offer — all while putting client relationships first.”

 

  • Lloyd Langenhoven of Herbert Smith Freehills posted this thoughtful piece: The symbiotic relationship between lawyer and legal tech. “Continued and efficient success for the legal profession, on both a macro and micro scale, lies in the ability of the profession to foster a symbiotic relationship between legal technology, client’s expectations and traditional legal knowledge. The future looks bright and exciting for the legal profession and it is about time our professional dusted the cobwebs off and donned a new, futuristic suit.”

 

  • This article from The Law Society Gazette frequently cites Brown Rudnick’s Nicholas Tse: IBA Rome: Artificial intelligence must mean strict liability – and higher insurance premiums. “‘The law needs to try not to multiply problems of dealing with AI and should not invest AI with legal personality,’ he told a session moderated by Law Society president Christina Blacklaws. ‘The work of the law is to try and be pragmatic, ensuring accountability while not stifling progress.’”

 

  • This from an associate at a major City law firm: “For at least a year I have been reading in the legal press how wonderful corporate law firms are with technology and how their pioneering work with artificial intelligence is unleashing a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’/’profound paradigm shift’/’New Law 2.0 era’/insert buzz-term of choice that will fundamentally change the profession. But when I look around all I can see is some new laptops and phones given to us by our supposedly tech-savvy firms. This despite my own employer aggressively marketing itself as some kind of futuristic Silicon Valley-style start-up.”

 

  • From Lawyerist.comHow an Online Game Can Help AI Address Access to Justice (A2J). “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the majority of those in possession of legal problems, remain in want of solutions.1 Also, ROBOTS!  Ergo, we should throw AI at A2J. There is considerably less consensus, however, on how (or why exactly) this should be done. But don’t worry! There’s an app/game for that, and it let’s you train artificial intelligence to help address access-to-justice issues.”

 

  • Holly Urban, CEO at EffortlessLegal posted: Artificial Intelligence: A Litigator’s New Best Friend? “This article is intended to help litigation attorneys looking to utilize AI to maximize their outcomes with minimal additional effort or expense.” In conclusion, like several before her, she reminds us: “As the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct states, ‘To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.'”

 

  • This story has been widely reported: Stephen Hawking feared race of ‘superhumans’ able to manipulate their own DNA. “Before he died in March, the Cambridge University professor predicted that people this century would gain the capacity to edit human traits such as intelligence and aggression. And he worried that the capacity for genetic engineering would be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy. Hawking mulled this future in a set of essays and articles being published posthumously Tuesday as ‘Brief Answers to the Big Questions….‘” “Once such superhumans appear, there are going to be significant political problems with the unimproved humans, who won’t be able to compete.” More coverage here and here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

 

  • Suffolk Law School Uses Reddit to Create Legal Question A2J Taxonomy. “A collaboration of Suffolk Law School’s Legal Innovation and Technology Lab in the US and Stanford Law School’s Legal Design Lab with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts is taking legal questions from consumers posted on social media site Reddit, and using them to create a taxonomy of legal issues to help train A2J tech applications. Sounds unusual? At first it does, but when you look deeper it all makes sense. David Colarusso,  Director of Suffolk University Law School’s Legal Innovation and Technology Lab, explained to Artificial Lawyer what this is all about.” Here‘s the post.

 

  • I particularly enjoyed this opinion piece by the founder of Artificial Lawyer, Richard Tromans: The Politics of Legal Tech – Progressives vs Conservatives. “There are clearly then a wide range of views and goals when it comes to legal tech. We are not all on the same page. There are divisions. There are competing narratives. There is a battle of ideas to see which ones win out and different people, firms and organisations are arguing for different points of view. The legal tech world is, in a word, political.”

 

Blockchain

  • The state of blockchain: 11 stats. “How many CIOs are actively adopting or experimenting with blockchain? Dig into telling data from multiple sources.” Here’s the story from The Enterprisers Project.

  • This from Artificial Lawyer: Integra Ledger Launches Tools to Add Blockchain Tech to All Legal Software.
  • From Akin GumpPolicymakers Focusing in on Artificial Intelligence. “Following a series of recent events involving policymakers from Trump’s Administration and Capitol Hill, artificial intelligence (AI) was the second hottest topic in D.C.”

 

  • From Haynes and Boone:’s Stephanie Sivinski in Law 360: 4 Ways Advances in AI Could Challenge Patent Law.  “Looking further into the future of AI, it is becoming plausible that a machine could devise an invention without any direct input from humans. That would probably not be a physical object, but perhaps a suggestion for a new chemical compound or an optimized method of medical treatment. Recognizing the AI as the inventor of the technology could put patent law into uncharted territory….”

 

  • Insurance (UK): Consumers Increasingly Happy to Let AI & Robots Sort Out Claims. A survey of 2000 consumers in the UK is discussed here.

 

  • Here’s an interesting 14-minute podcast from Above the Law: Managing A Law Firm Right Requires A Good Map. “Data analytics are essential for the successful law firm.”

 

  • From Pinset Masons‘ Out-Law.com: CMA (the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority): collusion could be addressed with personalised pricing. “The risk of businesses colluding with one another over the price of goods and services would diminish if there was extensive use of personalised pricing algorithms in digital markets….”

 

  • Roman V. Yampolskiy of the University of Louisville: AI Systems Could be Able to Own Property, Sue, Hire Lawyers and Enjoy Freedom of Speech. “Humans aren’t the only people in society at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people too without any legislation, court rulings or other revisions to existing law.” “Those human figureheads could be used to expand corporate rights or even establish new rights specific to artificial intelligence systems expanding the threats to humanity even more.” Much more here.

 

  • Gibson Dunn’s H. Mark LyonClaudia M. BarrettFrances Annika Smithson and Ryan K. Iwahashi posted this lengthy, scholarly piece: Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Legal Update (3Q18). “We are pleased to provide the following update on recent legal developments in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomous systems (or “AI” for short), and their implications for companies developing or using products based on these technologies.”

 

  • From The Indian ExpressPM Narendra Modi: ‘Artificial intelligence, blockchain to change nature of jobs’. “…(A)rtificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and big data, can take India to new heights of development and improve people’s quality of life. Our diversity, our demographic potential, fast-growing market size and digital infrastructure has potential to make India a global hub for research and implementation,….”

 

  • Counterintelligence Implications of Artificial Intelligence—Part III by Jim Baker … former General Counsel of the FBI. “This is the third post in my series about the counterintelligence implications of artificial intelligence (AI). The first two are here and here.” “AI and Big Data are a potent combination with many implications. This post focuses on how adversaries might apply AI to the vast amount of data that they collect about American to understand us, predict what we will do and manipulate our behavior in ways that advantage them.” Scary stuff here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Two Thirds of Large Corporates Implementing RPA (Robotic Process Automation)– Deloitte Report. “While many law firms perhaps are not looking at RPA yet – although they may be using LPOs that do use this approach – there are some interesting parallels with doc review automation in law firms.” Story here.

 

  • More about DoNotPay’s recent release/expansion, including a list of the 14 applications. “Not a single one of the things above you could not do on your own. None of them give you new rights or powers that you did not already have (if you live in the right location). All they do is encourage you to go out and get what someone else, somewhere in the vast sprawl of civic, justice and consumer organisations out there, has already created for public use….” (And here’s an update to the post from ABA Journal.[Updated on Oct. 11 after the app’s launch to add details about the issues users were reporting and Browder’s response.])

 

  • Viewpoint: Nouriel Roubini Hammers Blockchain + Crypto’s Failings. “…(B)lockchain tech and the cryptocurrencies that have evolved with it are not without their challenges, as is the case with all tech, from AI systems to mobile phones to airliners to hairdryers.”

 

  • As a die hard Tar Heel, I have issues with anything to do Duke University (a.k.a., “dook”), so it pains me a bit to post thisSeal Software and the Duke Law AI Showdown – #TheRealThing. There was a competition, and “the legal professionals from Duke, UNC and Wake Forest were nothing short of awesome in how quickly they grasped the issues for analysis, and even more so how quickly they mastered the technology at their disposal to solve their problems.” Of course, the team from UNC won the competition even though it took place on Duke’s home court. In conclusion, “… our group of energetic students showed to a certainty the power that a genuine AI platform can deliver.”

 

Blockchain

  • Developing Blockchain Technology Has Potential to Aid Real Estate Transactions. “…(T)he technology has the potential to significantly increase the speed and reduce the costs of real estate transactions, as well as make investments safer and more liquid.” More here.

 

  • From ETH News: Senate Committee Hears Two Very Different Takes On Blockchain. “The banking committee today heard blockchain offers ‘otherwise unattainable benefits’. It also heard it is just a ‘glorified spreadsheet’ that will never produce anything of value.” Testimony of several witnesses is summarized here.

 

  • For your weekend reading, here’s another fairly understandable explanation of blockchain. Blockchain for Lawyers: What Is a ‘Distributed Ledger’, and Why Is It Useful to Lawyers? by EffortlessLegal’s Holly Urban.

 

  • This infographic (quite a few images followed by narrative) may also help you understand the basics of cryptocurrencies. It’s from Bitcoinfy.net.
  • I’m a big fan of all things “Access to Justice” (A2J), so I was pleased to see this app from DoNotPay and equally happy to see today’s update: “new updates to DoNotPay, … will allow a user to sue anyone in small claims court in any county in all 50 states—without the need for retaining a lawyer.” There are several other very cool new functions as well, as described in this story in The ABA Journal.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “UK law firm Mishcon de Reya has announced that it is sharing the legal AI models related to real estate it has developed through Kira Systems with the AI company’s wider customer base.” “‘By collaborating with Kira to enhance their UK real estate offering we have already gained valuable insight into how artificial intelligence works and how we can best leverage AI to better support real estate clients, delivering our services innovatively and more efficiently and we look forward to continuing to working closely with them,’ he (Nick Kirby) added.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, this interview with Charley Moore of Rocket Lawyer in which Charley discusses embracing smart contracts and the use of the Ethereum blockchain as the platform for his new ‘Rocket Wallet‘.

 

  • This post from Bob Ambrogi makes a convincing case that Cloud Practice Management Software Grows Up. “For the legal professionals who consume these products, this maturing and stabilization of the market can only be good news. No longer need they fear that the cloud is an iffy proposition. No longer need they worry about the viability of cloud providers or the security of their platforms. Cloud practice management is a mature and stable market offering a rich array of products and the promise of continuing development and innovation.”

 

  • Here’s yet another discussion of the incompatibility of the GDPR and blockchain: Why Blockchain And The GDPR Collide Over Your Personal Data, this time from Tom Kulik of Scheef & Stone.

 

  • I enjoyed this breezy summary of last week’s Clio Cloud Conference by Dan Lear, focusing on small firms.

 

  • I’ve got to see a demo of this new pricing offering from Neota Logic and Validatum: Platform brings AI to pricing legal work. “Virtual Pricing Director will give users a complete pricing summary, outlining not only the fees options but also an explanation of how they are calculated, making it easy for the client to select the right option for them. One more click and it will be automatically emailed to the client, and put on your client file.” Wow.

 

  • Here Osler touts its CRM platform that provides “Relationship Intelligence” by “leverage(ing) artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning, and data automation to improve team productivity, data accuracy, and completeness of information in CRM.”

 

  • This from Australia’s Stacks: Algorithms, artificial intelligence, automated systems and the law. Several AI problems are discussed relating to society, business, government, and the human race generally.

 

  • And finally for today, Brownstein published Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence and its Growing Impact on U.S. Policy, a summary of the “House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology … white paper on the intersection of public policy and artificial intelligence (AI).”
  • I like the infographic AI Knowledge Map above. Here’s an explanation of the elements.

 

  • “The sixth annual Clio Cloud Conference held a talk with lawyers about how artificial intelligence and blockchain-based technologies can be used by firms of various sizes to become more cost and time efficient.” Summary by Victoria Hudgins here.

 

  • Innovation Driving New Approach to Legal Operations at Novartis. “Maurus Schreyvogel, Novartis’ Chief Legal Innovation Officer, advocates for a more efficient legal function and the broader benefits for the industry.” “…(W)hen we think of the legal profession first and foremost, it’s us – the legal professionals. We have to think about our workplace and how we want to add value because the way legal operations currently work, in many ways, is no longer fit for purpose.” Story here.

 

  • Could an artificial intelligence be considered a person under the law? “Humans aren’t the only people in society – at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people too – without any legislation, court rulings or other revisions to existing law.” Interesting discussion by Prof. , University of Louisville, here.

 

  • Press releaseActive Machine Learning Now Available in the VenioOne Platform. “VenioOne CAL is now hitting its stride as a best of both worlds eDiscovery solution – human reviewers combined with machine learning. This could be a big game changer for firms and corporations relying on large teams of reviewers to get through increasingly larger datasets in their cases.”

 

  • From Hogan LovellsAI, machine learning & legal tech: The 6th Hamburg Legal Tech Meetup at Google with Hogan Lovells. “…(T)the legal spotlight focused on how in-house counsel and external law firms are going to cooperate well under the influence of legal tech.

 

  • And this from Hogan Lovells’ LimeGreen IP NewsEU Patent Office publishes preview of guidelines on patenting AI applications. “…(T) the new section on AI and machine learning now appears in section 3.3.1 of Part G of the Guidelines.”

 

  • Allen & Overy and Freshfields did well at the FT Innovative lawyers Awards. Details here and here.

 

 

  • From Legal Talk NetworkClio Cloud 2018: Blockchain and AI used in the Legal Industry. “Joshua Lenon and Jake Heller talk about how blockchain and AI play a role in their companies, what they are seeing with AI today, and how to spot a product that is not worth using.”

 

  • This story is from the UK’s Law Society Gazette: In-house lawyers expect artificial intelligence to cut firms’ bills. “A report, Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype, found that 75% of GCs expected to be passed on benefits including lower fees, improved quality and faster turnaround times. There was mixed feedback on the satisfaction of legal technology deployed by firms: 40% of general counsel said they were satisfied, 12% very satisfied and 37% were dissatisfied.”

 

Here are some recent posts from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Meet Josef a ‘Next Generation’ Legal Automation Platform. Story here.
  • These nuggets are from a LexisNexis report I previously posted. A Tricky Relationship: General Counsel + Legal Technology.
  • Prop + Legal Tech Pioneer, Thirdfort, Bags £400k Pre-Seed Investment. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • “France’s Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) released guidance on how blockchain can exist in a post-GDPR world. Problem is, they are not sure it completely can.” In this article by Rhys Dipshan, attorneys from Baker Hostetler; Crowell & Morning; McCann FitzGerald; and Morris, Manning & Martin are quoted.

 

  • Here’s an academic piece for you, from professors from law schools in Dusseldorf, Australia and Hong Kong and published in the University of Illinois Law Review: The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain. (It’s a bit over a year old, but I had missed it until today.)

 

  • This is a somewhat technical explanation of how smart contracts work. Smart Contract Technical Underpinnings (Blockchain Report Excerpt). The full report is here.

 

 

Here are a couple of developments in the application of AI and blockchain in real estate:

  • Securrency to Help QuantmRE Build Blockchain-Powered Real Estate Trading Platform. “QuantmRE, a blockchain company that focuses on the tokenization of real estate assets, partnered with fintech company Securrency to build its property trading platform.” Story here.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence in Real Estate: How to Leverage the Disruption by Desirée Patno. Four examples are given here.

 

Background

  • Ready to get your geek on? Here’s a good explanation of how Quantum Computing works. “If a task required you to find one correct answer out of 100 million choices, an ordinary computer would go through 50 million steps to do so. A quantum computer would only go through 10,000.” “For now, anyone without a quantum computer isn’t missing out on anything. Quantum computers can’t yet function any better than our classic computers can and aren’t expected to do so for at least another decade.” Thanks to “physics student”, Ella Alderson.
  • From Goulston & Storrs‘ Retail Law Advisor,  penned Augmented Retail – The Use of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience. The use of these technologies by Amazon, American Apparel, Ikea, Williams Sonoma and Sephora are discussed.

 

  • Standardization of legaltech, what a concept!! “…12 law firms (including LathamClifford ChancePaul WeissCravath, Freshfields, Linklaters and Skadden) have joined a consortium to support a legal tech startup called Reynen Court LLC, which is creating a platform to allow law firms to more quickly deploy legal tech tools such as contract analysis, discovery and practice management. In short, the effort is akin to creating an App Store that will allow law firms to quickly and more securely fire up third-party software.” These Big Law Firms Are Backing an App Store for Legal Tech Products. Coverage of this development here and here.

 

  • From Allen MatkinsKeith Paul BishopIs Artificial Intelligence The Future Of Rulemaking? “I can foresee a time when artificial intelligence is used to identify agency rulemaking proposals and to craft comments.  Agencies may in turn use artificial intelligence to categorize, analyze and even respond to comments.  In this dystopian future, regulations may be entirely drafted, commented on and promulgated by computers.”

 

 

  • This post is from Covington’s Inside Privacy blog: IoT and AI Update: California Legislature Passes Bills on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Chatbots. The post describes the law’s provisions.

 

  • Here’s the story of Keystone Law from it’s founding in 2002 as a different kind of law firm to the decision to float on the London Stock Exchange. AI and blockchain are mentioned.

 

  • Included in this critique of the Legal Services Act (Tensions in Legal Services Act coming to fore, says review by Neil Rose), “The current structure therefore pre-dates the global financial crisis (which has led to austerity, shortfalls in the funding of legal aid and the wider courts and justice system, and then to a rise in litigants-in-person). It also pre-dates a use of technology that has become more extensive and pervasive, as well as the rise of artificial intelligence in law.”

 

  • Here’s Part Three of Squire Patton Boggs’ Artificial Intelligence Law Is Here by Huu Nguyen. “Our discussion of AI Law turns now to the topic of robo-advisors, AI speech and AI legislations before Congress.” It includes reviews of and links to the first two parts. “it is clear that AI Law is here, and here to stay. The advice I can give to the law or computer science student today in this fast changing arena is to be part of the debate of where AI Law should be and not just focus on the technology.”

 

  • This, from Legal FuturesFrom lawyer marketplace to global law firm? “An online lawyer-matching business (Lexoo) targeted at companies has secured £3.4m in its latest funding round with an investor predicting that it could become ‘a virtual and distributed tech-driven global law firm’. Lexoo will use the funding to invest in new technology, including automated contract drafting and project management tools to further increase efficiencies of its lawyers.”

 

  • “The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been awarded £700,000 in taxpayers’ money to support innovations involving artificial intelligence to transform the legal services market for small businesses and consumers.” “According to the department, the SRA’s project, Data-Driven Innovation in Legal Services, ’will seek out and accelerate ethical AI-powered business innovations that support its regulatory objectives. The focus will be on growing the large underdeveloped legal services market for small businesses and consumers, where AI and automation can have a transformative impact’.” More from The Law Society Gazette here.

 

  • From Darren Hau of Marks & Clerk: Patenting AI: the EPO’s new guidelines: “In its annual update of the “Guidelines for Examination”, the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided further guidance for its examiners in relation to the patentability of inventions relating to mathematical methods and computer programs. This updated guidance is of particular relevance to inventions relating to the fast-growing field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In part 1 of this article, we provide a summary of the key points from the updated guidelines that are relevant to AI inventions. Part 2 will follow, in which we will provide an in-depth assessment of the impact of the new guidelines on the patentability of AI inventions.”

 

  • “The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold its annual Legal Issues Forum with the 2018 theme Legal and Ethical Issues of Artificial Intelligence, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at the FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.” Details here.

 

  • Since the release of Westlaw Edge, Thomson Reuters has been on an AI publishing tear. Some of the material is by their own folks and some by third parties touting the advantages of Thomson’s approach or their specific products. Here‘s another: Artificial Intelligence: The Debate Between Point and Platform Solutions by Sally Gonzalez.

 

Here are the latest headlines from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Legal Tech Leaders: Sam Moore, Innovation Manager, Burness Paull. Story here.
  • Meet LegalForce, Japan’s First Ever Legal AI Platform. Story here.
  • SRA Targets Legal AI A2J Applications with ‘Innovate Testbed’. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • How Can Blockchain Thrive In The Face Of European GDPR Blockade? “In an almost direct clash of intentions, the GDPR has effectively banned the use of blockchain technology in Europe because of its immutable nature. The GDPR offers the power back to the individual to edit and delete data which falls into the hands of centralized authorities, but when there is no centralized authority, there is no need for data to be moved around. This is the crux of the GDPR’s clash with blockchain. So, what happens to Europe and the next technological wave?” The post by Darryn Pollockdescribes the situation in some detail and says the regulations should change, but does not offer specific suggestions.

 

  • Here’s a brief summary of the second and the final day of Ripple’s Swell conference, including a link to this 20-page report. (“Conducted in August of 2018, the Blockchain in Payments Report analyzed data from 676 respondents across 22 countries who are directly involved with payment services at their organization.” There is no mention of the response rate of other methodology. Assuming no problems there, 676 responses should support robust analysis.)

 

  • From Anastasios Antoniou of the Oxford Faculty of Law: Bridging the divide between code and law in distributed ledger ecosystems. “Code and law have been entangled in a silent tension ever since the advent of cyberspace.  The centralised architecture of cyberspace paved the way for law to prevail.  The latest manifestation of this tension, however, appears to be opening up a Pandora’s box.  Blockchain and law are on a silent collision course that must be addressed. This post argues that in bridging the divide between code and law in blockchain, a radical rethink of regulation is imperative.”
  • In this post, Jordan Furlong discusses the future of law librarians as impacted by technologies such as AI and as roles evolve into more focus on Competitive Intelligence (here, called Market Intelligence). This article by Jordan is referenced.

 

  • Press releaseGridlogics Launches PatSeer 360™ – IP Strategy Takes a Quantum Leap with Introduction of This Disruptive New IP Intelligence Platform. “PatSeer 360™ correlates patent data with business and legal data points to give you insights for refining your IP protection, management and commercialization strategies. The solution combines Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and immersive visualizations in a versatile and easy to use platform that requires minimum learning curve.”

 

  • From Canadian UnderwriterManaging your client’s M&A risk with A.I. “Lawyers are using machine learning – a type of artificial intelligence in which computer software does something without being explicitly programmed to do so – to identify potential liabilities in contracts. AI lets computer programs learn from experience and identify patterns, Strategy Meets Action notes.”

 

  • From Canadian Lawyer: Critical topics facing the legal community. “The topic of technology continues to dominate the minds of leadership in the legal community. Whether it’s artificial intelligence, whether it’s how you manage the overall data research client information, I think technology is overwhelming for a lot of firms.”

 

  • Richard Burnham, solicitor and co-founder of Eallium CMS, posted: The ethics of lawtech. “For now, lawtech is simply a wide-ranging label that describes technology created with a view to reducing law firm overheads and/or increasing the availability of access to justice. You typically see it deployed within case management systems, document analysis algorithms, case outcome predictors, and chat bots designed to provide interim legal advice to consumers. The ethical conundrums of lawtech are many, sprouting mostly from its complexity.”

 

  • In this podcast, Bob Ambrogi interviews Rick Merrill of Gavelytics to discuss “the product one year after its launch, how lawyers use analytics for strategic and competitive purposes, and how analytics and AI are being used more broadly in law.” LawNext Episode 12: Judging Judges – How Gavelytics’ Judicial Analytics are Reshaping Litigation.

 

  • In Japan, artificial intelligence enters the legal field. “Artificial intelligence has moved into the world of corporate legal matters: A Tokyo-based start-up founded by young lawyers is using AI to check for omissions and mistakes in contracts, sometimes taking only one second.” “LegalForce Inc. was established in April last year, and is led by 31-year-old lawyer Nozomu Tsunoda, who quit a leading law firm to go into business for himself. Even with only seven employees, LegalForce checks contract documents such as a confidentiality agreement between companies.” Coverage here.

 

  • Here’s an interesting article discussing the legal rights of self-aware entities. Apes, dolphins, AI??

 

  • Two posts from Kemp IT Law in as many days! Here‘s a video titled What does the future hold for AI and product liability? “Liability will see extensive AI-influenced legal developments, especially in the areas of autonomous vehicles, robots and other ‘mobile’ autonomous systems.”

 

  • From Osborne ClarkeHave your say | How should competition law apply to the digital economy? “…(O)ther questions look at challenges which are specific to digital markets or new technology, such as: the impact on competition of ownership of big data by a small number of big firms; the impact on competition and cartel enforcement of artificial intelligence and machine learning; and how to deal with mergers and takeovers in digital markets.”

 

  • “Burford Capital Ltd. raised $250 million this week by selling new shares on the London Stock Exchange, the publicly traded litigation finance company announced Tuesday.” “The London-based litigation financier, which had a market cap of $5.4 billion as of Monday, said a debt issue and a private fund raise would follow “shortly.”” Coverage here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– UK Takes Another Step Toward Blockchain Property Register with R3. Story here.

The Launch of the Manchester LegalTech Consortium – (…which Is Now to Be Called the ‘Manchester Law & Technology Initiative’.). Story here.

– Legal AI Platformisation Continues with Diligen/QRX Data Partnership. Story here.

– Legal AI Co. Luminance Goes After The eDiscovery Market. Story here.

– Declare Your Legal Bot! New California Law Demands Bot Transparency. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • Bullish on Blockchain, Young Phila. Lawyer Launches Boutique. Bull Blockchain Law. “His client base includes various technology industry players with some connection to blockchain technology, he said. They’re using the technology for matters in real estate, data storage, supply chain management, and even gaming. Smart contracts are the most popular business application of blockchain technology, he said. Bull said he’s already in talks with other attorneys about joining the firm, with the goal of ultimately organizing the firm into various departments for different industries.” Industry focus; smart!! Details here.

 

  • This post (Bill Clinton: ‘Permutations and Possibilities of Blockchain are Staggeringly Great’) summarizes an interview with Clinton following his keynote address at Ripple’s annual Swell conference in San Francisco on October 1. “While Clinton acknowledged the potential of disruptive technologies like blockchain, the former president urged that economic and social policy ‘work better as positive sum games.'”

 

  • From DentonsPractical application of distributed ledger technology: Maintaining corporate records on the blockchain. “…(B)usinesses may want to explore implementing DLT (Distributed ledger technology)-based platforms; we believe they can increase efficiency, accuracy, transparency and security in record management and finance while minimizing cost, providing significant competitive advantages to companies that adopt this technology.”
  • It’s easy to make long term predictions, largely because it’s so rare for anyone to go back and see how you did. In this post, (The Long View of Legal Innovation) Ron Friedmann goes back 15 years to take a look at his own prognostications. Some of it was pretty obvious (“change management remains a hard problem to solve: many lawyers resist new ways of working”), but I believe the basics of his Federalism & Foundations “grant” model was/is interesting and holds up. Not bad!

 

  • With AI, it’s all about the data. I expect the data in almost every firm’s matter intake system could be improved by both doing less and doing more. It’s time for some serious process engineering! This article by  takes a look at some of these issues.

 

  • From DLA Piper’s IPT Italy BlogPrisca, the DLA Piper chatbot that will become your personal assistant. “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Prisca, DLA Piper chatbot that will be able to answer data protection law questions and intellectual property questions on trade secrets. Prisca is an artificial intelligence system based on IBM Watson technology that can help you to find the information you need about the GDPR and trade secrets, their provisions, definitions and what you should do to be compliant.”

 

  • Speaking of Italy, this is from Dentons Italy. Rise of the machines: could the increasing use of technology lead to a four-day working week for all? “Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: ‘Bosses and shareholders must not be allowed to sweep up all the gains from new tech for themselves. Working people deserve their fair share and that means using the gains from new tech to raise pay and allow more time with their families.'”

 

  • From Kelly Twigger via Above the Law: Why Review Is Much Harder Than You Think. “…(D)o we really need all of this linear review?  Is it worth the money? Review is essential — no question. But what you review needs careful consideration and it should almost always be a small subset of what you’ve collected. To get to that subset takes thoughtful preparation and time, together with input from the client, consideration of the case strategy and your obligations.”

 

  • MoFo postBig Data and AI: “The Algorithm Did It” Defense Will Not Fly in Court.

 

  • Also from MoFo, these brief observations: Artificial Intelligence vs. Emotional Intelligence. (The post’s title sounds promising, but the content doesn’t really deliver.)

 

  • Senators introduce the ‘Artificial Intelligence in Government Act’ “Per a news release, the bill would seek to “improve the use of AI across the federal government by providing resources and directing federal agencies to include AI in data-related planning.” Details here and here.

 

  • This, from  of EffortlessLegal: Top Five Reasons Why Outdated Technology May Be Hindering Your Firm’s Potential. “Even if your legal services are the best available, not measuring up when it comes to technology will give the perception that you are slow, outdated, or otherwise not qualified to handle the client’s legal matter.”

 

  • Law firms join forces with university in lawtech initiative. “The University of Manchester will bring together an interdisciplinary academic team from its schools of law, business and computer science, to form a consortium with City giant Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer and DWF Ventures, the national law firm’s research and development arm. The consortium is the first research collaboration of its type in the UK to draw on business and academic expertise to develop research and teaching focused on the potential application and the impact of digital technology in legal services provision.” More here.

 

  • This post is from Stephen Beney and Reshika Dhir of Bereskin & Parr Inventorship in the Age of AI. “(T)he pervasive use of AI has given rise to a very interesting legal question of who should be considered the true inventor(s) of AI-generated inventions.”

 

  • This article features Ari Kaplan’s interview of Anthony W. Crowell, the Dean and President of New York Law School regarding the newly launched Business of Law Institute. “The Business of Law Institute is going to start with a series of programs that tap into our alumni and other experts, who will teach master classes that give an in-depth review of different areas, including data privacy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other pressing issues.”

 

  • Here’s a detailed look at the PwC/Fragomen hookup: The PwC / Fragomen Alliance Unpacked: A Peek Inside The Big Four’s Legal Market Playbook.

 

  • From Kemp IT LawLegal Aspects of Artificial Intelligence (v2.0). It’s a 47-page white paper on the subject.

 

  • It seems I’ve fallen behind re the always-interesting posts from the UK’s Artificial Lawyer. Here are some recent headlines:

– O Silo Mio! – LegalTech Silos Are On The Rise, and That’s Bad. Story here.

AI Doc Review Co. Evisort Partners with LSI Translator. Story here.

– Smart Contract Org. Accord Bags Clifford Chance + More. Story here.

– 5 Questions Lawyers Should Ask About AI. Story here.

– BCLP Launches New Post-Integration Global Innovation Group. Story here.

– Legal Tech Popcorn, Feat: ContractPodAi, HSF, OpenLaw + vLex. Story here.

– Demystifying AI For Lawyers: Supervised Machine Learning. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • Araa Group of Advocates and Legal Consultants has become Dubai’s first blockchain based law firm after signing a collaborative partnership with e-Mal. Here’s the press release. “By signing the partnership with Araa, e-Mal will bring more efficiency and uniformity in contracting like done by OpenLaw, ContractCode, Integra Ledger within the Legal Industry. By introducing the blockchain based platform, legal documents within the chain will now be a ‘single source of truth’ within the legal blockchain.”

 

  • From India’s AMLegalsIs Your Contract Safe and Healthy? The post offers a bit of a contract check-up via a series of questions.

 

  • Walmart to salad growers: If you want to sell, you have to blockchain. Full story here.

 

  • Shearman & Sterling post: Gaps in Current Legal Framework Hindering Blockchain-based Trade Finance. “…(W)hile it has become technologically possible to execute transactions using negotiable instruments registered via blockchain technology, existing U.S. law recognizes negotiable instruments only if they are on paper and signed, which hinders the advancement of blockchain-based trade finance.”

 

  • Hogan Lovells postedNational Science Foundation Seeks Comments on Artificial Intelligence, Continuing Policy Makers’ Focus on AI.

 

  • Perkins Coie is the latest to join the Accord Project. Here’s their press release.

 

  • This, from Deepika Sharma of Khurana & Khurana Smart IP: Blockchain Technology in China. “Chinese government is introducing measures to protect blockchain IP they are also trying to bring it under China’s cyber security law.”

 

  • California Governor passes two bills in favor of blockchain. Details here. “That it was signed into law is a great testament to the work being done around the state by folks like the Blockchain Advocacy Coalition to advance this rapidly growing technology.”

 

  • Regarding federal blockchain legislation: “Ripple will lead a group of crypto startups to lobby lawmakers and financial regulators in D.C. to support crypto and blockchain innovation, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, September 27.” More here.

 

  • Here’s Volume 36 of K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer, summarizing three blockchain news stories.
  • I had to post this from Steptoe’s CYBERBLOG, if only for the title: Episode 232: “I’m afraid you can’t say that, Dave.” Will AI save the Internet from Vladimir Putin – and Matt Drudge? “It’s a deep conversation that turns contentious when we come to his prescriptions, which I see as reinstating the lefty elite that ran journalism for decades, this time empowered by even less self-doubt – and AI that can reproduce its prejudices at scale and without transparency.”

 

  • “According to the 2018 LexisNexis Australian Legal Tech Survey, across the board the Aussie legal profession is seeing a significant repositioning in the responsibilities set for junior lawyers when compared to past years, creating a shift in their law firm’s set up.” “The changing nature of work for junior lawyers is clearly a key driver of change within the legal industry, as 44 per cent of the respondents identified the removal of grunt work as a key implication of technologies such as analytics and AI”. More here.

I could not find any description of the survey’s methodology, so caveat emptor.

 

  • From The Law Society GazetteCall for regulation of police prediction algorithms. “A study published by the Royal United Services Institute and the Centre for Information Rights, University of Winchester, says that while machine-learning algorithms in policing are in their infancy, there is potential for the technology to do more: ‘The lack of a regulatory and governance framework for its use is concerning.’”

 

  • Brian McElligott of Mason Hayes & Curran posted this pieceIreland: AI From The Lawyers’ Perspective. “Machine learning, and to a much lesser extent artificial intelligence, has well and truly landed. The challenge for lawyers and their clients is how to navigate a legal and regulatory environment that is playing catch up and how to simultaneously steer innovators on a path to protection that may be paved with gaps.”

 

  • Dean Sonderegger of Wolters Kluwer wrote Building The Case For Innovation Within The Law Firm. I really appreciate this sort of mathematical demonstration of how driving out a bit of cost can translate to a firm’s bottom line.

 

  • I did not see this coming. This post from DLA Piper (Sharpen the nails: 8 ideas for empowering jurors In complex trials) includes, “Beyond simple note-taking tools, lawyers should consider more modern options, such as giving jurors access to interactive tablets to use for note keeping, and finding suitable ways to use artificial intelligence to assist jurors in maintaining and retrieving the evidence they hear and see during trial. … Allowing jurors the use of appropriate AI – for instance, teaching them how to search for trial testimony and admitted exhibits, or allowing them to query the judge – would allow more efficient deliberations.”

 

  • Holly Urban, CEO at EffortlessLegal wrote this piece for Law Technology Today: Five Ways for Law Firms to Become More Efficient. All five make sense for law firms and in-house legal departments.

 

  • John Frank Weaver of McLane Middleton prepared this scholarly piece: Everything Is Not Terminator We Need the California Bot Bill, But We Need It to Be Better. “There are some specific revisions that would make the Bot Bill a constitutional bill, a better bill, and a bill that we need.” He presents in-depth arguments for each suggested revision.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “After a very successful closed Beta programme, covering 161 users from 24 countries, they will be opening Clause to all on September 26th i.e. tomorrow. It will still be called a Beta programme, but in opening to all it will massively scale up the opportunity to use this tech and to give the team feedback to perfect the product.” Details and a demo video here.

 

  • From Sky News: Driverless car makers could face jail if AI causes harm. “Under the Health and Safety Act of 1974, directors found guilty of “consent or connivance” or neglect can face up to two years in prison.” “Companies can also be prosecuted under the Act, with fines relative to the firm’s turnover. If the company has a revenue greater than £50 million, the fines can be unlimited.” Several lawyers are quoted in this story.

 

  • intapp and The Lawyer just released this research report: Navigating a new reality in the client-empowered era. There is a section devoted to “An eye to the future: the emerging applications of artificial intelligence (AI).” “Clearly, firms are already reaping benefits from intelligent automation, whether through time saved or performance of the firm. The advent of artificial intelligence capabilities opens new possibilities above and beyond the ways in which law firms are currently automating workflows.” “In the future, using AI, we’ll be able to enhance the accuracy of the narratives suggested by time capture, so the process becomes even more automatic.” There is also a summary of some findings here. And here.

These survey results are based on the responses of 111 firms out of 300 who were solicited to participate. Not bad. The findings presented as percentages/proportions should generally be considered accurate within about +/- 10 percentage points.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: ‘Don’t Shoot the AI Puppy!’ – The United eDiscovery Case. “Last week, doubters of legal AI tech had a fleeting moment of validation – or at least they thought so – after a major ediscovery project involving United Airlines appeared to go wrong, leading some to suggest that there had been an ‘AI Snafu‘ after only 17% of the millions of docs analysed turned out to be ‘responsive’ i.e. of any potential use to the case. The problem with pointing the finger at the technology is that experts think (see response below from leading ediscovery consultant, Jonathan Maas) that this had far less to do with the Technology Assisted Review (TAR) itself and more about the way the humans involved ran the matter and used the tech.” Details here.

 

  • Here’s another interesting piece from Artificial Lawyer (It’s Not A Legal Snowflake – AI + Legal Costs Prediction): “To succeed in this environment, law firms must cost out litigation matters more accurately and competitively than they have ever done in the past. In fact, getting this right is mission critical. Fortunately, modern technology can provide an unprecedented degree of transparency and precision in cost estimation. The key is using artificial intelligence to unlock the predictive power of billing data.”

 

  • This (Data Localisation: India’s policy framework) is a thorough look at India’s new data protection policies. “Digital India and building a thriving Digital Economy in India, building strong competencies in artificial intelligence, protecting nation’s security and data of its citizens are very critical and is now becoming mandatory for India.”

 

  • This from Kennedy’s: Legal AI Beyond the Hype: A Duty to Combat Bias. “(T)o what extent have firms considered whether the AI they are licensing, building or selling (if that is what they are doing) has the potential to produce biased results?”

 

  • When asked, “(w)hat do you think is going to be the biggest game changer in the legal industry?” Martin Felli of JDA Software replied “(t)he use and application of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the in-house environment, allowing legal departments to implement solutions to permit their clients to engage in self-help without having to involve the legal department on every item, such as NDA reviews and processing.” Here’s the rest of the interview.

 

  • Press release: “Thomson Reuters and ModuleQ announced today a partnership to assist professionals with time sensitive insights. The companies are integrating their AI technologies to help provide proactive distribution of mission-critical business information to clients’ front-line personnel.”

 

  • In this post, Mike Quartararo of eDPM Advisory Services urges law firms to proactively contact their clients about innovation, before they call another firm or one calls them.

 

  • Here’s another pitch for Westlaw Edge — this one with a government focus. Westlaw Edge: Helping Overburdened Government Attorneys Work Faster And Smarter With The Power Of AI.

 

  • To liven up your Wednesday and broaden your perspective on the range of AI’s impact, here’s a story about AI and the cannabis business and two (here and here) about AI and sex.

 

Blockchain

  • IBM and MIT in consultation with the Congressional Blockchain Caucus prepared this reportThe Impact of Blockchain for Government: Insights on Identity, Payments, and Supply Chain. “How can blockchain benefit government? How can government lead the way to a broad-based blockchain evolution that drives economic vitality? In this report, Thomas Hardjono—Director of the MIT Trust: Data Consortium—addresses these and related challenges by drawing insight from three roundtable discussions in 2017-18 among key leaders and stakeholders, hosted by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.”

 

  • Over 75 New Banks: JPMorgan Expands Blockchain Payments Trial. “(A)ccording to a report from the FT on Tuesday, a large group of major banks – including Societe Generale and Santander – has joined the trial in response to the rising number of rival payments offerings coming to market.” More here.

 

  • From Entrepreneur: Smart Contracts: Here Are the Practical Applications of This Exciting Blockchain Technology. “Ever wanted to leave the lawyers out of your client transactions? Now you can.” “Smart contracts aren’t just the future of business; they are already in play. These agreements save time and money while improving communication and transparency. And you don’t need to be a programmer to get in on the action.”

 

  • Tom Kulik of Dallas’ Scheef & Stone posted Why Blockchain Is No Panacea For The Digital First Sale Doctrine (For Now). “…(T)echnology and the law don’t evolve at the same rate, and the digital first sale doctrine is no exception.  As this technology matures, it will inevitably pull copyright law forward in fits and starts…”

 

  • “Seven members of the US Congress have sent letters to the Federal Trade CommissionFederal Bureau of Investigation, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asking whether the agencies have vetted the potential biases of artificial intelligence algorithms being used for commerce, surveillance, and hiring.” “We are concerned by the mounting evidence that these technologies can perpetuate gender, racial, age, and other biases,” a letter to the FTC says. “As a result, their use may violate civil rights laws and could be unfair and deceptive.” More here.

 

  • Last Friday, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced that he will introduce three new bills aimed at supporting the development of blockchain technologies, and the use of cryptocurrencies. “The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology, and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.” Details here.

 

  • Edward Baer of Ropes & Gray postedThe SEC’s Proposed ETF Rule Creates Fintech Opportunities. “Custom Baskets Present Opportunities for Fintech Applications, Including Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.”

 

 

  • This is a rather provocative description of Atrium. “Many law firms are notoriously inefficient, charging clients by the hour to complete tasks that could easily be automated. In addition, most firms pay out any annual profits to shareholders, leaving nothing behind to invest in software or internal tools.” “For example, one of its apps automatically turns startup funding documents into Excel cap tables,” from a recent TechCrunch article.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting post from Artificial Lawyer (DLA Using Only ‘About 1%’ of AI’s Huge Potential So Far), featuring thoughts from folks at DLA and White & Case at the recent Legal AI Forum in London. “One might say the hype wave of the last couple of years has propelled AI systems into law firms, the really exciting part is now only really beginning and that is firms implementing such tech at a major scale across the business.”

 

  • Press releaseLexalytics Data Extraction Services Enables Hybrid Analysis of Both Structured and Unstructured Data from Corporate Documents.  “Lexalytics has been a leader in extracting insights from unstructured data for more than 15 years,” said Jeff Catlin, CEO of Lexalytics. “Lexalytics Data Extraction Services represents the first time we’ve brought this capability to the document data extraction market, and we’re excited to help companies go beyond what the current technology allows.”

 

  • UnitedLex, Big Deals in Hand, Sells Majority Stake to European Buyout Firm. “European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners said Thursday it had acquired a majority stake in Overland, Kansas-based UnitedLex Corp., an enterprise legal services provider that during the past 18 months has signed contracts worth $1.5 billion.” “UnitedLex CEO Daniel Reed said the transaction will give his company access to $500 million in debt and equity that he will use to invest in the company’s technology, target businesses for acquisition and to invest alongside the clients it serves.” “The announcement said UnitedLex’s leadership team had “fully reinvested in the transaction,” which Reed said was indicative of their belief that they can create ”the largest legal services company in the world.”” More here.