• Law firms face threats to their revenue streams from: 1) smarter in-house counsel, 2) other law firms who “get it” re AI and Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs), and 3) Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs). In each case, AI can enable those competitors to provide legal services better, faster and cheaper than traditional law firms. Many of the ALSPs grew up funded by investors and with AI in their veins. Still, those who dominate buyers’ mind share tend to be long time familiar brands. Axiom is the big exception. (Kudos to Acritas for providing this methodologically solid research.)

 

  • Speaking of those brand leaders and AI, Thomson Reuters is investing $100 million in a Toronto tech hub. Recent years’ major advances in AI have depended on breakthroughs in analytic algorithms, processing power and big data. Talk about “big data: “even as the company hosts more of its data on cloudbased servers, it still holds a massive 60,000 terabytes of information in its own data centres.” Wow.

 

  • According to this story from Artificial Lawyer, the “French Justice Ministry Sees ‘No Additional Value’ in Prédictive Legal AI.” In terms of AI’s promise of “better, faster, cheaper,” the ministry seems to have focused solely on the “better” aspect, ignoring the benefits of “faster” and “cheaper.” (“Prédictive” is being piloted by Taylor Wessing and Dentons, among others.)

 

  • The whacky world of AI prognostication: This report from CB Insights says AI is putting at risk 10 million jobs in the USA alone. Meanwhile, this one forecasts “huge job growth in AI jobs in Britain,” and this one says, “instead of destroying jobs AI Is creating new jobs in 4 out of 5 companies.” Here’s proof that there’s at least one new job available today!

  • This writer expects AI to “revolutionize marketing,” but sees it a mixed bag when it comes to marketing jobs, eliminating some, and empowering others. That may be related to the finding of this large international study by MIT that “reports that 91 percent of “iconic” companies — those that maintain both the highest levels of customer experience (CX) satisfaction and have world-leading brand recognition — deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to increase customer satisfaction, compared to 42 percent of companies in their fields overall.”

 

  • More on facial recognition: I reported a few days ago that China has deployed more than 20 million cameras in public places and intends to compile a database of all citizens’ visages. Reacting to a query concerning the security of that database, a vendor for the Ministry of Public Security claimed that “data theft would be impossible,” saying that “downloading the data would be as difficult as launching a missile with a nuclear warhead.” Is it just me, or does that sound like the precursor to the announcement of a massive security breach?

 

  • It’s Friday, so here’s an AI thought piece for your weekend. The subject: what is consciousness and can AI ever be conscious/self-aware? It’s a DEEEEEP dive into the Theory of Mind.