• It’s great to see 2018 start off without any of the AI hype that we saw in 2017. By the way, I noticed these stories this morning (italics mine):

– Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Friday on MSNBC, “AI is one of the most important things that humanity is working on. It’s more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire.”

– Piccadilly Group has launched NEURO, an AI business platform that will eradicate the need for one in four management consultants, saving businesses approximately $122.bn globally.


  • This author says “AI is the future of accounting,” but does not believe it will eliminate accountants’ jobs. Interesting. He stipulates that: “…if the AI system is well configured, it can eliminate accounting errors that are generally hard to find and thereby reduce our liability and allows us to move to a more advisory role.” I wonder how many accountants are interested in or able to assume “a more advisory role.” I have the same question, but to a lesser degree, re lawyers.


  • This from the ‘getting in front of crime/corruption’ desk, “a computer model based on neural networks that calculates the probability in Spanish provinces of corruption, as well as the conditions that favor it.”


  • Ken Grady does not get excited about developments without reason, and his recent post about MDR Labs shows real enthusiasm for this effort to actually DO something in LegalTech. He and several luminaries serve on the Lab’s advisory board. Details here.


  • Jones Day just posted this brief on “FDA’s Evolving Regulation of Artificial Intelligence in Digital Health Products.”


  • Perkins Coie announced that Matt Kirmayer has joined the firm’s San Francisco office as a partner. His portfolio includes AI clients.


  • As this year progresses. I expect it will be increasingly difficult to separate cybersecurity from AI. So, I find it noteworthy that Cooley just added three more cybersecurity partners.


  • Just what we need, another entrant into the “using AI for contracts” space. I think this one (Evisort) deserves note because it was created by students at Harvard Law.


  • More from Philip Segal, something of a follow up to my reference yesterday. In this one, he cautions that lawyers face ethical problems if they don’t keep track of (and accept responsibility for) what their AI systems are doing. “…(T)oo much passivity in the use of AI is not only inefficient. It also carries the risk of ethical violations.”


  • iManage was just named a winner in the Best Use of Technology category at the Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards for its innovative use of AI technology by the Serious Fraud Office (as opposed to the Comical Fraud Office?), a UK-governmental department in charge of prosecuting complex cases of fraud and corruption. SFO recently utilized iManage’s RAVN artificial intelligence (AI) platform to help a team of investigators sift through 30 million documents. Details here.


  • Here’s a lengthy but engaging narrative about how one firm embraced (or rather will embrace) Machine Learning and other technologies to improve client service and quality of life for its lawyers. “Science Fiction – A Day in the Life of a Lawyer in 2030.”


  • Well, we’ve heard from just about everyone else, and now Pope Francis has weighed in on AI: “Artificial intelligence, robotics and other technological innovations must be so employed that they contribute to the service of humanity and to the protection of our common home, rather than to the contrary.” Hard to argue with that sentiment, but the devil will be in the details.

Along those lines, Element.AI — which last year raised $102 million to work with charities, non-governmental organizations and others on “AI for good,” is opening an outpost in London, its first international expansion.


  • After a few delays, the first Amazon Go store opened to the public in Seattle yesterday with no cashiers or checkout lines. They haven’t announced any plans for more stores, but remember, Amazon now owns Whole Foods.


  • I’m sure many of my readers are tired of my warnings about AI’s coming exacerbation of our wealth inequality crisis (yes, “crisis”). If so, skip this post. If not, you may find this report from the World Economic Forum’s annual summit (based on research by Deloitte) interesting. It focuses mainly in income inequality in India, China and South Africa.