• This post on the LMA’s Strategies+ blog (originally from last month’s issue of the magazine Strategies) has a bit of a clickbait title, “AI Is the Future of Everything, Right? Not So Fast.” The actual substance is a list of seven things law firms could be doing now to improve the business of their firms. It comes with appropriate cautions by Axiom’s Mark Masson and Sean Williams–hence the title. (These guys know what they’re talking about.)


  • And speaking of hyperbole, how about “Law Firms Moving to iManage Records Manager 10 from LegalKEY at Exponential Pace.” No doubt that iManage seems to reel in another high profile client every few days — they’re doing very well. But I’d like to see the evidence behind the “exponential movement” in this press release. The only statistic cited is that they have doubled their revenue.


  • Much is being written about AI tech enabling porn producers to realistically insert the faces of celebrities onto the bodies of porn performers. “Using machine learning and AI to swap celebrities’ faces onto porn performers’ (results in) (f)ake celebrity porn seamless enough to be mistaken for the real thing. Early victims include Daisy Ridley, Gal Gadot, Scarlett Johansson, and Taylor Swift.” According to Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and the author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, this is going to hard to stop. “There are all sorts of First Amendment problems because it’s not their real body.” Since US privacy laws don’t apply, taking these videos down could be considered censorship—after all, this is “art” that redditors have crafted, even if it’s unseemly.”



  • And from Bird & Bird, a comprehensive of Europe’s state of Competition (a.k.a., Antitrust) Law and regulation regarding “Big Data.” (Interesting that the GDPR is not mentioned.)


  • “The Global Legal Hackathon (globallegalhackathon.com) will arrive in South Africa for the first time next month, the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) announced today. … The event, set for Johanneburg, will see local innovators compete for a place at a New York showcase of the best lawtech innovations in the world.” A2J organization HiiL will host the event in association with Hogan Lovells.


  • Yesterday I mentioned some of the AI hype going on at Davos. There’s more. Here’s a summary.


  • Here’s an interesting parallel to the legal industry. It seems advertising agencies are facing the same sorts of AI threats as law firms from faster moving agencies, new types of entrants performing similar services, and clients more likely to serve themselves. From the article: ““The advertising landscape has changed dramatically in the last couple of years and the pace of change means the industry is now facing fierce competition from everywhere.” … “This has allowed for consultancies, technology, and media companies, as well as new types of advertising agencies, defined or not, to come into the industry.” I don’t expect Don Draper saw this coming.


  • Ireland is branding itself “the AI island.” Toward that end, the University of Limerick has launched “Ireland’s first master’s degree in artificial intelligence.” “Companies that have an AI presence established in Ireland include: Siemens, Zalando, SAP, HubSpot, Deutsche Bank, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Ericsson, Intel, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Mastercard, Nokia Bell Labs, Huawei, LogoGrab and Soapbox Labs, to name but a few.”

On a related note, “UK teenagers (year 9 pupils) are to be taught about artificial intelligence with the launch of a new deep learning teaching kit.” “AI is already part of our everyday lives, and by the time today’s 13-year-olds are entering the workforce, it will have a significant impact on the kinds of jobs available to them,” said Beverly Clarke, the project leader.