• In big AI new yesterday, IBM announced an AI system that can debate humans, and do it pretty well. “Through the IBM Cloud, the computer scanned billions of sentences to generate a coherent and persuasive position on the various topics. The machine then listens to its opponent’s speech and generates what IBM claims is a spontaneous compelling rebuttal, exhibiting a type of argumentation that until recently was simply out of reach for the machines.” Coverage here, here and here.

 

  • Wilson Sonsini is opening an office in the midst of London’s tech community, in part because of the AI activity going on there. “London is a hotbed of innovation and is Europe’s leading technology hub,” said Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business. “During the recent London Tech Week, we showcased the diversity of the capital’s thriving tech ecosystem and our range of fantastic companies in areas such as artificial intelligence and fintech.” More here.

 

  • As Thomson Reuters promotes its new legal cost prediction system, they have declared “(t)he true billable hour is a thing of the past.” To paraphrase Mark Twain, “the report of my death has been grossly exaggerated.” Here’s more about the pronouncement and Thomson Reuters new offering.

 

  • From Artificial LawyerSmart Legal Contracts on the IBM Blockchain Platform. “…(T)his week Clause became the first IBM Business Partner to publish a sample to the new IBM Blockchain Platform samples gallery.”

 

  • Nick Allard, departing Dean of the Brooklyn Law School, addressed the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (SPILF VII) on The Future of the Legal Profession. His predictions about the future of legal education 20 years from now included: “Technology will globalize, blur borders, and turn legal education inside out. Law school facilities will be completely reimagined, and learning spaces will be engineered to enable teaching with virtual reality; artificial intelligence; and wireless, portable, networked communications, as well as making learning from remote scholars and experts at a distance regularly possible.”

 

  • This opinion piece from the Financial Times argues that lawyers and plumbers will continue to be needed and will bill by the hour, in spite of AI.

 

  • This isn’t “legal” AI, but it’s very cool! “scientists have developed a system that allows humans to control robots using brainwaves and simple hand gestures, preventing machines from committing errors in real time.”