• The big news yesterday was Thomson Reuters’ launch of “…Westlaw Edge, an updated, artificial intelligence-assisted legal research platform. The updates include new warnings for invalid or questionable law, litigation analytics, a tool to analyze statutory changes and an improved AI-enhanced search called WestSearch Plus.” Here’s their video promo piece, and here the press release. Kudos to Thomson Reuters for garnering so much coverage, such as here and here. This early review by Bob Ambrogi is especially interesting, as is this from Jean O’Grady.

At the same time, Artificial Lawyer has this coverage of Eikon Digest, Thomson Reuters’ “new algorithmic research service aimed at the financial sector, in a move that shows the increasing use of machine learning, NLP and related tech.”

 

  • Meanwhile, “LexisNexis® Legal & Professional today announced the launch of Lexis Analytics, a comprehensive suite of analytics tools that leverages advanced technology, vast stores of legal content and expert curation to give lawyers a decisive competitive advantage in the business and practice of law.” Here’s the press release.

 

  • From LegalWeek, here are Jeffrey Catanzaro’s thoughts about: What junior lawyers need to know about artificial intelligence. “The new lawyers of today are the managing partners and general counsel of tomorrow, and although some commentators may assert that the profession is disruption-free, an increasing body of evidence does suggest the contrary. As the American media mogul Ryan Kavanaugh once said: -The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don’t react to it decades later. You can’t fight innovation.'”

 

  • Tracy Molino of Dentons has these thoughts about: The practical uses of distributed ledger technology, beyond cryptocurrencies. She breaks down the applications by industry. “Dentons is proud to be the first Canadian law firm to join the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC).”

 

  • This piece from The Economist, Law firms climb aboard the AI wagon, doesn’t break any new ground, but provides an overview of law firm applications of AI and the possible ramifications thereof. “Will legal employment eventually shrink? The jury is still out. Some firms expect to employ fewer graduates. But others argue that cheaper services could encourage clients to consult their lawyers more. And although some tasks are automatable, many others rely on human judgment. AI might pinpoint atypical clauses in contracts, for example, but it cannot decide if the anomaly is a deal-breaker. In any event, lawyers should start to find their work more interesting.”

 

  • Here’s a new A2J tool! “An artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed for businesses is to help staff at food banks and MPs’ surgeries refer legal enquiries from members of the public to lawyers….” “What we will be offering is a tool to connect advice givers and lawyers, rather than a replacement for initiatives already taking place.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, “US law firm Fenwick & West has taken the unusual step of making a public announcement about the positive impact its use of legal AI technology, in this case mainly Kira Systems, is having on the firm, stating that use of automated review technology has cut the time needed for such work ‘by half’.

 

  • Press release: “Seal Software, the leading provider of content discovery and analytics solutions, today announced the acquisition of Apogee Legal, a global leader in advanced contract analytics for the enterprise, in a move that will bolster Seal’s award-winning suite of market leading Intelligent Content Analytics (ICA) AI solutions and its global management team.”

 

  • I’ve posted several times about the burgeoning field of AI-based sentiment analysis and it’s use in applications from police departments to job interviews to advertisers. Now there’s an app for that, so you can try it yourself. “The app uses the latest emotional artificial intelligence (Emotion AI) to read 43 facial muscles 14 times a second, using the front camera of a smartphone. The app gives you seven emotional states – fear, anger, disgust, happiness, contempt, sadness, and surprise. It works while you’re watching a video from a friend, recording your reaction at the same time using the front camera. The recipient and the sender both can see the emotion results in real-time, with the top two emotions given priority. These top two emotions are shows with percentages, indicating which emotion is felt the most by individuals concerned.”

 

  • And finally, here’s a weekend thought piece for you: The New Intelligence: Modern AI and the fundamental undoing of the scientific method. “The days of traditional, human-driven problem solving — developing a hypothesis, uncovering principles, and testing that hypothesis through deduction, logic, and experimentation — may be coming to an end. A confluence of factors (large data sets, step-change infrastructure, algorithms, and computational resources) are moving us toward an entirely new type of discovery, one that sits far beyond the constraints of human-like logic or decision-making: driven solely by AI, rooted in radical empiricism. The implications — from how we celebrate scientific discovery to assigning moral responsibility to those discoveries — are far-reaching.” It’s thought provoking, to say the least.