• I have a good excuse (well, kinda) for posting a link to the full text of yesterday’s Nelson Mandela Speech by Barack Obama. And here’s the video. (It’s more than an hour long.) “And the biggest challenge for your new president when we think about how we’re going to employ more people here is going to be also technology, because artificial intelligence is here and it is accelerating, and you’re going to have driverless cars, and you’re going to have more and more automated services, and that’s going to make the job of giving everybody work that is meaningful tougher, and we’re going to have to be more imaginative, and the pact of change is going to require us to do more fundamental reimagining of our social and political arrangements, to protect the economic security and the dignity that comes with a job.”

 

  • Another Big Law “Skunkworks:” Clifford Chance Looks to Break Out to Break Through With 2 New ‘Innovation Units’. “Clifford Chance’s recent launch of two new ‘innovation units,’ Clifford Chance Applied Solutions and Clifford Chance Create, is an attempt for the firm to eke out the necessary space for experimentation. The Create unit will be charged with helping the firm flesh out its technology ecosystem and partner network, while Applied Solutions is dedicated to helping build and scale out technology systems for clients.” A few details here.

 

  • This infomercial post for Thomson Reuters’ new Westlaw Edge provides a history of legal research and some interesting observations. “If lawyers want greater confidence in their results, they need to spend more time on legal research – time they simply don’t have. ‘Lawyers desperately want to save time, but they are terrified that they will miss something,’ observes Tonya Custis, a Research Director at Thomson Reuters who specializes in AI with an emphasis on natural-language search.”

 

  • From Norton Rose: Why collaborative AI can become a legal minefield. “To compete we (Canada) must be strategic in how we marshal our resources, and a key factor will be intellectual-property management, particularly in collaborative AI developed by different stakeholders. Determining who owns or controls the IP rights of a new technology and, in turn, who will be rewarded for their expertise and efforts, can get messy if contracts do not exist or do not contain clear IP terms.” “…(A) clear IP framework for AI innovation is needed in Canada.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting discussion by Carolyn Elefant of how Big Data/AI could dissuade smaller law firms from taking cases that they really should. Data Analytics And The Importance Of Loser Law. “It’s solos and smalls who often stand on the front lines in using the justice system to change the law and stand up for those desperate clients who have no other options. If data analytics makes solos and smalls less inclined to take these types of cases due to fear of liability, then we all lose out.”

 

  • This is the introduction to a larger piece linked in the article. Law Firms Need Artificial Intelligence to Stay in the Game. “The legal department is savvier and has more options in the form of ASPs and legal technology – It’s time for law firms to embrace change. Artificial Intelligence is a key ingredient in doing so.”

 

  • According to this survey by Reed Smith, in the shipping industry, “(t)echnology to address environmental issues and emissions ranks above blockchain as the most significant driver of change over the next five years….” But ‘analytics of big data’ ties with those environmental concerns.

 

  • From Stephen M. Honig of Duane Morris, this deep dive (though he says it’s ‘shallow’) into the implications of blockchain and the rest of the ‘digital economy’ for corporate boards. It’s too much for me to summarize, but I especially like his analysis of how blockchain, big data, the internet all disintermediate. Good stuff.

 

  • PwC just issued this report, forecasting growth in the UK in professional, technical and scientific employment due to AI advances over the next few years and in the long term. “The sectors that we estimate will see the largest net increase in jobs due to AI over the next 20 years include health (+22%),  professional, scientific and technical services (+16%) and education (+6%).” I find it amusing when reports like this report prognostications with two decimal point precision (e.g., page 50), and when they run statistical tests on a dataset of 42 observations. They will be lucky to correctly guess the direction of changes 20 years from now, much less the degree. Of course, no one will check these predictions, so they’re safe.

 

  • From Artificial LawyerSubmitting Trial Evidence? There’s a Blockchain App For That Now. “The blockchain application will be used within CaseLines’ products to store the ‘transactions in the digital journey’ of an item of evidence within digital justice systems globally and is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.” Cool.

 

  • From Above the Law, this is an interesting discussion of IBM’s ambitions to “build a robot lawyer,” as evidenced by the recent debut of it’s Project Debater.

 

  • More blockchain news: “Five specialist attorneys have launched strategic advisory firm Ketsal Consulting in conjunction with law firm Blakemore Fallon to guide companies through the fast-moving blockchain and cryptocurrency legal and regulatory landscape. Founded by a team of attorneys from top law firms and a former senior special counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ketsal Consulting and Blakemore Fallon will provide authoritative advice on building compliance-focused business models at a time when the blockchain industry faces conflicting direction from international regulatory bodies and shifting legal sentiments.”

 

  • Who would have thought we needed this, just a few years ago: Representatives from 150 tech companies sign pledge against ‘killer robots’. “A pledge has been signed by over 2,400 individuals working in artificial intelligence and robotics against the use of the technology for lethal reasons.”