• A cheery way to start the day (NOT!): Future elections may be swayed by intelligent, weaponized chatbots. This post does not have a happy ending. “Bots versed in human language remain outliers for now. It still requires substantial expertise, computing power, and training data to equip bots with state-of-the-art language-processing algorithms. But it’s not out of reach. Since 2010 political parties and governments have spent more than half a billion dollars on social-­media manipulation, turning it into a highly professionalized and well-funded sector.”

 

  • To lighten things up a bit after that, here’s proof that an artificial intelligence can indeed be a lawyer.

 

  • I’ve posted it before, and I’m sure I’ll post it again; one of the biggest challenges facing AI is the degree to which technology advances are outpacing legislation/regulation. Here’s a good discussion of the issue as manifested in autonomous vehicles. “The legislation surrounding driverless cars is lagging so far behind the technology involved that the industry is unlikely to see a regulatory framework in place any time soon says leading international business, finance and taxation consultancy BDO. And IEEE, “the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity” can only see problems ahead as the politicians fall further and further behind.”

 

  • “Data protection” legislation seems to be the ‘in’ thing these days, and now India is getting involved. Here’s their Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 – An overview with brief analysis. It’s a thorough review and analysis by Manas Ingle and Anuj Maharana.

 

  • Speaking of ‘data protection’, 29 bipartisan state Attorneys General respond to FTC’s consumer protection hearing announcement. “The letter emphasizes the states’ ‘long history of protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices’ under each state’s consumer protection authority and offers specific comment on three areas of the FTC request: (i) privacy and big data; (ii) communication and media technology; and (iii) algorithmic decision tools and other artificial intelligence.” The post is from Buckley Sandler.

 

  • Here’s a bit more from last week’s ILTACON 2018, Joe Patrice, senior editor at Above the Law reports that “(t)his year, the tech market seems to be maturing. Terms like “open architecture” and “API” kept getting tossed around as positive elements of the sales pitch. It’s now cool to admit that your company can’t be all things to all people, but that your product can play well with others to give the customer the solution they want.”

 

  • From Bob Ambrogi, here’s his take on some of the more interesting products rolled out at the conference. Roundup of Company and Product News from ILTACON, Part 1.

 

  • When VC Meets JD: Venture capital is getting in on the law game. Will Wall Street follow? “It’s been a sizzling couple of months in the legal technology world. Hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into legal tech startups since May, and the pace will likely only increase over the coming years.” Fennemore Craig’s James Goodnow predicts, “(t)he cloistered, genteel profession of the past is long gone, and an investment revolution would render the market even less recognizable than it already is.”

 

Blockchain

  • Calling All Lawyers: The Blockchain Opportunities Are Waiting. “In today’s business world, there is a group of ‘next generation’ technologies that are going to revolutionize the way we live, think, interact and conduct business. And blockchain technology is leading the way. Blockchain is one of the fastest growing areas whose digital foundation is serving as the springboard for a plethora of applications that use it such as smart contracts, bitcoin. These new applications target a diverse set of tangible, intangible and digital assets in our culture and are creating increasing opportunities for lawyers.” Details here.

 

  • Quantum Computing as Bigger Concern for Lawyers than Blockchain. “Blockchain—online distributed ledgers that use cryptography to record and verify every transaction—could make the legal oversight needed to oversee contracts and collect intellectual property superfluous. But the technology is still years from becoming a standard. Taking a longer view, it is also merely a stop-gap solution until quantum computing takes hold.” By “quantum computing” the author (Monica Zent) refers to AI much more powerful than what we have today as a result of the enormous processing power promised by quantum computing. This is a compelling argument.