• I had to post this from Steptoe’s CYBERBLOG, if only for the title: Episode 232: “I’m afraid you can’t say that, Dave.” Will AI save the Internet from Vladimir Putin – and Matt Drudge? “It’s a deep conversation that turns contentious when we come to his prescriptions, which I see as reinstating the lefty elite that ran journalism for decades, this time empowered by even less self-doubt – and AI that can reproduce its prejudices at scale and without transparency.”

 

  • “According to the 2018 LexisNexis Australian Legal Tech Survey, across the board the Aussie legal profession is seeing a significant repositioning in the responsibilities set for junior lawyers when compared to past years, creating a shift in their law firm’s set up.” “The changing nature of work for junior lawyers is clearly a key driver of change within the legal industry, as 44 per cent of the respondents identified the removal of grunt work as a key implication of technologies such as analytics and AI”. More here.

I could not find any description of the survey’s methodology, so caveat emptor.

 

  • From The Law Society GazetteCall for regulation of police prediction algorithms. “A study published by the Royal United Services Institute and the Centre for Information Rights, University of Winchester, says that while machine-learning algorithms in policing are in their infancy, there is potential for the technology to do more: ‘The lack of a regulatory and governance framework for its use is concerning.’”

 

  • Brian McElligott of Mason Hayes & Curran posted this pieceIreland: AI From The Lawyers’ Perspective. “Machine learning, and to a much lesser extent artificial intelligence, has well and truly landed. The challenge for lawyers and their clients is how to navigate a legal and regulatory environment that is playing catch up and how to simultaneously steer innovators on a path to protection that may be paved with gaps.”

 

  • Dean Sonderegger of Wolters Kluwer wrote Building The Case For Innovation Within The Law Firm. I really appreciate this sort of mathematical demonstration of how driving out a bit of cost can translate to a firm’s bottom line.

 

  • I did not see this coming. This post from DLA Piper (Sharpen the nails: 8 ideas for empowering jurors In complex trials) includes, “Beyond simple note-taking tools, lawyers should consider more modern options, such as giving jurors access to interactive tablets to use for note keeping, and finding suitable ways to use artificial intelligence to assist jurors in maintaining and retrieving the evidence they hear and see during trial. … Allowing jurors the use of appropriate AI – for instance, teaching them how to search for trial testimony and admitted exhibits, or allowing them to query the judge – would allow more efficient deliberations.”

 

  • Holly Urban, CEO at EffortlessLegal wrote this piece for Law Technology Today: Five Ways for Law Firms to Become More Efficient. All five make sense for law firms and in-house legal departments.

 

  • John Frank Weaver of McLane Middleton prepared this scholarly piece: Everything Is Not Terminator We Need the California Bot Bill, But We Need It to Be Better. “There are some specific revisions that would make the Bot Bill a constitutional bill, a better bill, and a bill that we need.” He presents in-depth arguments for each suggested revision.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “After a very successful closed Beta programme, covering 161 users from 24 countries, they will be opening Clause to all on September 26th i.e. tomorrow. It will still be called a Beta programme, but in opening to all it will massively scale up the opportunity to use this tech and to give the team feedback to perfect the product.” Details and a demo video here.

 

  • From Sky News: Driverless car makers could face jail if AI causes harm. “Under the Health and Safety Act of 1974, directors found guilty of “consent or connivance” or neglect can face up to two years in prison.” “Companies can also be prosecuted under the Act, with fines relative to the firm’s turnover. If the company has a revenue greater than £50 million, the fines can be unlimited.” Several lawyers are quoted in this story.

 

  • intapp and The Lawyer just released this research report: Navigating a new reality in the client-empowered era. There is a section devoted to “An eye to the future: the emerging applications of artificial intelligence (AI).” “Clearly, firms are already reaping benefits from intelligent automation, whether through time saved or performance of the firm. The advent of artificial intelligence capabilities opens new possibilities above and beyond the ways in which law firms are currently automating workflows.” “In the future, using AI, we’ll be able to enhance the accuracy of the narratives suggested by time capture, so the process becomes even more automatic.” There is also a summary of some findings here. And here.

These survey results are based on the responses of 111 firms out of 300 who were solicited to participate. Not bad. The findings presented as percentages/proportions should generally be considered accurate within about +/- 10 percentage points.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: ‘Don’t Shoot the AI Puppy!’ – The United eDiscovery Case. “Last week, doubters of legal AI tech had a fleeting moment of validation – or at least they thought so – after a major ediscovery project involving United Airlines appeared to go wrong, leading some to suggest that there had been an ‘AI Snafu‘ after only 17% of the millions of docs analysed turned out to be ‘responsive’ i.e. of any potential use to the case. The problem with pointing the finger at the technology is that experts think (see response below from leading ediscovery consultant, Jonathan Maas) that this had far less to do with the Technology Assisted Review (TAR) itself and more about the way the humans involved ran the matter and used the tech.” Details here.

 

  • Here’s another interesting piece from Artificial Lawyer (It’s Not A Legal Snowflake – AI + Legal Costs Prediction): “To succeed in this environment, law firms must cost out litigation matters more accurately and competitively than they have ever done in the past. In fact, getting this right is mission critical. Fortunately, modern technology can provide an unprecedented degree of transparency and precision in cost estimation. The key is using artificial intelligence to unlock the predictive power of billing data.”

 

  • This (Data Localisation: India’s policy framework) is a thorough look at India’s new data protection policies. “Digital India and building a thriving Digital Economy in India, building strong competencies in artificial intelligence, protecting nation’s security and data of its citizens are very critical and is now becoming mandatory for India.”

 

  • This from Kennedy’s: Legal AI Beyond the Hype: A Duty to Combat Bias. “(T)o what extent have firms considered whether the AI they are licensing, building or selling (if that is what they are doing) has the potential to produce biased results?”

 

  • When asked, “(w)hat do you think is going to be the biggest game changer in the legal industry?” Martin Felli of JDA Software replied “(t)he use and application of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the in-house environment, allowing legal departments to implement solutions to permit their clients to engage in self-help without having to involve the legal department on every item, such as NDA reviews and processing.” Here’s the rest of the interview.

 

  • Press release: “Thomson Reuters and ModuleQ announced today a partnership to assist professionals with time sensitive insights. The companies are integrating their AI technologies to help provide proactive distribution of mission-critical business information to clients’ front-line personnel.”

 

  • In this post, Mike Quartararo of eDPM Advisory Services urges law firms to proactively contact their clients about innovation, before they call another firm or one calls them.

 

  • Here’s another pitch for Westlaw Edge — this one with a government focus. Westlaw Edge: Helping Overburdened Government Attorneys Work Faster And Smarter With The Power Of AI.

 

  • To liven up your Wednesday and broaden your perspective on the range of AI’s impact, here’s a story about AI and the cannabis business and two (here and here) about AI and sex.

 

Blockchain

  • IBM and MIT in consultation with the Congressional Blockchain Caucus prepared this reportThe Impact of Blockchain for Government: Insights on Identity, Payments, and Supply Chain. “How can blockchain benefit government? How can government lead the way to a broad-based blockchain evolution that drives economic vitality? In this report, Thomas Hardjono—Director of the MIT Trust: Data Consortium—addresses these and related challenges by drawing insight from three roundtable discussions in 2017-18 among key leaders and stakeholders, hosted by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.”

 

  • Over 75 New Banks: JPMorgan Expands Blockchain Payments Trial. “(A)ccording to a report from the FT on Tuesday, a large group of major banks – including Societe Generale and Santander – has joined the trial in response to the rising number of rival payments offerings coming to market.” More here.

 

  • From Entrepreneur: Smart Contracts: Here Are the Practical Applications of This Exciting Blockchain Technology. “Ever wanted to leave the lawyers out of your client transactions? Now you can.” “Smart contracts aren’t just the future of business; they are already in play. These agreements save time and money while improving communication and transparency. And you don’t need to be a programmer to get in on the action.”

 

  • Tom Kulik of Dallas’ Scheef & Stone posted Why Blockchain Is No Panacea For The Digital First Sale Doctrine (For Now). “…(T)echnology and the law don’t evolve at the same rate, and the digital first sale doctrine is no exception.  As this technology matures, it will inevitably pull copyright law forward in fits and starts…”