Artificial Intelligence

  • 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.”

AI Funding:

– Influential Raises $12 Mn Funding To Fuel Its Artificial intelligence Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Platform.

From BloombergBillionaire Who Helped Dark Knight Rise Goes All-In on AI.

From Artificial Lawyer: “Brazilian legal tech platform, Juridoc, is launching a fundraising round on Latin America’s Kria crowdfunding site.” “Juridoc’s founder, Maxime Troubat, is seeking to raise R$550,000 in total, which is about US$150,000, with R$300,000 coming from individuals making an investment via Kria to build out the platform for the Brazilian legal market.”

Also from Artificial Lawyer‘Legal AI is an Arms Race and the $17.5m Will Help Us Win It’ – Eigen.

 BEIJING – “JD.com, one of China’s largest E-commerce firms, has announced that Google are [sic] set to invest around US$550 million in the company in order to advance a strategic partnership with the aim of developing a ‘personalised and frictionless’ consumer experience.”

Whatever happened to all of the rush of law firms to go public? Well, there’s this: “In line with its strategy of ‘doing things differently’ and in order to help increase its investment in technology and connected services, DWF may shortly become the largest law firm to float on the London Stock Market with a valuation of up to £1bn.”

 

Some blockchain news bits:

This is an interesting podcast from Child & Child: “Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and smart contracts are the buzzwords of the moment. And some reckon that their combined force could be about to disrupt the legal profession as we know it.”

– Lots of legal implications here: ‘Walk In With Your Eyes Open’: Navigating Blockchain And CRE (Commercial Real Estate.)

From Global Banking and Finance ReviewArtificial Intelligence (AI) Takes a Giant Leap Forward With Blockchain Infusion. “As Artificial Intelligence advances, the need for enhanced security is becoming apparent and therefore Blockchain is becoming more common in the market.”

This 10-minute video Australian law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth shows how a real estate transaction can be executed on the Ethereum blockchain.

 

  • From ProskauerUnited States: AI: Next Big Thing Or Next Big Lawsuit? “AI is prone to bias and discrimination in employment decisions. The reasons for this are twofold. First, AI is only as objective as the engineers who coded it. As such, intrinsic biases can make their way into code, which the AI program’s analyses may reflect. Second, AI learns from the data it is fed. The data, however, often include implicit biases from the real world that AI may perpetuate.”

 

And… “In one of those unexpected moments of synchronicity, Canada has also just launched a major research project into AI and justice that, like the UK’s commission on algorithms and justice that was launched yesterday by the Law Society, may also produce recommendations on ethics and regulation of the technology, with a central aim to increase access to justice through the use of AI.”

 

  • “It’s all about the data” is a phrase I often repeat in my presentations on AI, and this post from Above the Law underscores the point. What Makes Good Legal AI? Quality Data.

 

  • Here, also from Above the Law, is a deep dive into The Ethical Implications of Artificial Intelligence. “Artificial intelligence is transforming the legal profession — and that includes legal ethics. AI and similar cutting-edge technologies raise many complex ethical issues and challenges that lawyers ignore at their peril. At the same time, AI also holds out the promise of helping lawyers to meet their ethical obligations, serve their clients more effectively, and promote access to justice and the rule of law.”

 

  • Here’s a good discussion of where we are today vis-a-vis reaching Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), in many ways AI’s Holy Grail. “A machine with true AGI would be able to perform any intellectual task a human being can. This means if you asked a robot with AGI to hammer a nail, it wouldn’t need to be programmed to do so. It would try — and possibly fail — on its own. It would be able to learn from its mistakes and try until it got it right.”
  • From Artificial Lawyer: “Global professional information and software company, Thomson Reuters, has launched a machine learning system that performs ‘sentiment analysis’ to help people better trade the top 100 cryptocurrencies.” Details here.

 

  • Also, this from Artificial Lawyer. World’s Largest Law Firm, Dentons, Picks HighQ Collaboration Platform.

 

  • This from Bird & Bird: The AI revolution in the Legal Sector. “There is also an enormous amount of discourse around the capabilities of this technology, especially within the legal sector, which means a lot of jargon busting is required to get a clear picture of what is actually achievable.” Karen Jacks tries to do so.

 

  • From Lawyers Weekly: Law firm partnership to ‘catapult’ blockchain developments. “Piper Alderman has paired up with Lakeba Group as part of a new partnership which will see the group work with the national law firm to help navigate both the legal implications and requirements associated with implementing blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions for clients and prospects of Lakeba, according to a joint statement.”

 

 

  • READ THIS from Helen Gunnarsson of the ABA via Bloomberg Law, reporting on the panel, “Ethics Issues in Lawyers’ Use of Artificial Intelligence,” that took place May 31 at the 44th ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility in Louisville: Billable Hour ‘Makes No Sense’ in an AI World. “The panelists provided examples of how the use of artificial intelligence can enhance lawyers’ efficiency.” “Panelists see a future where lawyer’s failure to use AI will be ethical lapse, malpractice liability.”

 

  • This essay from Richard Tromans the founder of Tromans Consulting and Artificial Lawyer is also very much worth reading: Law Firms are Inefficiency Factories, Automation is the Cure. “…(T)he real issue is this: if automation can help, even fractionally (and I’d argue it can help a lot more than that), why are law firms so slow to adopt this technology? The answer is of course: many lawyers observe that selling inefficiency is a pillar of their livelihoods.”

 

  • This blog by Aird Berlis continues to provide links to relevant AI content. They don’t provide a lot, but for each item referenced they provide a “key quote” and “why it matters.” (I wish I had time to be so thorough with each of my references.)

 

  • Here’s another blog that covers legal AI (among other things), They hit some of the same stories that you’ll find here and more. “Here’s what’s trending in the legal industry: legal entrepreneurs, alternative business structures for law firms, legal tech for law departments, law firms and change, problems at Norton Rose, the future of artificial intelligence and more!”

 

  • Goldman Sachs is backing a London startup that uses AI to read complex legal documents. “London-based Eigen uses artificial intelligence technology to read legal and financial documents, making it easier for lawyers and bankers to analyse complex contracts — everything from derivatives to land deeds — and find specific clauses. Goldman Sachs is a customer, as are Linklaters, Evercore, and ING.” More here.

 

  • Baker McKenzie launches artificial intelligence robot in Paris. “Baker McKenzie has launched AI personal assistant Lancelaw, providing its lawyers with a weekly selection of both relevant and personalised news on the transformation of the law profession as well as innovation.” (Note: so far, this is for internal use.)

More about law firm chatbots here.

Law firms have a LONG way to go to catch up to chatbots in financial services. “Bank of America today announced that it has surpassed 1 million users on Erica, the first widely available AI-driven virtual assistant in financial services, available to clients in its mobile banking app. The milestone was reached within two months of completing its phased rollout, making Erica available to mobile clients nationwide.”

 

  • This from Norton Rose. “The European Commission has labelled AI as one of the most strategic technologies of the 21st Century (so far of course) and has proposed a three-pronged approach to EU members which is worth considering….”

 

  • This from Deloitte: “Leading organizations are increasingly integrating human and machine intelligence for forensic investigations. By combining technological analysis—including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and statistical concepts of cognitive analytics—with deep investigator understanding of fraudster motives and methods, many are identifying, investigating and thwarting fraud schemes more effectively and efficiently than ever before.”

 

 

  • From our creepy AI desk: “MIT is using radar and artificial intelligence to sense people’s postures and movement, even through a wall.” AI technique to sense posture through walls, help monitor Parkinson’s. More coverage herehere and here.

 

  • Here’s some good news from North Carolina: North Carolina Bar considers requiring technology CLE credits. (Note the word “considers”.) “If adopted, the amendments will go into effect in 2019.” This is in response to “the American Bar Association … amendment to Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1 in 2012. The comment imposed an ethical duty on lawyers to stay abreast of changes in technology.” “…(I)n 2016, Florida became the first state to require that lawyers complete 3 credits of legal technology CLE per biennial cycle as part of their obligation to stay abreast of changes in technology.” No other state has yet done so.

 

  • Press release: “Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space. To subscribe to the Blockchain Energizer newsletter, please click here.”

 

  • From Artificial LawyerSmart Contract Checker, Sagewise, Links with Hedera Hashgraph. The post includes an interesting and useful explanation of the smart contract (i.e., blockchain) technologies involved. “…(T)he Hedera Hashgraph platform provides, it says, ‘a new form of distributed consensus; [which is] a way for people who don’t know or trust each other to securely collaborate and transact online without the need for a trusted intermediary’.”

 

  • Regarding AI’s promise of “better, faster, cheaper,” check out this post from Artificial Lawyer regarding the “better” aspect. Casetext Survey Finds ‘Shocking’ Level of Missing Relevant Cases in US Courts.

 

  • Here comes a huge investment in AI and blockchain:

Coverage hereAnt Financial seals largest single fund raising round in history. “Eric Jing, executive chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, says: “…(T)he company will invest in developing its blockchain, AI, security, IoT and computing capabilities to upgrade its global technology platform for the next generation.”

And here: Jack Ma’s Chinese Fintech Firm Just Raised so Much Money It’s Now Worth More Than Goldman Sachs. “The round gives the Jack Ma-controlled company a valuation of $150 billion, which doesn’t just make it the most valuable privately-held tech firm in the world—the second-most-valuable, Uber, is worth around $70 billion—it even makes the Alibaba payment affiliate more valuable than financial veterans American Express (which has a market cap of $87 billion), Goldman Sachs ($88 billion), and Morgan Stanley ($92 billion.)” “The money will be used for international expansion, and for further investment in Ant’s technology—think blockchain, Internet of things, artificial intelligence and so on.”

 

  • From Robinson+Cole‘s Kathryn Rattigan: How Artificial Intelligence is Helping the Drone Industry. (It’s VERY brief.)

 

  • Here‘s a bit of a Friday thought piece for you (from LexisNexis’ Jeff Reihl and Rick McFarland via Law.com): Navigating the Fear and Promise of Artificial Intelligence. It’s a relatively brief but solid overview of AI in legal practice today. It’s positive about AI, but never really reaches a conclusion regarding the issue raised in the first paragraph: “… (S)ome have expressed fear that robot-lawyers will replace legal professionals.”
  • From Bloomberg Law: “Securitization specialists at law firms including Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and DLA Piper say the first blockchain-based transactions could come as early as this year. “There’s a lot of hype about blockchain, but I am working on actual deals right now,” said Matthew Duncan, a partner and head of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’s London-based securitization practice, who expects to see the first blockchain securitization by mid-2019. “Securitization will change fundamentally.””

 

  • And here’s more about blockchain from Artificial Lawyer: Smart Contract Group, Accord Project, Links with R3’s Corda Blockchain.

 

“Robots have stimulated the imagination of human beings for several thousand years: artificial servants and companions seem to be present as far back as in the ancient Greek myths. To a great extent, these myths are now becoming reality, with the effect that fundamental concepts of law must be revisited in light of recent and rapid technological developments. It remains to be seen how quickly law will follow technology… and to what extent lawyers themselves will be replaced by robots.”

 

  • Press release: Cooley Partner Named to Inaugural European Commission Expert Group on Liability and New Technologies.

 

  • Here’s an interesting post about the growth of legal tech (including AI) in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Legal Tech Market is Booming.

 

Since today is a bit light on legal AI news, here’s some info to catch you up on AI in the rest of the world:

  • From Finextra: “AiX, the artificial intelligence broker, announces today that it has completed the first ever trade brokered by an AI powered chatbot. The trade is the first of its kind to use AI technology instead of the traditional human brokerage model, completing a successful cryptocurrency transaction between Rockwell Capital Management and TLDR Capital.”

 

  • The international AI race: from the Financial Times: “In the race to master artificial intelligence, Europe is a clear laggard. The US and China dominate AI in everything from research to investment. Whereas Europe spent about $3bn-$4bn on AI in 2016, investment in North America was up to $23bn, according to McKinsey Global Institute.”

 

  • For more than a year I have been writing about the tens of thousands of news stories being composed by AI. During that time they have become more sophisticated. Here‘s a bit of an update. (This is about “artificial” but not “fake” news.)

 

  • It’s not just law firms that struggle to achieve greater diversity. Google Employees and Investors Joined Forces to Demand More Diversity. Why Even That Novel Approach Failed. Even the employees that caused Google to drop a major government/defense contract couldn’t clear the diversity hurtle. This story has been widely covered. Here’s the post from Fortune.

“Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin may hold supervoting rights, making these proposals untenable in practice, but they can’t stop this dirty laundry being aired in public—particularly when employees and shareholders join forces. At some point, something has to give. And not just a “more inclusive vegan salad” emoji.”

 

  • I guess if we’re going to really understand how dark/malevolent AI can go, we need to take it there and examine the result. So, MIT scientists create world’s first ‘psychopath’ AI and it’s really spooky. Creepy details here.

 

  • Speaking of creepy, it’s pretty horrifying to imagine the old white guys in our Congress, mainly Luddites, writing the laws that will govern our AI and other tech. Consider this post from the Washington Post‘I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say’: How Congress is struggling to get smart on tech. “(P)olicymakers themselves admit they aren’t fully prepared to deal with the issues.”
  • Toronto Startup Blue J Legal Uses AI to Help Predict How Courts will Rule on Employment Law Cases. Details here. (A lot of legal AI is centered in Toronto.)

 

  • “On 30 May 2018, the European Patent Office (EPO) held a ‘first of its kind’ (as it was called by one of the EPO officials) conference on ‘Patenting Artificial Intelligence’.” A summary of the proceedings can be found here. “The main thread connecting all the sessions was the common understanding that AI provides an immense opportunity for innovation. Moreover, the patent system must respond adequately in order to ensure that it does not stifle but enhance such innovation. The main goal of the event was therefore to facilitate a discussion about the challenges in patenting AI.”

 

  • Here‘s the report of some interesting research conducted by Gowling. Among their conclusions, “(d)iscussions concerning pitfalls for the development of the blockchain family were dominated by a single point – its association with Bitcoin.”

The research should be considered qualitative and exploratory as all they say about the methodology is “The research was conducted by BizWord Ltd (www.bizword.co.uk), an independent business consultancy. Specific sources have been listed in the report. To compile the report, we undertook: • A quantitative, online survey, which was sent to FinTech experts in businesses headquartered around the world. • In-depth interviews with a panel of experts during early 2018. • Desktop research and analysis of publicly-available information, industry studies and forecasts.

 

  • Press release: Simpson Thacher Partners with Columbia Business School to Enhance Incoming Associate Training. “Olga Gutman, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Attorney Development Committee, said, ‘The use of artificial intelligence is increasing the efficiency of legal work, particularly that of junior associates. We need to prepare our new associates to perform more advanced legal work for our clients from day one’.”

 

  • From McLane Middleton: United States: Everything Is Not Terminator: Using State Law Against Deceptive AI’s Use Of Personal Data.“Although killer drones and autonomous weapons get the most publicity when it comes to the dangers of artificial intelligence (“AI”),1 there is growing evidence of the dangers posed by AI that can deceive human beings. A few examples from recent headlines (click here for footnote references and the rest of the post):
    • AI that can create videos of world leaders—or anyone— saying things they never said; 2
    • Laser phishing, which uses AI to scan an individual’s social media presence and then sends “false but believable” messages from that person to his or her contacts, possibly obtaining money or personal information; 3 and
    • AI that analyzes data sets containing millions of Facebook profiles to create marketing strategies to “predict and potentially control human behavior.” 4

 

  • From Above the Law5 Myths About Litigation Finance. “On an episode of The Good Wife, a litigation financier had a computer that would take in data about a case and immediately spit out the numbers and parameters for funding. But that’s TV, not the real world. … (W)hen it comes to the underwriting process for litigation finance, humans remain firmly in control.”

 

  • About surveillance and your privacyIt’s RoboCop-ter: Boffins build drone to pinpoint brutal thugs in crowds. (88% accuracy.) “The use of AI for surveillance is concerning. Similar technologies involving actual facial recognition, such as Amazon’s Rekognition service, have been employed by the police. These systems often suffer from high false positives, and aren’t very accurate at all, so it’ll be a while before something something like this can be combined with drones.”

The kickoff presentations for Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was a ho-hum affair. Most interesting:

  • Apple continues to stress its superiority to Google and Amazon regarding consumer privacy. Especially when compared to Facebook.
  • Siri, now siri-ously lagging behind Alexa and Google Assistant, is promised to get smarter with the release of iOS 12. The competition will not be standing still while we await that release.
  • The most full-on AI news was the improvements to the augmented reality functions. Again, it looks good in demo, but it will be a while before we can really use it.
  • No hardware announcements.

 

  • Interesting blockchain news from K&L Gates: Understanding the Effect of Wyoming’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Legislation. “As companies examine whether the recent Wyoming amendments provide them with any opportunities, they must carefully consider the actual reach and implications of the amendments. ICO issuers, for example, should carefully consider whether their token will qualify under Wyoming’s narrow exemption, the risk of implicating federal securities laws, and whether the benefits of limiting their issuance to Wyoming residents achieve their goals for the ICO.”

 

  • In the course of a presentation regarding AI and blockchain to a group of Real Estate and Construction professionals last week, I mentioned that blockchain has the potential to upend several areas related to their profession. To wit:

– Supply chain management
– Inspections
– Contracts/leases
– Estimating/budgeting/financial models
– Designs/drawings
– Multiple listing services (MLS)
– Title insurance
– Escrow
– 3rd world land registry
– Generic corporate needs (e.g., audits [automatic and continuous], remittances)

This post by Muthaura Mugambi Ayugi & Njonjo Advocates gets deeper into the subject internationally, and with a focus on Kenya.

And this postThe future of artificial intelligence in real estate transactions by Jan Hoffmeister of Drooms digs into the impact Big Data will have on the real estate industry in Europe. It is, in part, based on a survey Drooms that I have been unable to find, and thus cannot comment on the methodology. “AI complements those elements and adds huge value by making real estate processes much more automated, efficient and cost-effective.”

 

  • From Foley & Lardner: Mobility Policy and Regulation – Finding the Imperfect Solution. The post reports on the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Mackinac Policy Conference. Takeaways include, “…there is a huge gap between connected and autonomous driving technology and its regulation – a gap that needs to be closed in a flexible way – but seeking a perfect, zero-defect outcome is both unrealistic and counterproductive.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– David Gingell, CMO of Seal Software predicts “there are two developments in computing that are starting to have a significant impact on the lawyer of the future: artificial intelligence (AI) and smart contracting.”

– On a somewhat related note, Seal has just released V.6 of its legal AI analysis system. Features, etc. here.

– “Juridoc, (is poised to become) the Brazilian answer to the likes of LegalZoom with added legal analytics, plus a legal bot based on IBM Watson technology and an automated document marketplace as well.” More here.

 

  • “From this autumn final year students at the University of Manchester will be able to take a new optional module called ‘Legal Tech and Access to Justice’ that is being delivered in partnership with AI company Neota Logic and magic circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.” Much more here.

Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, kicks off at 9 AM PT today. There will certainly be consumer-related AI news, perhaps B2B and even legal. I’ll cover it tomorrow. The conference will be streamed live on the WWDC website and mobile app. WWDC runs June 4-8, 2018, in San José, USA. Here are some guesses as to what will be unveiled.

 

  • According to the ABA Journal, “ABA Techshow 2018 went beyond the usual focus on legal technology and provided sessions on leadership, team building and mindfulness.” “Those technologies took center stage as multiple panelists and speakers talked in March about the ways lawyers can augment their practices by utilizing artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality and the ‘internet of things’.”

Interesting. I’ve always thought the ABA’s mission was to protect lawyers and their industry from change/progress.

 

  • Heart-ificial Intelligence: “John C Havens (author of Heartifical Intelligence: Embracing our Humanity to Maximize Machines and executive director of the IEEE Global initiative on Ethics and Autonomous Intelligent Systems.) has a hopeful vision for the future but it comes with a word of caution. He believes that the cause of humanity’s demise will not be because of killer robots but rather due to our stubborn fixation on money. Speaking to Lawyers Weekly ahead of a major talk he was due to give in Sydney yesterday, Mr Havens argued that to avoid this fate, more companies should adopt the concept of the triple bottom line — a notion that values people, the planet and profit equally — and measure quarterly performance to those three standards.”

 

  • From Reed Smith: “Trust, accountability and a predictable legal environment will be required to ensure the EU remains innovative and competitive in the AI sphere, while retaining a commitment to fundamental rights and safety. The Commission proposes to establish a European AI Alliance by July 2018, bringing together relevant stakeholders to draft guidelines on AI ethics by the end of 2018. These guidelines will address issues such as algorithmic transparency, security, consumer protection and the embedding of key values into AI solutions.”

 

  • White & Case has posted Embracing AI, “A review of the legal and policy considerations that will shape the development of artificial intelligence.” (It’s just an expression of the need for regulation.)

 

  • From FindLaw: How to Handle a Discovery Request Targeting A.I., “While the discovery rules generally allow for liberal discovery, when it comes to eDiscovery, and a robot or A.I. would clearly fall under that hub, courts are less inclined to allow unrestricted access to an adversary’s system, especially if there are no reasons to believe they’ve been hiding anything. It’s almost always going to be a question of proportionality.”

 

  • Thompson Mackey, a risk management consultant at EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants has these thoughts about Artificial Intelligence and Professional Liability: “[C]laims of malpractice are common, so underwriting data is vast and pricing models are well-tested. Insurers are able to get comfortable with the risk, since they have decades of data upon which to base their premiums. In effect, they are confident in how much they will pay out for every dollar of premium they take in. The same cannot be said for malpractice caused by an AI.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

–  “Relativity has set itself the strategic objective of providing its platform to the broader legal tech world, including legal AI review companies focused on matters such as M&A and real estate, to create a new ecosystem for lawyers focused on doc review and analysis that goes far beyond eDiscovery.” Details here.

“The Accord Project consortium of legal tech companies, law firms and standards-setting organisations has released its first working prototype for Ergoa new domain specific language for smart legal contracts. The software has also been made available to anyone who wants to use it and can be downloaded from Github.” Details here. (FYI, Github is about to be acquired by Microsoft.)

 

  • Press release: “ayfie, a leading provider of search and text analytics solutions, is pleased to announce leading Norwegian law firm, BAHR, as its newest partner. Aimed at managing BAHR’s vast domain knowledge, ayfie will combine and leverage different technologies from its portfolio to get BAHR’s lawyers the information they need. All documents will now be automatically classified for efficient recall and BAHR can easily search for internal competencies, clauses, terms and documents.”

 

  • Legal Text Analytics: “The special issue of the Artificial Intelligence and Law journal on Legal Text Analytics (Vol 26 Issue 2, June 2018) is now available online on the Springer website. The papers in this issue exemplify recent developments in the use of language technology, machine learning, and data science to provide new insights into legal problem solving and analysis of legal texts. Topics include automated patent landscaping, the geometry and semantics of networks of authoritative legal texts, and legal text segmentation and classification. The reports demonstrate the growing application of Deep Learning and other state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to a range of legal problems. They also signify a growing appreciation that explainability, in the broader context of explainable AI, should remain one of the key objectives for such techniques.”

 

  • Here’s a very interesting thought piece by Mark A. Cohen, Esq., The Golden Age of The Legal Entrepreneur — Why Now and Why It Matters. My favorite paragraph:

“Lawyers crafted language, procedures, and an insular, homogeneous culture to differentiate themselves from the rest of society. This supported a “lawyer/’non-lawyer’” worldview and preserved their hegemony over the delivery of legal services. It also perpetuated the myth of lawyer exceptionalism. Law firm structural and economic models were predicated on lawyers performing all ‘legal’ work with a labor intensive, ‘no stone unturned’ approach regardless of client objective or value. Budgets, price predictability, and knowledge management were not a part of the law firm modus operandi, although their business clients operated that way for decades.”

 

  • And here’s an interesting (non-legal) post about AI and empathy. Artificial intelligence is being trained to have empathy. Should we be worried? “The move towards empathetic gestures in our technology comes as voice-activated devices are growing in popularity. The coming generation of products, driven by voice, will rely more on inference, emotion and trust, according to Ms Krettek, whose lab aims to bring “deep humanity to deep learning”. Even, possibly, a mutual vulnerability.”

Note, Neil deGrasse Tyson once remarked, “As long as we don’t program emotions into robots, there’s no reason to fear them taking over the world.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting thought piece by Bruce Hambrett (Australian Chair of Baker McKenzie) and Professor Nick James (Executive Dean of Bond University’s Faculty of Law) from Australia’s Lawyers Weekly about the future of law, including law schools, law firms, and corporate legal departments. Reimagining the delivery of legal services in Australia — ‘The New Lawyers’. “First, the new delivery model will be underpinned by a culture of innovation. There will be no place for anything but a growth mindset. Second, there will be need for increased investment by law firms, not only in technology and artificial intelligence on a scale not yet seen, but also in their talent, because at the centre of the new legal service model will be the strategic legal adviser — The New Lawyers.”

 

  • This article from the ABA Journal makes a compelling argument for publicly available training datasets for developing legal AI solutions. Want to improve AI for law? Let’s talk about public data and collaboration.

 

  • This new law firm is all about Blockchain: “Launched in May, DLx Law is a law firm that is designed to align with the culture of blockchain and address legal issues arising from the technology’s use.” So far, it consists of two ex-Big Law partners, but they’re growing.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: UK Law Firm Wiggin Raises $21m Investment for Its AI-Driven IP Tool. “(T)he company will use the investment to accelerate the development of its Talisman online brand protection technology to help businesses safeguard their brands from counterfeit and piracy threats online. … Talisman monitors IP infringements by scouring the web in real time using machine learning technology, pulling in data from major platforms ranging from online marketplaces and social media through to websites and app stores.” More details here.

 

  • This post is right out of sci-fi, but also very realistic. Can AI Help Us Predict And Prevent Crimes In The Future? “It is clear that there is potential to use AI to predict and prevent crime. Unfortunately, the capabilities of these technologies are only as good as the data they rely on. When that data is incomplete, or is biased, the same issues that law enforcement and citizens face already tend to remain prevalent.”

 

  • “Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to “revolutionise” trademark prosecution and enforcement, according to Hogan Lovells’ latest brand benchmarking report, released yesterday.” Here is an overview, and here is a link to request the report.

 

  • Hogan warns that clients need to pay more attention to AI and other technologies or risk missing the time and cost saving benefits. There’s a lack of AI awareness says Asia Pacific practice head.

 

  • From FreshfieldsPeople Analytics: The Opportunities and Legal Risks of a Brave New World. “Advances in technology and artificial intelligence are allowing companies to solve strategic issues in ever quicker, more innovative ways. These advances are just as applicable to people management.”

 

  • Irish law firm William Fry’s Catherine O’Flynn and Darran Brennan authored Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace (Part 2): AI-Assisted Recruitment and Employment Equality Law. “While AI has been proven to improve the recruitment process for employers through efficiency, speed and the circulation of roles to a more diverse grouping of candidates, there is also potential for discrimination in AI-assisted recruitment.”

 

  • Toronto’s Aird Berlis publishes this interesting blog, including links to events and other blogs. Legal Tech and the Changing Legal Services Industry.

 

  • From Epstein Becker, “In this Thought Leaders in Health Law® video, Gail H. Javitt, Robert E. Wanerman, Joshua J. Freemire, and Alaap B. Shah, Members of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, discuss the legal implications and concerns that have arisen from the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) by the health care and life sciences industry.” It’s an interesting seven minutes.

 

  • Alex Eagle, an associate in Weil Gotshal’s London office, has these useful tips for lawyers trying to understand evolving legal tech and its implications. Navigating the brave new world of LawTech.

 

  • From The Washington Post, this is a pretty thorough discussion of the abilities of and concerns about Amazon’s facial recognition technology. The Cybersecurity 202: Lawmakers worry Amazon’s facial recognition tech could reinforce racial profiling.

 

  • There has been a great deal written lately about AI’s threat to the privacy and security of our homes. Here’s a much more positive post about the potential benefits of AI: Turn Your Home Into A Fortresses with Artificial Intelligence.