• Legalweek (formerly Legaltech) is just a few days away, so here’sA Beginner’s Guide To The Biggest Week In Legal Technology.

 

  • Data & Analytics: Transforming Law Firms” has just been published by ALM Intelligence and LexisNexis. Here’s an executive summary and link to the report.

 

  • Here’s a fresh essay about law firm innovation from  of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed ServicesGreasing The Gears Of Legal Commerce — Automatic, Systematic, Hydromatic (alt.legal) Innovation. “CLOs indicated that nearly 25 percent of outside counsel fees are “price-insensitive.”

 

  • The Big 4 continue their relentless march into legal. I skip most of these posts, but this one specifically mentions AI: KPMG expands Asia Pacific legal services. “It will also offer technology enabled legal services, using robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies developed globally and in China through the KPMG digital ignition centre.”

 

  • This is an interesting post by Charles P. Edwards of Barnes & Thornburg: The Noisy Business of the Law and Insurance Claims. “…(T)he idea we humans are needed for most decisions is an ‘illusion.'”

 

  • Here’s a good example of a law firm (Amsterdam’s De Brauw) using tech as a differentiating marketing strategyHop on board and experience the value of legal tech and project management.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi posted this 47-minute podcast: LawNext Episode 25: Using AI to Enhance Virtual Receptionists, with Smith.ai.

 

  • From Arup Das of Alphaserve Technologies, here’s an interesting discussion of the age-old build vs. buy conundrum: How to Approach Legal Innovation: Options for Every Firm.

 

  • This is a thought-provoking post: Can Deepfakes Pose a Cybersecurity Threat to Legal? ““Deepfakes are real and emerging as an issue but they, like certain types of technology, could emerge very quickly; we talk about this today and it could be a very big deal in six months or it could be nothing,” Reed Smith’s Stegmaier cautioned. “We simply don’t know.””

 

  • This hour-long podcast is from the Lawyerist: “In this episode with Natalie Worsfold, we talk about her law firm’s approach to law practice, and why more firms aren’t following suit. We start by asking Natalie what problem Counter Tax was trying to solve, then explore how they solved it, what their solution does now, and the plans they have to evolve and grow their solution.”

 

  • This is an idea I have been kicking around for a while. Nick Hilborne gives it the thought I believe it’s due: “Reproduction of the legal profession” at risk from automation. “If junior associates are ‘gradually culled’ from law firms as a result of automation, the entire reproduction of the legal profession could be jeopardised….'” And here’s a US write up of the same issue: Junior Lawyers Are Going Extinct And Nobody Knows What To Do About It.

 

  • AI Goes to Court: A Conversation With Lex Machina and Dorsey & Whitney. Post here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • The Benefits of the LexisNexis LegalTech Accelerator. Post here.
  • EY and Artificial Lawyer Hold Legal Ops + Technology Event.  Post here.
  • Slaughter and May Names 3rd Fast Forward Cohort, Inc. Blockchain Co. Post here.
  • Meet ATJ Bot – The World’s First Legal Aid Voice Assistant. Post here.
  • How to Build Your Business Case For Contract Management – The Juro Guide. Post here.
  • Oz + NZ Professional Services Startup of the Year Award Launched. Post here.
  • Legal AI Co. CourtQuant Predicts Hard Brexit Impact on British Law. Post here.
  • Christian Lang + Former TR Boss, Tom Glocer, Join Reynen Court. Post here.
  • GCs Keen To Embrace Tech Tools + Legal Ops Skills – Survey. Post here. (Note: This story is based on a survey where n=80. Assuming no other methodological problems [big assumption!], this means that in all of the findings each number is well within the margin of sampling error of the statistics above and below it on the graphs.)
  • Meet Fincap Law: A New Tech-Driven Firm For the New Legal Era. Post here.

 

Posts by Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Eric A. Klein and Aytan Dahukey of Sheppard Mullin posted: Day 2 Notes From The 2019 JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. “We are seeing a lot of healthcare entities starting to focus on precision medicine – artificial intelligence suggesting which oncology drug works best for your specific genetic condition and cancer – but that essentially is a transactional function. And the market really wants a partnering function ” Post here.

 

 

 

  • From Reed SmithDraft ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence published by the European Commission. Post here.

 

 

  • Akin Gump postedPolicymakers Focused on Artificial Intelligence, Write Akin Gump Lawyers in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.

 

  • Hogan Lovells postedLitigating intellectual property issues: The impact of AI and machine learning.

 

Press Releases and sponsored posts:

  • Here’s a thorough explanation of Gavelytics: Want Better Litigation Outcomes? Know Your Judges. “…(W)ith Gavelytics, you finally get the quantifiable and reliable judge information you need to customize your litigation strategy and increase your chances of winning.”

 

 

  • Gibson Dunn launches AI and automated systems group. Post here.

 

  • The world’s first virtual lawyer, built for Amazon’s Alexa, tests whether lawyers will be replaced by robots. “Australian legal-technology company Smarter Drafter have announced a prototype virtual lawyer, built on Amazon’s Alexa, that creates legal.” documents instantly, just like a real human lawyer. Here’s the Smart Drafter release. Hype much?? And then there’s this: “No date has been set for the release of the first working Alexa integration.”

 

  • HaystackID Acquires eDiscovery Managed Services Provider eTERA, Release here.

 

  • Legal IT Newswire New Product News… Alphaserve Technologies launch Execution as a Service. Post here.

 

  • I’m including this because I used to work there! Am Law 200 Firm Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Selects Litera Desktop, Litera Microsystems Full Document Drafting Suite.

 

Blockchain

 

 

 

 

  • From the Baker & Hostetler Energy BlogNew Blockchain Products, an FBI Raid, the $11 Billion Bitcoin Case, Hackers Strike With a 51 Percent Attack and Crypto Tax Analysis. Post here.

 

 

  • Here’s a deep dive into the legal services offered by Oath ProtocolThe Lay of the Land in Blockchain Dispute Resolution and Governance Designs.
  • I like the infographic AI Knowledge Map above. Here’s an explanation of the elements.

 

  • “The sixth annual Clio Cloud Conference held a talk with lawyers about how artificial intelligence and blockchain-based technologies can be used by firms of various sizes to become more cost and time efficient.” Summary by Victoria Hudgins here.

 

  • Innovation Driving New Approach to Legal Operations at Novartis. “Maurus Schreyvogel, Novartis’ Chief Legal Innovation Officer, advocates for a more efficient legal function and the broader benefits for the industry.” “…(W)hen we think of the legal profession first and foremost, it’s us – the legal professionals. We have to think about our workplace and how we want to add value because the way legal operations currently work, in many ways, is no longer fit for purpose.” Story here.

 

  • Could an artificial intelligence be considered a person under the law? “Humans aren’t the only people in society – at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people too – without any legislation, court rulings or other revisions to existing law.” Interesting discussion by Prof. , University of Louisville, here.

 

  • Press releaseActive Machine Learning Now Available in the VenioOne Platform. “VenioOne CAL is now hitting its stride as a best of both worlds eDiscovery solution – human reviewers combined with machine learning. This could be a big game changer for firms and corporations relying on large teams of reviewers to get through increasingly larger datasets in their cases.”

 

  • From Hogan LovellsAI, machine learning & legal tech: The 6th Hamburg Legal Tech Meetup at Google with Hogan Lovells. “…(T)the legal spotlight focused on how in-house counsel and external law firms are going to cooperate well under the influence of legal tech.

 

  • And this from Hogan Lovells’ LimeGreen IP NewsEU Patent Office publishes preview of guidelines on patenting AI applications. “…(T) the new section on AI and machine learning now appears in section 3.3.1 of Part G of the Guidelines.”

 

  • Allen & Overy and Freshfields did well at the FT Innovative lawyers Awards. Details here and here.

 

 

  • From Legal Talk NetworkClio Cloud 2018: Blockchain and AI used in the Legal Industry. “Joshua Lenon and Jake Heller talk about how blockchain and AI play a role in their companies, what they are seeing with AI today, and how to spot a product that is not worth using.”

 

  • This story is from the UK’s Law Society Gazette: In-house lawyers expect artificial intelligence to cut firms’ bills. “A report, Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype, found that 75% of GCs expected to be passed on benefits including lower fees, improved quality and faster turnaround times. There was mixed feedback on the satisfaction of legal technology deployed by firms: 40% of general counsel said they were satisfied, 12% very satisfied and 37% were dissatisfied.”

 

Here are some recent posts from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Meet Josef a ‘Next Generation’ Legal Automation Platform. Story here.
  • These nuggets are from a LexisNexis report I previously posted. A Tricky Relationship: General Counsel + Legal Technology.
  • Prop + Legal Tech Pioneer, Thirdfort, Bags £400k Pre-Seed Investment. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • “France’s Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) released guidance on how blockchain can exist in a post-GDPR world. Problem is, they are not sure it completely can.” In this article by Rhys Dipshan, attorneys from Baker Hostetler; Crowell & Morning; McCann FitzGerald; and Morris, Manning & Martin are quoted.

 

  • Here’s an academic piece for you, from professors from law schools in Dusseldorf, Australia and Hong Kong and published in the University of Illinois Law Review: The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain. (It’s a bit over a year old, but I had missed it until today.)

 

  • This is a somewhat technical explanation of how smart contracts work. Smart Contract Technical Underpinnings (Blockchain Report Excerpt). The full report is here.

 

 

Here are a couple of developments in the application of AI and blockchain in real estate:

  • Securrency to Help QuantmRE Build Blockchain-Powered Real Estate Trading Platform. “QuantmRE, a blockchain company that focuses on the tokenization of real estate assets, partnered with fintech company Securrency to build its property trading platform.” Story here.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence in Real Estate: How to Leverage the Disruption by Desirée Patno. Four examples are given here.

 

Background

  • Ready to get your geek on? Here’s a good explanation of how Quantum Computing works. “If a task required you to find one correct answer out of 100 million choices, an ordinary computer would go through 50 million steps to do so. A quantum computer would only go through 10,000.” “For now, anyone without a quantum computer isn’t missing out on anything. Quantum computers can’t yet function any better than our classic computers can and aren’t expected to do so for at least another decade.” Thanks to “physics student”, Ella Alderson.
  • From Jim Baker via Lawfare: Artificial Intelligence – A Counterintelligence Perspective: Part I. “…AI and the entire technological ecosystem in which it functions are highly valuable to private-sector organizations and nation-states. That means that nations will try to identify, steal, and corrupt or otherwise counteract the AI and related assets of others, and will use AI against each other in pursuit of their own national interests. And that presents the United States and its allies with a classic counterintelligence problem in a novel and high-stakes context….” This is a deep dive.

 

  • Lex Machina‘s Josh Becker prepared this look at the “…three primary categories of legal analytics that relate to legal workflows: litigation, regulatory compliance and transactions.”

 

  • To find out how AI is being used in the deal process and how proficient dealmakers need to be in order to successfully implement and evaluate the technology, Mergermarket asked three law firm partners, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management and a vendor, “What other kinds of machine learning or artificial intelligence applications are there to assist in the dealmaking process at present? What sorts of tools can you envision being created in the future?” Here’s what they said.

 

  • Lexology posted this blog post reporting what a few law firms are doing with AI and the benefits/impact they expect.

 

  • Press release: “CPA Global®, the Intellectual Property (IP) services and technology market leader, today announces the acquisition of Filing Analytics and Citation Eagle, two leading IP data and analytics software solutions, from Practice Insight, a wholly owned subsidiary of IPH Ltd.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting spin on the idea of a Smart Contract from William S. Veatch, a partner at Reed Smith, a “Data Contract.” “The essence of the Data Contract is that the terms of the contract are stored in a database at both the Clause Level and the Idea Level.”

And in this post, Artificial Lawyer interviews Reed Smith’s Bryon Bratcher to explore the firm’s tech strategy, including products they are offering to other law firms.

 

  • More about Smart Contracts. Artificial Lawyer reports that “Smart contract company, Clause, has partnered with a leading NFC (near field communication) company to link it to its own self-executing legal contracting technology. The move is in line with some of the earliest work of Clause, which related to picking up signals from the environment that could trigger elements of a smart contract.” Much more here.

 

  • Rob Galaski, Deloitte Global Banking & Capital Marketing Consulting leader, recently said: “AI is rapidly reshaping the attributes necessary to build a successful business in financial services. As AI drives operational efficiency, economies of scale alone will not sustain cost advantages. In the future, financial institutions will be built on scale of data and the ability to leverage that data. Increasingly bifurcated markets are already emerging where data sharing is critical to competitive success and first movers are positioned to distinguish themselves by delivering better advice, constant presence, and curated ecosystems. Firms that lag behind are finding that their old strengths may not keep them as competitive as they once were.” This seems to me completely relevant to law firms and their clients.

 

  • I have posted about the US’ tightening of controls around tech exports including AI. This post from MoFo reports that EU members are doing the same.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: LawDroid, has launched a new voice-activated functionality in a joint venture with US attorney Patrick Palace, that is designed to integrate exclusively with Clio’s practice management software. The new system will offer lawyers the ability to use voice commands to:
    • Dictate notes, schedule appointments, and create tasks
    • Have LawDroid Voice read out to you your schedule for the day
    • Populate data into Clio to eliminate data entry duplication.

 

  • Is AI The Great Equalizer For Small Law? According to this post in Above the Law from Casetext’s Jake Heller, “yes”. “…(T)he 85 percent of lawyers at smaller law firms have been adopting, using, and thriving on artificial intelligence technologies. And they have been using AI to level the playing field, diminishing or eliminating what were once the resource and staffing advantages at the bigger law firms.” It’s an interesting argument.

 

  • Holland & Knight postedFTC Announces Plans to Hold Roundtables on Consumer Protection and Competition Issues – Privacy, Data Security, Big Data and the Use of Artificial Intelligence Figure Prominently. “The FTC designated a total of 11 topic areas it will focus on and included a series of questions that it would like the public to comment on and participate in. Consumer privacy issues along with data security, the use of Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics figure prominently in the list of main topics the FTC has indicated it will review and analyze….”

 

  • Access to Justice: Artificial Lawyer reports that: German expert system, Bryter, is to build consumer-facing legal applications in a partnership with the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic (HCLC) at the Humboldt University of Berlin. … The project will have a double benefit, in that students will get to know how to use an expert system such as Bryter, while also creating outward-facing applications that may be of use to consumers with legal needs and access to justice challenges.” More here.

 

Blockchain

 

  • In this sponsored post, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC’s Dan Nossa and Kristian White explain: How blockchain technology could alter the real estate business.
  • Here are some interesting reasons that AI won’t completely replace humans in areas such as negotiation. There may be some long term hope for lawyers!

 

  • As Big Data gets bigger and bigger, law firms and law schools are hiring more privacy experts. Here are some examples from Baker Hostetler, Panetta & Associati Law Firm, and Paul Hastings.

 

  • Regarding cybersecurity, this author believes that Machine Learning “applied appropriately, offers exciting new opportunities for cybersecurity. We are witnessing the dawn of a new era of productivity and enhanced protection, but we must avoid the temptation to believe the marketing hype.”

 

  • I’ve posted a lot about the investments various governments are making to support AI development in their countries. For now, Malcolm Frank, head of strategy at Cognizant believes “the United States, China and India are far ahead of anyone else.”

 

  • There was quite a bit more conversation over the weekend about the plea from Musk and others that the UN ban AI in weapons. Many believe it’s too late as this ship has already sailed (or drone taken flight). Others maintain that the US military may falling behind, especially in recruiting developers.

 

  • Virtual assistants have been coming on lately, especially regarding detecting emotion. Servion has won an international award in this category for an entry that “can also detect customer’s emotions, perform transactions, and augment context and personalisation while elevating the overall customer experience.”

 

  • Speaking of awards, Brand Networks has won an award from Forrester Research in the area of Social Advertising Technology. Forrester highlights Brand Networks as “one of the social adtech pioneers pushing for marketing ecosystem integration, especially in marketing measurement and optimization, business intelligence, and CRM.” Their algorithm “is said to maximize the cost and performance of ads in near real-time using artificial intelligence.” Sounds very applicable to law firms.

 

  • AT&T Foundry has taken a deep look into the ways AI is most likely to impact our future lives. The result is “five bold predictions.” You’ll need to check out the brief report to see what they really mean by each.

1. Humans Have More Room to be Human
2. Be Everywhere as Data is Everywhere
3. Connectivity Instantly Powers Your Own Adventure
4. Consumers Go from One Click to Zero Clicks
5. Ethical AI Controls for Bias

 

A bit of a warning: if you conduct a daily comprehensive search for AI, you’ll learn quite a lot about Amnesty International and way more than you’ll probably want about the Artificial Insemination of livestock. Just sayin’.