• Ken Grady doesn’t post often enough, but when he does it’s always worth the wait. Don’t miss this thought provoking piece. The Boring Law Firm: The model is dead, may it rest in peace. “Large law firm partners like owning their businesses and running them how they please. Right now, it pleases them to make money with ‘few’ risks. Altering the model suggests risk. We are in a battle over time — can they run out the clock (retire) before they lose the game.” And here are Ken’s latest thought about AI taking lawyers’ jobs.

 

  • And here’s a bit more about AI and law firm jobs from Sam Skolnik of Bloomberg LawArtificial Intelligence Creeps Into Big Law, Endangers Some Jobs. “”Here’s what won’t be going away: sophisticated, face-to-face human interaction between client and lawyer,’ said Tim House, U.S. senior partner for Allen & Overy.”

 

  • If you’re new to this topic, you may find this post by Neil Sahota a useful introduction: Will A.I. Put Lawyers Out Of Business?

 

  • Speaking of interesting thought pieces, check out this post from  about technology, firm culture, portable practices and shopping malls (really!). Law firms’ shopping mall problem.

 

  • This post from myshingle.com is full of interesting statistics regarding the economics of Big Law versus small/solo firms and the implications for technology. The Reason Why Legal Tech Remains the Domain of the Legal Elite: It’s All About The Money.

 

  • Here’s a worth-reading post by Rita T. Young, law librarian at K&L Gates (but not representing the firm’s views). As one would expect, well-researched and thoroughly footnoted! AI & the Practice of Law at the Crossroads: Where Are We Going? “Exploring the professional ethics implications of AI in the legal sphere.” “What I do want to talk about are the potential repercussions of the AI you are using now….” “The good news? There is still time to fix things because, if you’re reading this, you’re probably still in practice and your client doesn’t realize what you did because you haven’t either.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting post about “HHS receiv(ing) authority to operate the first blockchain-based tool in the federal government.” ““Our goal is actually to leverage and harness all of the data within HHS, which is about $24.8 billion in spend, about 100,000 contracts, about 1 million pages of unstructured data, and provide that information to the 20,000 members of the acquisition workforce in real time at their fingertips so that they can actually make good business decisions,” Jose Arrieta, associate deputy assistant secretary in HHS’ acquisition division, said during a recorded demo of the tool on Dec. 12. “We believe that without blockchain this would not be possible.”

 

  • I have posted here many times about the coming of chatbots to the legal space. Here’s Bob Ambrogi’s take on a recent entry from LexisNexis: Chatbots are Coming to Lexis Advance, to Help Guide Your Legal Research.

 

  • This piece from Information Age includes links to other interesting content. AI, cloud and security — top priorities for enterprise legal departments.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • AI and A New Way of Looking At Contract Pre-Screening. Post.

 

  • Nalytics + Van Doorne Co-Develop Doc Compare Solution. Post.

 

  • Meet Sparqa – Solving the SME Legal Needs Challenge With Tech. Post.

 

  • Meet Evisort, The New AI Platform Set to Rock The $60 Billion Doc Review Market. Post.

 

From Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

  • Here’s a summary of Hogan Lovells partner Winston Maxwell‘s comments on Using artificial intelligence to fight hate speech.

 

  • Jones Day: Harriet TerrittWhat General Counsel Need to Know about Blockchain. This two-minute video is one of a series about blockchain from the firm.

 

  • Bird & BirdDr. Michael JünemannJörg-Alexander Paul: In Focus, Blockchain. Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is currently one of the most talked about technologies. Heralded as a ‘game changer’, this technology is disrupting a wide range of industries.” Post.

 

  • Kemp LittleEverything you want to know about artificial intelligence. “The rise of AI will present a host of challenges – ethical, practical and legal – and our specialists are involved with their peers in the law and industry in working out the right responses.” Post.

 

 

  • Taylor & Associates, a nationally recognized transportation law firm, is pleased to announce it has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), an organization dedicated to developing best practices and standards for blockchain in the transportation industry.” Post.

 

  • DLA Piper forms council to drive radical change agenda. “Now we are driving a fundamental change in mindset across our business to embrace radical change and evolve and expand our business through partnering with our clients to help them to succeed in our changing world.” Post.

 

Post by/about Vendors:

  • Artificial intelligence for law firms: An interview with Tony Ensinger of Kira Systems. Post.

 

 

  • From the ABA Journal and Ed Walters of Fastcase, AI Practice, Not Promise, in Law Firms. “AI-based analysis of data is just getting started; let’s look at the ways it’s already been implemented.” Post.
  • Lawyers Are Drowning in Data. What Can They Do About It? “The ‘Why Lawyers Are Adopting AI Faster Than You’ panel at this year’s Legalweek will examine at how firms can use AI to find the needle in some pretty big data haystacks.” Link.

 

 

 

  • Briefing: China looks to build ‘smart courts’ with AI. “A Shanghai court has adopted an artificial intelligence-enabled assistant to help improve courtroom efficiency and accuracy.” Post.

 

  • This software thinks like a lawyer—so you don’t have to pay one. “A Chicago law firm (Actuate Law) is rolling out a subsidiary that offers clients software designed to mimic their lawyer’s thinking—at a fraction of the price.” “….(I)ntelligent software that walks them through whether they have a legal obligation to report a data breach.” “Although Quointec has no outside funding so far, the partners created the new venture to allow for such investment in the future without violating professional regulations.Post.

 

  • LawNext Episode 26: Mark Cohen’s Strategies for the Global Legal Marketplace. “On this (hour-long) episode of LawNext, Cohen joins host Bob Ambrogi to talk about a range of topics. They discuss Clearspire and the lessons Cohen learned from that. They also talk about what Cohen sees as the “skills gap” in law and why it is that law schools and law firms are failing to address it. In the fact of a rapidly changing global legal economy, Cohen offers insights on how law firms should adapt.” Post.

 

  • From The Law Society GazetteAccountants winning in ‘rapidly expanding’ alternative legal services market. “So-called alternative legal service providers – including the Big Four accountants – are growing more quickly than previously predicted and moving up the value chain, research on both sides of the Atlantic reveals today. The new entrants, offering such services as litigation support, legal research and document review with the help of new technology now make up a $10bn (£7.6bn) a year market, the Thomson Reuters study found.”

 

  • Also from The Law Society Gazette: How legaltech can help you compete against larger firms. “Continuing the discussion on the evolution of the legaltech sector and how it could revolutionise the legal industry, Law Society partner and equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs explains how the rise of legaltech is closing the gap between large and small legal firms.” Post.

 

  • I thought the 2019 forecasts were behind us, but here’s an interesting report from CBInsightsArtificial Intelligence Trends. Lots of infographics.

 

  • This lawyer got a gig in Silicon Valley by promising to automate a lot of legal grunt work — now he’s got his own company. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could have associates who could code and automate their own jobs and would make the firm more efficient?” Post.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • New York Bulletin: Data is Not the New Oil + LSBs Are Splitsville. Story here.

 

  • Pew: How Stanford + Suffolk Law Schools Are Improving NLP for A2J. Story here.

 

  • TR: ALSP Market Now $10 Billion-Plus, Law Firms Major Customers. Story here.

 

  • New York Bulletin – AI Workshop + Do We Need an FDA for Algorithms? Story here.

 

  • Australia Launches ALTACon Legal Tech Conference. Story here.

 

  • Legal AI – Its Definition and Its Value to the Legal World. Story here.

 

  • Global Insurer Allianz Launches Injury Claim Automation Tool. Story here.

 

  • ALM – Legal Market Will Split In Two + ALSPs Will Grow – NY Bulletin Extra. Story here.

 

Posts by Law Firms:

  • Alston & Bird: … Teams Up with Georgia State University on Data Analytics.Alston & Bird and Georgia State University have announced a joint effort to develop broad-based competency among the firm’s attorneys in leveraging data science and analytics to help drive new levels of client service and satisfaction.” Post.

 

  • Andrea PerronaceTechniques for Patenting Blockchain in Europe, the United States, China and Japan. Post.

 

  • Baker Donelson: 90-minute CLE video post: Analyzing the Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Legal. (5 ‘Micro-Presentations’.) Post. (Poor audio.)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Baker McKenzieThe Year Ahead – Innovation: A new generation of legal analysis tools is emerging. Post.

 

 

  • Dentons: Chloe A. SniderSmart Contract Series – Legal Implications For Consideration, Part 1: Definition And Enforceability. Post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases, Posts and Articles by Vendors:

 

  • Clio releases new client management platform to ‘help lawyers ensure the future success of their business’. Post.

 

  • Allianz to use Artificial Intelligence to deliver a true end-to-end automated solution for Stage 3 injury claims. Post. — and — “Allianz Insurance has launched a new digital platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enable its injury claims handlers to process Ministry of Justice Stage 3 claims at a single click of a button.” Story here.

 

  • Thomson Reuters: Introducing Litigation Analytics. “Unlock data-driven insights on judges, courts, attorneys, law firms, and case types to better develop case strategy and manage client expectations.” Post.

 

  • Relativity Brings Reduced Data Fees, Unlimited Analytics, and a More Flexible Licensing Model to RelativityOne Customers. Post.

 

  • Emerging from Harvard Law/MIT, Evisort AI Tech Company Posted Tremendous Growth in 2018, Announces Upcoming New Product Launch. Post.

 

  • Zero Now Helps Lawyers Bill More Time in Bellefield, Intapp, Carpe Diem and Other Time Entry Tools. Post. — and — Ryan Steadman of Zero: Business as Usual: 5 Law Firm Activities AI will Seamlessly Transform. Post.
  • Here’s a very interesting article from Oxford’s Internet Institute and Faculty of Law. It’s more than six months old, but I just found it. Artificial Intelligence Crime: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Foreseeable Threats and Solutions. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and regulation seek to balance the benefits of innovation against any potential harms and disruption. However, one unintended consequence of the recent surge in AI research is the potential re-orientation of AI technologies to facilitate criminal acts, which we term AI-Crime (AIC).”

 

  • Baker McKenzie helped score a crucial win for Volt Bank, which has become the first Australian neobank to be granted a full banking license. “This is likely to drive materially improved banking services and further fintech innovation. It unlocks access to state-of-the-art software in the context of AI and data analytics in the banking space….” Story here.

 

  • AI patents: Who Profits From AI? It’s Getting Harder to Find Out. “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is making it increasingly difficult to obtain legal protections for inventions related to AI, a field that encompasses autonomous cars, virtual assistants and financial analyses, among countless other uses. The agency, seeing an influx of AI applications, is grappling with how to comply with a law that PTO Director Andrei Iancu has called ‘anything but clear’.” Story here.

 

  • This, from Bloomberg: Artificial Intelligence Creeps Into Big Law, Endangers Some Jobs. “Major law firms are preparing to incorporate AI at a speedier pace than ever before in 2019, as the anticipated industrialization of legal services picks up steam. Client pressures have been mounting on law firms—often slow technology adopters—to address concerns that old tech is keeping bills unnecessarily high. Clients are demanding that firms use AI-infused tools to speed work, lower costs, and provide better information.”

 

  • MyCase’s  postedI, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Lawyer Overlords. “Ready or not, the robot lawyers are coming. Or not. It really depends on who you ask.”

 

  • Here’s an innovative ALSP idea: What Happens When Legal Tech Meets Blockchain. “The result was a creation of an online platform that provides entrepreneurs with an access to a global network of ‘Legal Nodes‘– competent tech-savvy legal experts worldwide, from which businesses can “mine” relevant information to ease their journey through complex data sets of law, just like one would normally mine Bitcoin by connecting to thousands of nodes worldwide.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Kerrrrching..! DISCO Bags $83m Investment – Now Has $125m in Total – A World Record. Post here.

 

  • The Global Legal Hackathon Is One Month Away – Get Your Teams Ready! Post here.

 

  • Insurer ARAG Links With LawDroid In Legal Bot Project World First. Post here.

 

Law Firm Posts:

  • From Tim Watkins of Coffin Mew: Will AI replace lawyers? Assessing the potential of artificial intelligence in legal services. “To suggest that this symbolises the imminent end of human lawyers is perhaps leaping to a hasty conclusion. But it does raise a number of interesting questions. Are lawyers – or indeed any professional advisers and service providers – ultimately replaceable? And if so, how, where, and to what extent?” Post here.

 

 

  • This post is from Skadden’s John Adebiyi Pascal Bine Matthias Horbach Dmitri V. Kovalenko Jason Hewitt and Mikhail KoulikovForeign Investment Control Reforms in Europe. “Key sectors that will be subject to the framework are: critical infrastructure, critical technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, semiconductors, dual-use, cybersecurity, space, nuclear), critical inputs, sensitive information, media, land and real estate, water supply infrastructure, data processing and electoral infrastructure.”

 

Press Releases and Sponsored Content:

  • ContractPodAi launches Salesforce App as it continues its push outside the legal function. Release here.

 

  • Building a Brilliant Brief Library: Your How-To Guide. “In this article, we’ll cover the basics of building your own brief library, from tips on finding the best available documents to developing winning strategies to stay one step ahead of opposing counsel in litigation.” This piece is by Josh Blandi of UniCourt.

 

  • Tikit Carpe Diem introduces Intelligent Time. “(Which) interprets free form text and / or dictated notes and converts it (using Natural Language Processing), into structured and fully validated time entries. It turns unstructured data into structured data by converting attorney’s thoughts into fully formed time records.” Release here.

 

  • Litigation In The Age Of Big Data: How Everlaw Is Tackling The Most Complex Technical Issues In eDiscovery. “As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, lawyers and eDiscovery professionals are seeing their workloads and challenges expand.” Post here.
  • 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.
  • If you’re a student of AI you should at least skim through this summary of MIT’s recent Platform Strategy Summit. It presents an excellent overview of the state of AI (and a bit of blockchain) from academic and business perspectives (even Thomson Reuters). “Most corporate app development effort today is spent on keeping things running, not on changing and innovating.” (Many cool infographics!)

 

  • This article (Does the legal profession have a moral duty to innovate?) appeared in Canadian Lawyer: “The panel also discussed the fact that more than 30 states in the U.S. have adopted the American Bar Association’s model rule that imposes a duty of technology competence on lawyers. The Federation of Law Societies in Canada is said to be looking at changing the model code of professional conduct in Canada to impose a duty of technology competence similar to the ABA’s rule.”

 

  • This piece (Are big data and artificial intelligence throwing down a new regulatory gauntlet?) from American Enterprise Institute is likely to set you to thinking about the regulation of information technologies in new ways. ‘…(I)f there is a principle to guide the future regulation of big data and AI, it is to focus on first understanding information asymmetries and how they affect the distribution of the gains, rather than the technologies that they are associated with.”

 

  • From The Law SocietySix ways the legal sector is using AI right now. The usual applications are discussed here, plus a bit about threats and a forecast. Interesting definition” “When we talk about AI in 2018 (and for the purposes of this article), we mean clever forms of computerised automation and search.”

 

  • More Reynen Court news hereClifford Chance and Latham Invest in ‘App Store for Legal Tech’. “They are putting an undisclosed amount of money into Reynan Court, the highly touted tech venture that provides law firms with a single platform to manage the procurement, deployment and management of third-party apps. The CIOs of both firms have joined the tech startup’s board of directors.” Coverage from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • This, from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA): Law firms must be able to explain decisions made by AI. (There’s a link to a larger paper.) “While AI has not been 100% accurate in various tests, the SRA said it has never proven any less accurate than work carried out by humans, and in some cases, it has been more so. Looking at some of the issues AI’s use would raise, however, the SRA said firms may find it difficult, where decisions were made by “self-learning AI”, to explain the “assumptions and reasoning behind some automated decisions”.”

 

  • This, from Missouri Lawyers WeeklyNew services or products that support Missouri’s legal community: Manu Stephen. “…(T)he Inventr app uses artificial intelligence to help companies discover patentable inventions in 24 hours. … The app also helps companies to find attorneys to work on their patents by providing the companies with a list of attorneys who have been vetted and preselected by Inventr.”

 

  • “Over 2,000 U.S. adults answered the online survey earlier this month. The survey was conducted by the Harris Poll at the request of Your Lawyers Online, an online legal service provider that guides clients through family, animal and estate planning law.” 69 Percent of People Would Use Online Legal Services Over Attorneys. Other juicy stats here.

 

  • And speaking of surveys, surprise! Report Proves What We Already Knew: Clients Will Pay Any Fee Hike To Get Brand Name Firms. “This has long been the conventional wisdom among legal industry observers, but the new Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group Report went out and actually gathered some hard data to see if our gut instincts are correct. It turns out… they are.” More results survey here.

 

  • A2J: Start-up aims to help NFP sector identify legal nature of problems. “A law graduate will next year launch an artificial intelligence-backed (AI) product that uses natural language processing (NLP) to help not-for-profit agencies identify precisely the legal nature of a problem, potentially cutting out time-consuming confusion.” Story here.

 

  • Artificial intelligence set to free solicitors from lower-level work. “The report, Technology and legal services, suggests that rapid developments in AI will mostly be focused on back-office functions.” More here.

 

  • IBM Unveils Its Vision For The Future Of Artificial Intelligence. “IBM, which has been working on artificial intelligence since the 1950s, is not only keenly aware of these shortcomings, it is investing heavily to improve the basic technology. As Dario Gil, Chief Operating Officer of IBM Research recently wrote in a blog post, the company published over 100 papers in just the past year. Here are the highlights of the technology being developed now.” This is a fast, interesting read.

 

Posts by Law Firms

  • Two of my posts in a row for Dentons‘ Giangiacomo Olivi. Here’s his latest, Non-Personal Data Regulation, AI and the data economy: an Italian perspective. “This new piece of legislation aims to strengthen the principle of free circulation of non-personal data in the EU for the benefit of businesses and the public alike, with a view to foster the European data economy and the future Digital Single Market.”

 

  • Also from Dentons, Eric J. TanenblattAndrew Shaw and Crawford Schneider wrote: Federal Autonomous Vehicle Bill Moves Closer To Passage. “The support of the American Association for Justice, an influential trial lawyer advocacy group, is a welcome sign for the bill. The new-look legislation, circulated Monday night, was altered to reaffirm state and local authority over motor vehicle operation, mitigate concerns about the effect of federal preemption on state common law and statutory liability and constrain the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses related to death or bodily injury.” Post here.

 

  • Winston Maxwell and Gauthier Vannieuwenhuyse of Hogan Lovells postedRobots Replacing Arbitrators: Smart Contract Arbitration. The 10-page scholarly journal article is here. “Given the current legal framework, fully robotised arbitration will not become a reality in the near future. However, prospects of automated expert determination are much more likely. They will lead the way to speedy, less-costly and accurate calculations or determinations, to the benefit of parties in various specific sectors.”

 

  • This, also from Hogan: The emergence of intelligent systems in health care. “With artificial intelligence being implemented across the health care continuum, FDA and other agencies find themselves contending with the prospect of regulating a moving target.”

 

  • Alan S. Levins and Amanda M. Osowski of Littler Mendelson posted: Self-Driving Trucks And Labor Law—A Look Ahead. “Welcome to the future: The year is 2020 and an organized—i.e., unionized trucking company—”L2M2″ has announced it is acquiring a convoy of autonomously powered—i.e., “self-driving”—transportation vehicles.” Post here. (Seems I’m failing at putting my futurist stories in one place.)

 

(More law firm posts under Blockchain below.)

 

Prognostications

  • From Inc.: Here Are 27 Expert Predictions on How You’ll Live With Artificial Intelligence in the Near Future. “It might make life better or it might be the end of us. Either way, it’s coming and here’s what it’s going to look like.”

 

  • This post includes a section on AI, so I did not include it with the Blockchain predictions below. Blockchain And Crypto Industry Predictions For 2019.

 

  • Here’s a half hour podcast in which Elie and Joe talk to Ralph Baxter, former head of Orrick and current board member of Intapp, about the future of the legal industry. (Ralph joins about 7 minutes in.)

 

(More predictions under Blockchain below.)

 

Press releases

  • Lex Mundi Partners With Diligen To Offer Artificial Intelligence Contract Review Tool. Release here.

 

  • Evisort launch Document Analyzer: advanced AI data mining, search and reporting tech. Release here.

 

  • Seal Software releases most comprehensive contract analytics platform for banks and financial services firms. Release here.

 

  • Innovate UK backs bid to create “thinking” legal AI. “Contract review business ThoughtRiver has been awarded funding from the government for a £400,000 development project to develop “thinking AI”.” Story here. Coverage from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

Blockchain

  • BakerHostetler‘s Robert A. Musiala Jr. publishedCryptocurrencies Continue To Permeate Capital Markets As Blockchain Permeates Settlement Systems. “…(T)he long-sought approval of Bitcoin ETFs appears unlikely in the near future, based on recent comments from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who cited continued concerns over a lack of adequate investor protections, including difficulties mitigating risks related to cryptocurrencies being stolen or manipulated on exchanges.”

 

  • Scott H. Kimpel of Hunton Andrews Kurth posted: Blockchain Legal Resource: CFTC Publishes Primer On Smart Contracts. “The Primer discusses their functionality, use cases, regulatory environment and potential risks.” Post here.

 

 

 

  • From  Marc D. Powers of BakerHostetlerBlockchain Platform For Energy Commodities Announced In U.S., Restrictions Ease In Foreign Markets. This post includes several useful links.

 

  • Also from BakerHostetlerJohn C. McIlwee posted: More Blockchain Uses For Digital Advertisers, Software Licensees And Marine Insurers. This post is mainly a summary of a recent report, and here’s a link to the referenced report.

 

  • Neil Gray and Maxwell J. Eichenberger of Reed Smith posted Blockchain: Immutable Ledger, But Admissible Evidence? “(A) brief overview of blockchain technology, then addresses the current evidentiary hurdles blockchain records face, and concludes with considerations for attorneys seeking to enter blockchain receipts … into evidence and businesses implementing blockchain solutions.”

 

  • Amazon got quite a bit more serious about Blockchain in 2018, including its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering: “a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using open source frameworks such as Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum in just a few clicks.” Story here.

 

  • First Blockchain loan closes in Latin America amid transparency concerns. “Itaú’s US$100m proof-of-concept loan, provided by Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo, utilized the R3 Corda Connect blockchain platform, a paperless system that allowed the banks to assess revisions, comments and approve the club loan digitally.” Story here.

 

  • Several law school faculty from around the world contributed to: The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain. “Part of the attraction of distributed ledger systems, such as Blockchain, lies in transcending law and regulation.” Link here.

 

  • Blockchains should have ‘privacy by design’ for GDPR compliance. “Some believe that public permissionless blockchains cannot be GDPR compliant, and that private blockchains might be the answer to blockchain’s regulatory woes. Even so, private blockchains bring into question the very meaning of what a blockchain is. There is no simple answer.” Story here.

 

  • Here are some prognostications about Blockchain: Top 5 blockchain predictions for 2019.

 

  • And here4 Major Blockchain Trends to Watch for in 2019. (Not the same as those above!)

 

  • And much more here10 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Change The Legal Industry.

 

From Artificial Lawyer 

  • RelativityOne Goes Down Under With Australia Partnership. Story here.

 

  • Back to the Future For Legal AI + Automation. Story here. (Again, I’ve put prognostications is a different section.)

 

  • Slaughter and May Publishes Innovation Guide. “The 32-page report, spearheaded by Slaughters partners, Rob Sumroy and Ben Kingsley, and produced in association with Tromans Consulting, the strategy and innovation consultancy, explores both the theory behind innovation and looks at real world examples of what businesses have done and what can be learned from them.” Post here, and here’s the link to the full report.

 

  • AI Co. Diligen Wins Major Business Boost With Lex Mundi Deal. Story here and here.

 

  • Legal AI Co. Seal Launches Financial Services NLP Suite. Story here.

 

  • What is ThoughtRiver’s New ‘Thinking AI’ + What Will It Do? Story here.

 

  • Kira Systems – AL Product Review – Part One. Story here.
  • It seems the FCC plans to have a rather light touch when it comes to regulating AI. “FCC chair Ajit Pai signaled that when it comes to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the FCC was smart enough to exercise regulatory humility, particularly given that the technology could revolutionize communications, but registered concern about AI potentially perpetuating biases in decision-making.” More here.

 

  • Here’s more coverage of LexisNexis’ new Context tool: New Data Analytics Tool Knows Every Federal Judge’s Favorite Cases. “This kind of data—for every federal judge and for 100 different types of motions—is now available to litigators at the click of a mouse through a launch on Thursday of LexisNexis Context, the result of the legal giant’s purchase of Ravel Law in mid-2017. Context will be available as an added purchase in the Lexis Advance suite.” Bob Ambrogi’s take is here.

 

  • Hogan Lovells has been tracing the California Consumer Privacy Act, and here‘s their latest post (with links to their others): California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – The Impact of the CCPA on Data-Driven Marketing and Business Models. “The breadth of personal information covered by the CCPA, going beyond what is typically covered by U.S. privacy laws, will complicate compliance and business operations.”

 

  • 2019 may be the year for something GDPR-ish in the US: Federal Data Privacy Legislation Is Likely Next Year, Tech Lawyers Say. “Why now? More companies appear to be growing concerned with the idea of having a jumble of federal and state data privacy and cybersecurity laws, especially with the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 in June of this year. However, the California law will not fully take effect until 2020. There are also several different laws governing data privacy by sectors, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and The Fair Credit Reporting Act.” Much more from LAW.com here.

 

  • From AshurstA more reasonable approach to internal investigations. “Even investigations by authorities (known as ‘dawn raids’) are primarily carried out using e-discovery today. The authorities first request access to all the company’s servers, demand the surrender of digital storage media and, if applicable, request access to any cloud infrastructure. These can accurately be referred to as ‘e-raids’.”

 

  • Starting Today, Columbia’s Professor Daniel Guetta Uses Evisort to Teach Text Mining in New Artificial Intelligence MBA Course. “Columbia Business School data scientist Professor Daniel Guetta, Director of the Business Analytics Initiative at Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering, has published a case study about Evisort, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced document management and data analytics solution for contracts developed by Harvard Law and MIT researchers” Story here.

 

  • It has been too long since I have written, “it’s all about the data“, so here’s a reminder from Pepper Hamilton’s Joseph C. Guagliardo: “What’s critical to a lot of these machine learning and AI devices is the information that’s given to the algorithms to make them smarter and train them ….” “It’s not just about the algorithms, it’s about the data that’s feeding them.”

 

  • Here’s Sheppard Mullins’ Reid WhittenJ. Scott MaberryCurtis Dombek and Lisa Mays‘ take on the new US tech export controls: The Little Regulation That Will Make a Big Change in How You Do Business: Department of Commerce to Establish New Export Controls on Emerging Technologies. (<– That’s just the title, not the whole article.) “Affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance.”

 

  • This, from MoFo: Counsel’s Guide to AI in the Board Room. “…(D)irectors and their counsel should look to take advantage of the best  technology and information available to them in order to drive shareholder value. In times of change, remember to stick to the fundamentals and help boards, as their counsel, make fully informed, good-faith decisions.”

 

  • From SeyfarthWave Of The Future: The Effect Of AI And Robotics On Commercial Real Estate. Several specific applications are discussed in some depth.

 

  • And Littler posted this podcastEmbrace or Rage Against the Machine? The HR Costs and Benefits of Automation. “The use of automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics to make or provide products and services is no longer uncommon. But what about the use of these tools in making hiring and other employment decisions?”

 

  • This, from MadgwicksDudley KnellerLegal frontiers: From AI to ethics. “Positive results have already been achieved by algorithms within a confined remit but ongoing supervision of data handling practices as well as the application of AI technology is required.”

 

  • There’s an interesting bit of research coming from Oxford University. “…(T)o look at using artificial intelligence to increase processing times, improve customer engagement and unlock new potential in accountancy, legal and insurance services.” “Unlocking the Potential of AI for English Law (Oxford) will look at existing challenges to implementing AI in legal services and how to unlock its potential for good. The project will bring academics, lawyers, businesses and programmers together to develop the skills, training and codes of practice to deliver these benefits. The team will gather best practices across the world, outline data challenges, identify where and how AI can legitimately resolve disputes and map the frontier of AI in legal reasoning.” More here and here.

 

  • This, from Legal Futures: “… Lord Chancellor (David Gauke) yesterday hailed the impact of alternative business structures in driving competition and fostering innovation in the legal market. (And) also praised the way that law firms are embracing technology to maintain the UK’s international position.” “We have also seen PwC’s UK legal practice reach a headcount of 320 and generate revenue of £60m. That puts it just outside the UK’s top 50 law firms in its own right.”

 

  • Oh Lordy. It’s only the first business day of December and the onslaught of 2019 AI prognostications has already begun. To say you time, I’ll try to bunch them, and only include those I find really interesting. Such as:

– Recruitment trends in tech for 2019: Machine learning, AI and predictive analytics. There’s some interesting stuff re HR here.

– If you’re at all interested in Marketing, I expect you’ll find these interesting: Annual Predictions For Marketers: From AI To Politics To Augmented Intelligence To Orchestration.

These seem well-reasoned: 5 Important Artificial Intelligence Predictions (For 2019) Everyone Should Read. :…(W)hen it comes to doctors and lawyers, AI service providers have made concerted effort to present their technology as something which can work alongside human professionals, assisting them with repetitive tasks while leaving the “final say” to them.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

– Clause Creates Smart Contract Template For IoT Devices. Post here.

– ‘Lawyers, Be Truly Curious About Legal Tech’ – Kerry Westland, Addleshaw Goddard. Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • Amazon’s AWS has launched a new service that “is going to make it much easier for you to use the two most popular blockchain frameworks, said AWS CEO Andy Jassy. He noted that companies tend to use Hyperledger Fabric when they know the number of members in their blockchain network and want robust private operations and capabilities. AWS promises that the service will scale to thousands of applications and will allow users to run millions of transactions (though the company didn’t say with what kind of latency).” Coverage here, here, here and here.

 

  • Blockchain Smart Contracts Subject to Financial Laws, Says CFTC Primer. “One of the top U.S. financial regulators, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has released its second guide to understanding smart contracts, with a reminder that the technology is covered under financial rules.” Details here.

 

  • Ohio ‘rolls out the red carpet’ for blockchain businesses by accepting bitcoin this tax season. “As of Monday, Ohio became the first state where business can pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. (Ohio’s state treasurer Josh Mandel) said the decision was twofold: It increases “options and ease” for taxpayers, and it opens the door to software engineers and tech start-ups.” Coverage from CNBC here.
  • I can’t wait to see a demo of this. Neota Partners With Legal Consultants for AI-Based Billing Tool. “Neota Logic and legal pricing consultants Burcher Jennings and Validatum teamed up to launch Virtual Pricing Director, a collaboration years in the making.”

 

  • Here’s more news from Neota Logic: Legal tech education: Neota partners with three new universities. “Neota Logic will today (19 October) announce three new education partnerships, with The University of Limerick, Ulster University and London South Bank University, which has launched a new law and technology option for students. Over the course of a semester, students at these schools will learn how to design, build and test digital legal solutions that solve a specific access to justice problem.”

 

  • Slaughter and May expands scope of its technology entrepreneurs programme. “The first two cohorts of the programme, originally named Fintech Fast Forward, focussed on UK-based start-up and high growth companies operating in the fintech sector, including paymentstech, insurtech, regtech, data analytics and AI. Under its new name, Fast Forward, the programme will be expanded to cover young companies operating in a diverse range of emerging technology sectors including IOT, cryptography, cyber, robotics, machine learning and DLT, as well as fintech.” More here.

 

  • Corrs postedAlong for the Ride: Considering the Legal and Practical Consequences of Self-Driving Vehicles. “If you’re over seven years of age – and have completed an online registration process – you can be part of Australia’s first Automated Vehicle Trial, by taking a ride on the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC) Intellibus, a fully automated, electric shuttle bus launched on public roads with the support of the WA State Government and the City of South Perth.”

 

  • Gavelytics Partners with CourtCall, Expanding Judicial Analytics to New States, Markets. “Remote court appearance provider CourtCall will offer a ‘simplified version’ of Gavelytics judicial analysis as it expands to Florida, Texas and California.” Details here.

 

  • From LittlerWhat Construction Attorneys Need To Know About AI. (Subscription required.)

 

  • This post isn’t as “legal” as the title might suggest, but it’s an interesting consideration. Artificial intelligence — Who is responsible for the outcomes?

 

  • Thomson Hine postedDepartment of the Treasury Releases Interim Rules Expanding Scope of CFIUS and Creating Pilot Program for Certain Transactions. “While the text of ECRA does not define the term “emerging and foundational technologies,” the following industry sectors could be included: artificial intelligence….”

 

  • Neil Rose postedNew tech demands code of “cyber ethics” for lawyers.

 

  • More from the Mintz seriesStrategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, Part 2: FDA’s Approach to Protecting Patients & Promoting Innovation. “Artificial intelligence—AI—is the future of everything. But when patient health is on the line, can we trust algorithms to make decisions instead of patients or their health care providers? This post, the second in our blog series about AI in health care, explores FDA’s proposed regulatory model that is supposed to be better suited for AI (and similar technologies) while still protecting patients.”

 

  • This from HR Daily Advisor: “Like it or not, it’s time to prepare your employees for the fourth industrial revolution, where automated technologies and artificial intelligence are becoming mainstream. Below is more information about what you can do to accomplish this as an L&D professional.”

 

  • From WombleA.I. in the TCPA Crosshairs: TCPA Class Action Challenges Hotel’s Use of IVY Concierge Artificial Intelligence SMS Platform.

 

  • This from the International Association of Privacy Professionals: Perspective: Should robots have rights? “(California) Bill 1001 implicates a hitherto-abstract, philosophical debate about when a simulation of intelligence crosses the line into sentience and becomes a true artificial intelligence.”

 

  • This 5-minute podcast is from Shook Hardy: Can Robots Be Sued? Q&A With Cory Fisher.

 

  • Fully digital conclusion of contracts via Alexa becomes possible for clients of insurtech firm Deutsche Familienversicherung. “Customers can now not only receive advice from Alexa, but can also simultaneously conclude an insurance contract within only a few seconds.” Story here.

 

  • At least in the UK: “There may need to be some coverage disputes before professional indemnity (PI) insurers work out how to deal with bad advice given by artificial intelligence (AI) systems used by lawyers, a leading City firm has warned. It said the widespread use of technology that utilised AI ‘contributes to additional complexity and uncertainty for insureds and insurers when assessing risk and apportioning liability’. More here.

 

  • From Legal Futures: Law firms look to leverage data in battle with new providers. “Law firms big and small are increasingly viewing artificial intelligence (AI) software and particularly the exploitation of data as integral to business health, a survey has found. The annual law firm benchmarking survey by accountancy and consultancy firm Crowe, also found a growing fear of non-lawyer legal services providers, especially among City firms.” I could not find the survey methodology, so let the reader beware.

 

  • “Above the Law and Thomson Reuters present Big Data and the Litigation Analytics Revolution, the fourth and final installment of our Law2020 series, a multimedia exploration of how artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies are reshaping the practice and profession of law.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:
    • “Global legal tech company, Thomson Reuters (TR), has partnered with contracting automation platform Synergist.io, in a move that will see the Germany-based startup integrate with the well-known Contract Express document automation system.” Story here.
    • We Are All Lawyers Now – The Rise of the Legalish. Interesting perspective here.
    • Language and Machine Learning – A Lawyer’s Guide. Post by Johannes Stiehler, CTO, of text analytics company Ayfie
    • More A2J news! California Starts Special Task Force on A2J Tech, Legal AI Founder Joins.

 

Blockchain

  • China’s Internet Censor Releases Draft Regulation for Blockchain Startups. ” The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) published a draft policy on Friday, called “The Regulation for Managing Blockchain Information Services” and is now looking for public feedback before it will take effect.” Story here.

 

 

  • What Carl Sagan has to do with regulating blockchain smart contracts. “If policymakers seem flummoxed by the rise of cryptocurrencies, wait until they get to smart contracts. Just ask Brian Quintenz, commissioner for the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. At a conference in Dubai this week, Quintenz expressed a sense of awe at the vast unknown that blockchain-based computer programs have created for his agency. “Post here.

 

  • Blockchain developments in Nashville:
    • “Stakeholders in the creation, growth and connectedness of blockchain- or distributed ledger-enabled jobs and wealth creation in Tennessee gathered twice within the past 24 hours with representatives of Tennessee Economic and Community Development (ECD) to explore the technology’s status, the state’s competitive assets and its potential strategic options.” “A nonprofit organization is to be formed to support the collaborative’s aims, according to Waller Lansden attorney Kristen Johns, who is the prime mover in this emerging initiative. Waller cosponsored the event with Brooklyn-based Consensys, a distributed-ledger-oriented tech company.” More here.
    • And check out Tokenize Tennessee here.

 

  • 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.
  • 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.