• The EY/Riverview deal continues to reverberate throughout the legal industry, and it seems EY isn’t going to gently move things along. According to LegalFutures this morning: “Riverview Law is set for a huge global expansion over the next five years once EY completes its acquisition, the partner who is to head the new business has said. Chris Price, EY global head of alliances – tax, told Legal Futures that the plan was to increase staff numbers from 100 to 3,000.”

And from Accountancy Daily, “EY is to plough an additional $1bn (£784m) into new technology solutions, client services, innovation and the firm’s ‘ecosystem’ over the next two financial years.” “Additionally, Nicola Morini Bianzino has joined as EY global chief client technology officer (CCTO) and Steve George as EY global chief information officer (CIO). They join Barbara O’Neill, EY global chief information & security officer (CISO).”

 

  • Artificial Lawyer has launched their AL 100 Legal Tech Directory to meet this need: “People want to have some idea of what all these companies (providers of ‘progressive legal tech’) are offering, who they are and who runs the company, how do they price their software, what security standards do they meet, what markets do they operate in, and what makes their application special? In short, people want some detail.” I won’t try to offer a complete description. Check this out!

 

  • Here’s a real world example of AI at use in litigation: Legal Week Innovation Awards 2018 – AI Innovation: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. “Not only was the outcome a success, it also saved the client a considerable sum of money on a traditional document review (estimated to be about two-and-a-half times more expensive).”

 

  • From Finnegan‘s Susan Y. Tull and Paula E. Miller in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law. Patenting Artificial Intelligence: Issues of Obviousness, Inventorship, and Patent Eligibility.

 

  • Artificial intelligence in the legal industry: AI’s broader role in law – Part 2. “This is the second article in a three part series looking at artificial intelligence’s growing presence in the legal industry. Here, Information Age looks at AI’s broader role within the law firm, with specific case studies from Perkins Coie and Hogan Lovells.” Like Part One, worth your time.

 

  • Not AI per se, but “Californian law firm, Keesal, Young & Logan (KYL), and legal tech company, Mitratech, have together announced today the formation of a ‘TAP Workflow Automation partnership’ that is aimed at helping clients improve their legal processes.” More from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • From Drinker Biddle: President Trump Signs New National Security Legislation Governing Foreign Investments in the United States: How the New Law May Affect You. The post includes: “‘Critical technology’ includes any technology subject to U.S. export control lists (i.e., the U.S. Munitions List and Commerce Control List) as well as yet-to-be-defined “emerging and foundational technologies.” These “emerging and foundational technologies” will be defined by U.S. export control authorities and may include certain new technologies that are not currently subject to significant export controls, such as Artificial Intelligence, some forms of quantum computing and advanced materials, as well as more traditional technologies deemed fundamental to the U.S. industrial base, such as chemicals, energy, metallurgy and transportation.”

 

Blockchain

  • From K&L GatesBlockchain Energizer – Volume 33. “Four New York Utilities Will Collaborate to Develop “Transformative” Use Cases for ‘Shared Blockchain Infrastructure.'”

 

  • “The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is claiming the world’s first bond transaction delivered solely using blockchain, having been charged with the honour by the World Bank.” “The “$AUD Kangaroo bond”, Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument (bond-i), which uses a private Ethereum blockchain, has been developed alongside the Northern Trust, QBE, and Treasury Corporation of Victoria.” More here.

 

  • “The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has, in collaboration with 11 financial regulators and related organisations including America’s Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, created a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which will support a ‘global sandbox’ to test out new technology such as AI and blockchain.” More here from Artificial Lawyer.

 

  • Blockchain and AI “could underpin” future law firms. “A future where law firms are ‘distributed entities’ based on blockchain and smart contracts, and lawyers will add value by being “stronger” trusted advisers assisted by artificial intelligence, has been mapped out by futurologists. The paper was co-authored by leading UK legal academic Professor John Flood, currently working at Griffith University in Australia, and his colleague at the Law Futures Centre there, Lachlan Robb.” “Lawyers’ main activity could still be as a ‘trusted adviser’, but with enhanced value, they argued. This time, the lawyer will not only be imbued with the expertise gained from experience and knowledge – but also augmented with the power of machine learning. Our traditional conception of the lawyer does not disappear but reappears in a stronger form.”
  • A couple of days ago I reported on EY’s acquisition of Riverview Law. Since then it has been very widely reported (e.g., here) and the subject of many tweets, blog posts (e.g., here) and articles. Many see it as a portent of things to come, some agreeing with “Cornelius Grossmann, Ernst & Young’s global law leader, (who) said in a press release that the acquisition ‘underlines the position of EY as a leading disruptor of legal services.’ EY says the company will help it cut the costs of routine legal activities.” Artificial Lawyer’s in-depth analysis includes: “The EY/Riverlaw deal matters, but it matters most because it is part of a far larger picture: the incremental industrialisation of the provision of legal services to the global economy and society as a whole.”

 

  • AI you can use! This interview with Ping CEO Ryan Alshak describes how his company tries to take the pain out of timekeeping. “We obsess over eliminating the friction of timekeeping. There is no reason why it should take just as long to log work as it does to perform the work in the first place. Our design motto is ‘less clicks.’ In terms of automation, we plug into systems lawyers use to perform billable work and we leverage machine learning to build a complete timesheet. So, a lawyer works exactly as they are now, and Ping captures, categorizes, describes and codifies it automatically. The lawyer just needs to review and release.” Of course, this is only relevant if your law firm still records time.

 

  • From Radiant Law, a LawTech Glossary with more than a twist of sarcasm. for instance, AI is, “A term for when a computer system does magic. “General” artificial intelligence refers to thinking computers, a concept that for the foreseeable future exists only in science fiction and LawTech talks. “Narrow” artificial intelligence refers to a limited capability (albeit one that may be very useful) such as classifying text or pictures, or expert systems. Discussions of AI that blur general and narrow AI are a good indication that you are dealing with bullshit.” I also enjoyed this one: “Design thinking: A new approach to improving processes, involving sticking brightly coloured post-it notes to walls or, preferably, windows.”

 

  • Ropes & Gray (Mark V. NuccioGideon BlattMike Tierney) issued this alert regarding a report issued July 31: Treasury Department Issues Regulatory Report on Fintech and Innovation. Among Treasury’s recommendations: “Further development and incorporation of cloud technologies, machine learning, and artificial intelligence into financial services.”

 

  • This article (The Robots are Not Just Coming – They are Already Here) is from the Journal of Accountancy, but its recommendations for “Cherished Advisors” are applicable to law firms.

 

  • Computer Security: New genre of artificial intelligence programs take computer hacking to another level. “(A) team from IBM … have used the artificial intelligence technique known as machine learning to build hacking programs that could slip past top-tier defensive measures. The group will unveil details of its experiment at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.”  “Whoever you personally consider evil is already working on this.” More here.

 

  • National Security: As China’s Military Masters Artificial Intelligence, Why Are We Still Building Aircraft Carriers? “China appears determined to seize this AI “high ground” of future conflict. For the last two years, Chinese companies have won an AI competition for detecting objects. The Chinese are happy for the U.S. to keep building carriers and bombers, so long as they deploy the more advanced technologies that can disable these systems.” “…(I)n the Pentagon’s initial request for $74 billion in new defense spending in fiscal 2019, only .006 percent was targeted for science and technology.”

Meanwhile, thisPentagon to create new command for fighting in space, but resists Trump’s proposed ‘space force’. “Trump has never explained at length why he favors creation of a space force as an additional military service, but the concept often draws loud cheers at rallies.”

And this: JAIC: Pentagon debuts artificial intelligence hub. “On June 27, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan issued a memorandum that formally established the Defense Department’s new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). According to the memo, JAIC’s overarching aim is to accelerate the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scale the impact of AI tools, and synchronize the department’s AI efforts.”

 

Blockchain

  • Like Oil and Water: Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. This post‘s author () remarks that “(o)ver the next ten years, AI and Blockchain are two technologies that will form a pillar for the next set of billion (trillion?) dollar organizations. When combined with the Internet of Things, there are some useful applications that will be created to make our lives even easier.” But for now, he sees AI’s utility mainly in detecting fraudulent blockchain activity, and conversely that blockchain can serve as “(d)ecentralized AI marketplaces for data that AI needs.”
  • LexisNexis’ Lex Machina “announced a major new expansion that provides analysis of insurance litigation.” Details from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “Canada-based legal AI pioneer, Kira Systems, has completed its SOC2 Type II reporting certification to help remove any fears customers may have over data security.”

 

  • This piece from The National Law Review reminds lawyers that it is their duty to keep up with technologies such as AI. “Comment 3 to the ABA Model Rule 5.3 was amended in 2012 to take into account situations where it is necessary for attorneys to rely on vendors. “When using such services outside the firm, a lawyer must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the services are provided in a manner that is compatible with the lawyer’s professional obligations.”

 

  • From Hydraulics & Pneumatics (my first from that publication!): How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Construction. “Artificial intelligence is expected to alter business models in the construction industry in areas including logistics, customer relationship management, support, workflow automation, and finance. Even more, artificial intelligence can help in recreating realistic situations for training, reducing injuries and costly mistakes and making operations more efficient. This can enable operators to better use existing labor resources, helping with the skilled labor shortage in construction.” The article explains current constraints to adoption.

 

  • Don’t forget to swallow your AI: This swallowable chip uses glowing bacteria to spot hidden illnesses. “Researchers at MIT have been working on a chip that could one day be offered to patients with suspected gastrointestinal bleeds instead of an endoscopy. The researchers have created a prototype of the chip that can be swallowed like a pill, sampling a patient’s gastrointestinal environment for signs of bleeding as it travels through their digestive system.”

 

  • Trump’s trade war with China has AI implicationsTrump focuses on technology exports, foreign investments in ongoing trade war. “Already threatened by escalating U.S. taxes on its goods, China is about to find it much harder to invest in U.S. companies or to buy American technology in such cutting-edge areas as robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.”

 

Blockchain

  • From Waller: “When it comes to digital coins or tokens, it’s best to approach with caution, ask plenty of questions and conduct extensive research before making an investment, warns the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”).”

 

  • And now, blockchain-based insurance against security failures of smart contracts: Ethereum-Powered Insurer Nexus Is Winning Over Blockchain Skeptics. “With Nexus, Karp is trying to revive mutual insurance, a model that dates back to the 17th century and, many argue, aligned the interests of participants better than today’s profit-maximizing insurance firms. Nexus is one of a handful of blockchain startups, at various stages of development, aiming to use the technology for this purpose.” Much more here.
  • From Information AgeArtificial intelligence in the legal industry: Adoption and strategy – Part 1, an insightful discussion with Geoffrey Vance, the chair of Perkins Coie’s E-Discovery Services and Strategy Practice, and Alvin Lindsay, partner at Hogan Lovells. The discussion of the future role of associates is especially interesting, and several useful links are included.

 

  • Investment money pouring into legal AI. “Legal tech blogger Bob (“God”) Ambrogi just posted that $200 million in new investment capital has found its way to legal tech companies in just May and June of this year. The money went into companies that are either based in machine learning (sometimes called “artificial intelligence”), an increasingly important sector of legal technology.” The post from the Akron Legal News lists some of the specific investments.

 

  • According to Bloomberg’s Big Law BusinessAnalytics Give Law Firms the Competitive Edge. “Bob Ambrogi’s Law Sites Blog lists more than 690 legal tech start-ups that are either currently active or have closed or been acquired. He only began keeping count in 2016.” The article goes on to report to report the results of a 2017 survey of 1117 respondents, including findings such as, “(b)y providing structure and visualization to information, technology is enabling attorneys to understand past results and forecast costs, time to resolution and outcomes — and thereby better serve their clients and operate their organizations more successfully.” The article includes a lot of interesting data, showing the success to-date of AI. Here’s a link to the full report by Above the Law. The survey was conducted back in October 2017, and results are reported with some care regarding statistical integrity. All that’s missing to have high confidence in the findings is an idea of the response rate; that is, how many were asked to participate in order to achieve the 1117 responses.

 

  • This post by Ron Friedmann (Legal Transformation or Disruption? A New Rule for Talking About It) is a suggestion for mitigating the extreme hype now plaguing discussions of legal AI and tech in general. It’s a step in the right direction, but is still subject to personal judgement (and hyperbole). I do not have a better idea.

 

  • This post (Baker McKenzie’s Growth Shows Value of One-Stop Legal Shopping from Bloomberg Big Law Business) includes: “(t)he firm also recently adopted artificial intelligence tools in 11 offices in three continents as the first step in a worldwide rollout. This will allow faster, more comprehensive review of merger and acquisition work, and other work involving contracts, the firm said.”

 

  • As I visit law firms, I am asked more and more about the Big 4 accounting firms’ encroachment into the legal space. This threat has been popping up since the days of the Big 8, but has more substance today than ever before. For instance:

Breaking: Big Four firm buys services ‘disruptor’ Riverview. “Global accountancy giant EY today laid down a significant marker in its expansion into legal services with the capture of forward-thinking firm Riverview Law.” … “The deal marks another step in what has long been predicted would be the rise of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms to rival – and possibly overtake – the biggest existing law firms. Each of those four, EY, KMPG, PwC and Deloitte, now provide reserved legal services.” Coverage here and here. “EY said the acquisition underlines its position “as a leading disruptor of legal services” and will “help clients to increase efficiency, manage risk, improve service transparency and reduce costs of routine legal activities.”

And the same day, KMPG published, “In the legal sector, this disruption presents vast challenges as firms struggle to move from traditional hierarchies, manual research requirements, time-based billing models, and other traditional ways of operating, into tech-empowered models fit for the future.” “Adapt or fall behind. Now is the perfect time to reimagine every layer of the workplace to future proof the legal profession.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting application of AI from Seyfarth Shaw: Australia: New Transparency: Using Collaboration And Technology To Address Modern Slavery. “Mining data (for example, from mobile phones, media reports and surveillance cameras) which can be analysed using artificial intelligence and machine learning to extract meaningful information and identify risks in the supply chain.”

 

  • From The Atlantic, this interesting application of sentiment analysis. The AI That Reads All a Company’s Emails to Gauge Morale. The very interesting article discusses text analysis generally and is definitely worth reading.

 

  • Canada’s Miller Thomson postedArtificial Intelligence Revolution and the Insurance Industry. “AI may soon be heavily used in all aspects of the insurance industry, including sales, customer service, underwriting, claims assessment and fraud detection and prevention. AI has and will continue to be used in the area of insurance marketing.”

 

Blockchain

  • From ForbesTrust, Security And Efficiency – How Blockchain Really Intersects With Artificial Intelligence. “Blockchain, though powerful on it’s own, becomes enhanced to a whole new level when coupled with AI technology. New features and capabilities become unlocked, enhanced, and more secure through the convergence.” Several instances of this synergy are discussed, but there’s no real insight as to how they will actually work together.

 

  • Get smart: blockchain will liberate lawyers. Sounds good, no? This post from the UK’s Law Society Gazette, focuses on smart contracts and details several concerns and limitations thereof, including use of imprecise terms such as “reasonable.”

 

  • This piece from ComputerWorld (By 2020, 1-in-5 healthcare orgs will adopt blockchain; here’s why) reviews several applications of blockchain in healthcare. It’s a deep dive into the pros and cons, and describes several applications, including smart contracts. “Blockchain lets the healthcare industry exchange data in a standard format, automate complex processes and apply AI against large silos of medical data. It might even allow patients to sell their data for rewards.”
  • Baker McKenzie steps toward next-generation contract analytics. “The global law firm has partnered with ContraxSuite by LexPredict, an open-source contract analytics and legal document platform.” “The custom software reduces time spent on legal document review, making sure human talent is focused more on high-value work, he said. ContraxSuite uses AI and human input to augment and integrate the user’s experience with the document they are working on.” More here.

 

  • From Cozen O’Connor: Ford’s new AV Unit, including Argo AI, opens door to all kinds of investors. “Ford expects to invest $4 billion in its autonomous vehicle efforts, including $1 billion in Argo AI over the next five years, and has structured Ford Autonomous Vehicles to take on third-party investments.”

 

  • Looking for a new home? Revolutionary New Real Estate Shopping Platform HomLuv.com Solves Millennial Home Buying Woes. ” HomLuv.com is a revolutionary new, AI-driven home shopping platform that helps buyers find the right home in the right area and price range with customization features that they have come to expect.” Here’s the press release.

 

  • Google has promised this sort of real-time translation for a while, but it never seems ready for prime time. I look forward to reviews of this one. Xiaomi’s new feature phone does real-time voice translation in 17 different languages. “It is a 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone that runs on a forked Android OS called Mocor 5. The highlight of the device is its AI voice feature that does real-time voice translation in 17 different languages. Using AI, the phone is said to answer questions and tell stories to young ones.”

 

  • From DLADLA Piper advises doc.ai in partnership with Anthem, Inc., to launch AI data trial. “The 12-month trial will begin in August and explore whether AI can be used to predict when people will experience allergies or allergy patterns. To do so, doc.ai and advisors from Harvard Medical School will develop a framework for using machine learning to identify predictive models for allergies based upon the phenome (e.g., age, height, weight), exposome (e.g., exposure to weather/pollution based on location) and physiome (e.g., physical activity, daily steps) data collected from participating Anthem employees and members of the public. Participants will help accelerate research and benefit from the system’s personalized health insights.”

 

  • Upcoming webinar: “Blue J Legal’s CEO, Benjamin Alarie, will give a walk-through of Employment Foresight, a new AI-powered software being used by lawyers, in-house counsel and HR professionals to accurately predict how courts will decide outcomes of challenging employment law issues like reasonable notice periods. He will use the classifier on a recently decided case and demonstrate the impacts of key factors, including which factors can swing a decision one way or another.”

 

  • This is a bit of an infomercial from iManage RAVN, but worth a quick read nonetheless. Lawyers Reaping the Rewards From AI Robots: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Legal Industry. “The real threat AI robots pose is to those lawyers who, through inertia or fear, fail to use AI to help them be more productive, smarter professionals. These lawyers shouldn’t fear being replaced by AI robots but instead, by those lawyers who are using AI to deliver services better than them.”

 

Blockchain

  • Well this hits close to home. Nashville’s real estate market has been on a tear for about a decade (now somewhat constrained by lack of inventory), and now, here come the cryptocurrency investors, “a growing number of competing technology-based ventures flooding Nashville’s real estate market with millions of dollars.” “Our business is something people haven’t seen before,” said Andrew Jewett, co-CEO of Property Coin. “We are buying homes in both cash and cryptocurrencies. We love the Nashville market and want to buy $50 million in Nashville real estate in the next year.”

 

  • From White & CaseIs blockchain M&A poised to accelerate? “As the token industry continues to mature, opportunities for M&A transactions will continue to abound. Start-ups will seek exits and infrastructure players in a fractured market will be consolidated and absorbed by more efficient market leaders. And in a bid not be left behind, established market players will leverage their existing client bases to pivot toward token exposure.” “In navigating these transactions, however, it is important to remember that token technologies, while novel and potentially revolutionary, are not immune from the fundamental legal, regulatory and compliance frameworks that apply to business, and in particular financial services business, more generally.”

This is shaping up to be a slow week in legal AI, so this post will be almost entirely devoted to giving you a taste of what’s going on in the wider AI world.

  • Here are Five of the scariest predictions about artificial intelligence.

 

  • And in a kinda similar vein, here’s Debunking 8 Myths About AI in the Workplace.

 

  • AI is moving into HR in several ways. A few are discussed hereThe 4 trends changing recruitment, and the opportunities that they provide for background screening.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence: A net positive for banks. “The steady increase of AI in banking, however, will likely have both positive and negative impacts on the banking industry.” Details here.

 

  • AI is improving Business Intelligence (BI) by helping us ask better questions. “For example, AI is starting to allow BI technology to:
    • Tell you what question you should have asked, instead of just answering the one you did.
    • Provide relevant, interesting, additional insights about the question you did ask.
    • Identify anomalies in the data that might be actionable and proactively alert a business person that action may need to be taken—even if they’ve never asked a question about that dataset in the past.”

More here.

 

  • Using artificial intelligence, researchers are teaching a computer to read the Vatican’s secret archives. Coverage here and here.

 

 

  • And speaking of healthcare, here’s Expert Insights: The Future of Drug Discovery Looks to be in the Hands of Artificial Intelligence.

 

 

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu is using AI to drive ad sales and it appears to be paying off. “Company reported a record $3.93 billion in quarterly revenue as net income soared 45%.” Details from the WSJ here.

 

  • As we become more used to talking to computers and other devices, chatbots are poised to take over B2C and even B2B customer service (and your website). Here’s Why AI is The Next Revolution In Customer Service.

 

  • The other world powers are involved, so it’s no surprise that: India considering military usage of Artificial Intelligence. for Defence told the Lok Sabha that the ministry has initiated the process of preparing Indian defence forces in their use of and leveraging India’s capabilities in sectors.”

 

 

  • Here’s an interesting blockchain story from the WSJ: Nestlé Blockchain Test Traces Ingredients From Suppliers to the Mouths of Babes.

 

  • From the Australian edition of the Daily Mail (of course), here’s Inside a sex robot factory: The frighteningly realistic ‘breed’ of AI-equipped androids – and why the popular ‘female’ has a Scottish accent. It’s pretty much safe for work. There’s a male version in the works.

 

And here are just a couple of bits re the legal world.

 

  • From Cooley: “The European Commission recently announced that Croatia has become the last Member State to sign the Declaration of Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence. As discussed in our recent blog, the Declaration commits all Member States to cooperate on an EU wide AI strategy. The EC’s strategy is part of a wider programme to develop digital skills and to invest heavily in research and innovation. Part of that strategy will involve coordinating funding across Europe to create synergies. The EC has recognized that AI is an area where you must invest to see results and has proposed a budget of €2.5 billion to assist with the adoption of AI across Europe.”

 

  • From Above the Law: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Legal Research. Quotes include, “It’s not technology for the sake of technology.” and “It might be more fun to use cutting-edge technology to solve a problem, but sometimes we might use older technology, depending on the issue.” “The goal is always solving the problem and helping the customer.”

 

  • It’s legal, but this is from Wired Magazine: Despite Pledging Openness, Companies Rush to Patent AI Tech.

 

  • “Clifford Chance (CC) has launched a new training contract focused on legal technology, as the firm looks to nurture up-and-coming talent with an aptitude for areas such as fintech, coding and artificial intelligence. The pilot scheme, called IGNITE, will start in autumn 2021…. The positions, which will be open to law and non-law students, will sit alongside CC’s existing training contracts, and include traditional seat rotations. At the end of the contract, successful trainees will have the opportunity to join one of CC’s key practice areas: capital markets, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, finance, real estate and tax.” More here.

 

  • From Law.com: Law Firms Need Artificial Intelligence to Stay in the Game, “The Legal Department Is Savvier and Has More Options In the Form of ASPs and Legal Technology. It’s Time for Law Firms to Embrace Change. AI Is a Key Ingredient In Doing So.”

 

 

  • From Above the Law, Patrick Fuller’s thoughts on law firms’ obstacles to adoption of AI-based technologies. “The biggest obstacles for getting firms to adopt AI tend to be combinations of different factors — most notable are attorney compensation structure, the matter’s fee arrangement, and the practice area as well.” More of Patrick’s thoughts and findings of the recent ALM survey here. And since it’s Friday, here’s what I assume is his high school yearbook headshot.

 

  • Interesting thoughts regarding the use of blockchain for betting and the obstacles to its regulation here. Crypto Prediction Market on Blockchain Raises Regulatory Concerns. “(A) contract listed on the site may be worth watching. It asks, ‘Will the Forecast Foundation face an enforcement action from the SEC or CFTC before Dec. 21, 2018 for hosting unregulated derivatives markets?'”

 

  • Here’s more about Blockchain from K&L Gates: Blockchain Energizer – Volume 32. They review two developments: “The Arizona Corporation Commission Opens the First Blockchain-focused Utility Regulatory Docket,” and “Energy Web Foundation and LO3 Energy Partner to Standardize Data on Tobalaba.”

 

  • A legal conference with it’s own AI-powered chatbotAPAC regional legal tech conference LexTech launches AI assistant. “Called, LEXi, the Artificial Intelligence chatbot was developed by Malaysia’s CanChat and will focus on addressing enquiries of LexTech delegates in real-time via Facebook Messenger….”

 

  • From Law360The Future Of Authenticating Audio And Video Evidence. “Audio and, to a much greater extent, video are the preeminent forms of probative evidence (both inside and outside the courtroom). Attorneys must at least begin to think about a hypothetical future in which audio or video recordings cannot be taken for granted. The recent emergence of artificial intelligence-based technology has prompted serious concerns about the…” (That’s as far as I could get without a LexisNexis account.  🙁

 

  • This half-hour video from the ABA’s Law Technology Today (Big Results with Big Data) pretty much delivers on this promise: “In this video, you will hear from the Chief Knowledge and Client Value Officer at Shearman & Sterling on how they are leveraging big data and litigation analytics to build a stronger case strategy for better management of client expectations. You will also get the inside scoop from a Product Developer at Thomson Reuters to see how they are doing big data differently to improve your practice.”

 

  • Squire Patton Boggs partner Huu Nguyen authored this pieceArtificial Intelligence Law is Here, Part One, “Law is being developed now, in order to set the rules of the road for the usage of AI. And we as lawyers should recognize it as a specific discipline.” “I don’t think lawyers will lose their jobs in droves to robots. But, nonetheless, the practice of law will change.” This first part is a bit of a teaser mainly providing background info and concluding with, “(t)une in for part two of this series, in which I will discuss robot speech issues, AI bias and transparency, regulatory guidance on use of robo-advisors by the SEC, proposed AI laws before Congress and more.”

 

  • Here comes another blockchain consortium, featuring law firms and tech firms. BakerHostetler, LexPredict and Others Partner to Develop Blockchain ‘Middle Layer’. “Agreements Network is slated to serve as an arena for lawyers and others to build technologies using blockchain for ends like contracts, asset management and evidence storage.”

 

  • I don’t believe it’s too much of a stretch to include news about the Big Four accounting firms’ relentless march into the legal space in a blog about legal AI. So here goes: Deloitte to Join Big 4 Legal Race in Singapore With Foreign Law Firm Launch.
  • Epstein Becker posted this four-minute video post with firm member, Michelle Capezza, Interview – Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace. It’s about “the future workforce” but barely touches on AI.

 

  • Also from EpsteinHealth Plan Insurance on the Blockchain: An Interview with James Schutzer, Vice President, JDM Benefits. “From the repeal of the individual mandate penalty, expansion of association health plans, State proposals to increase taxes on insurers, referenced-based pricing and new “blockchain” models to purchase services directly for employees, the insured markets will be under increasing stress to survive. It is possible that these trends will accelerate the collapse of the insurance markets and usher in a government provided single payer system, and/or self-directed mode of procuring healthcare via blockchain technology.” (Only a small part of the interview is about blockchain.)

 

  • Knobbe Martens partner Bridget A. Smith authored this story (Cryptocurrency and Blockchain) from the Orange County Business Journal. “…(S)trategic application of IP law is also critical to a robust future for cryptocurrency and other blockchain-related technologies. Protecting IP rights and avoiding potentially infringing activity will become increasingly important to both innovators and prospective investors as blockchain continues to disrupt business as usual.”

 

  • From Michael VolkovArtificial Intelligence, Hype and Financial Misconduct. ” (A)rtificial intelligence or machine learning has had an impact in two areas: financial misappropriation and due diligence.” “Fraud detection requires a holistic approach to harness artificial intelligence and detection strategies.  A multi-layered approach may be an effective way to balance a company’s strategy.  The challenge is to translate artificial intelligence into actionable intelligence.”

 

  • Womble’s Roseyna Jahangir authored this in-depth analysis, Artificial intelligence versus regulation: friends or foes? “By working together to balance potentially competing factors such as technological development and consumer protection, regulators and the industry may be able to provide a stable platform to develop AI, while overcoming or at least assuaging the potential fears of the target audience for these developments. In 2001: a Space Odyssey, the conflict between AI and humans was only resolved by the ‘death’ of the AI. Let’s hope that in real life, a way of co-existence can be found instead.”

 

  • Daniel Millard of Cooley postedAI’ll Be There For You: European Commission Appoints Expert Group to Advise on AI. “With its deep industry knowledge and breadth of industry contacts, the AI HLG will seek to ensure that the Commission achieves its aim of making the EU a world-leader in the development of AI technology.”

 

  • This half hour audio post from Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert (The Geek in Review) summarizes the proceedings of the recent AALL conference, including several AI touchpoints.

 

  • I don’t subscribe to Michigan Lawyers Weekly, but just the title of this article says something about how far we’ve come: Can consent to search be obtained via Google Translate?

 

  • There continues to be a LOT of AI deal volume and, of course, concomitant legal work. According to PwC, Report: AI Drives VC Investment as Canada Hits $900 Million USD for Second Straight Quarter.

 

  • AI you can use! (Well, maybe someday.) In Japan, ‘flying umbrella’ frees hands. “Essentially a small unmanned aircraft, the umbrella utilizes artificial intelligence to hover above users as they walk.”

 

  • In this presentation, (Mark Cuban on dangers of A.I.: If you don’t think Terminator is coming, ‘you’re crazy’) Mark Cuban presents several warnings about AI, from jobs to warfare.
  • Congrats to Artificial Lawyer for turning two today (that’s about 100 in AI years!). From AL today:

Case Crunch Team Splits Up, CourtQuant is Born. “Simply put, it looks at old cases and predicts how new cases will likely perform based on models developed from patterns in the old cases.” Details here.

This sponsored content from Leverton describes their product, “an AI-powered data extraction platform, that applies deep learning/machine learning technology to extract and structure data from real estate leases, financial, insurance, and more corporate documents in 30 languages.”

Solomonic is described here. It’s a “new legal tech company provides lawyers with the ability to make data-led predictions on commercial and tax-related disputes by tapping previous case information to give a steer on possible outcomes for a new, similar case.”

 

  • For those new to legal AI, this post from Law.com is a good, brief introduction to what law firms are up to. Looking Beyond Document Review, Legal Is Branching Out With Artificial Intelligence.

 

  • The subject of this press release doesn’t sound like AI per se, but it’s Big Data (for a law firm). “EffortlessLegal LLC, a Chicago-based tech company bringing advanced automation and machine-learning products to the legal space, introduced today the launch of EffortlessIntake, a cloud-based product designed to automate a law firm’s intake process.”

 

  • Citing Allen & Overy as an example, this post from HBR (A 5-Part Process for Using Technology to Improve Your Talent Management) presents several useful prerequisites for successful adoption of data-driven tech in talent management.

 

  • Here’s a very useful guide to “litigation analytics”, including five types of these analyses and overviews of the leading vendors in the space. “The recent maturation of the foundational technologies needed to support machine learning have made advanced data analytics and sophisticated language processing possible on a scale never before seen. Using these tools, massive amounts of data can be sifted through, organized and analyzed in mere seconds.”

– On a related note, “Litigation outcome prediction has taken a further step into the mainstream with a partnership between a major litigation law firm and a start-up that presents lawyers with data on how judges have ruled in the past. Solomonic, which specialises in data science and litigation analytics, is scheduled for commercial launch in the autumn.” (Also, see post above re Solomonic.)

 

  • Wolters Kluwer’s Dean Sonderegger prepared this post discussing where legal technologies stands on the diffusion/adoption curve. Spoiler alert: he thinks we’re pretty far along.

 

  • Here’s the next installment of Thomas Fox’s AI, Compliance & the Value of Collaboration: Part III — AI Driving Compliance Process. “It is through this business process improvement that AI will help to drive greater business efficiency and, at the end of the day, greater corporate profitability.”

 

  • New York Law School “will launch its Business of Law Institute in fall 2018.” Courses and programs will include “Upper-level seminars on Compliance and Bank Regulatory Matters, Smart Contracting and Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity and Risk Management taught by outside experts in these fields.” More discussion here.

 

  • This half hour from Law Practice Advisory Podcast (Artificial Intelligence: Just Plain Smart Marketing) is largely speculative regarding legal marketing.

 

  • From K&L Gates’ Jonathan LawrenceUK Law Commission: Smart Contract Research. “The aim is for smart contracts to be relied upon even in the absence of trust between the parties concerned. This is because they facilitate a complete symmetry of information, and a completely transparent process.”

 

  • Valerie Kenyon of Hogan Lovells posted this piece, The connected home: From smart fish tanks to connected kitchen appliances, product companies must navigate GDPR and Product Liability Directive compliance, cyber risk, and other IoT challenges. 

 

  • Foley’s Peter Vogel posted this very brief post to their “Internet, IT & E-discovery” blog. Do you like the idea that Facebook is increasing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

 

  • Here’s a wake-up call re China’s AI ambitions. China’s AI focus will leave US in the dust, says top university professor.

 

Blockchain

  • BigLaw firms are working together to influence how blockchain technology will operate in the future. This post describes several such groups.

 

  • Singapore Airlines has launched a Blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet developed in collaboration with Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village.
  • This post from Ron Friedmann (Exploding Legal Surveys and Conferences) is a good way to start the week. Ron asserts that one of the common findings of these ever-proliferating surveys is “that large law firms and corporate law departments have already transformed, if not been disrupted.” He rightly concludes that this is “hogwash.” I suggest that, as I have proven several times in this blog, many (probably most) surveys about our industry are conducted for marketing/promotional purposes — largely to generate clickbait headlines — and employ such poor research methodology as to be laughable. Again, caveat emptor.

 

  • From Oklahoma State’s Assistant Professor of Legal Studies in Business, Mike Schuster, this 3:20 video on patent laws and AI.

 

  • Check out this post from Joanna Goodman. It’s a solid discussion of AI-powered analysis tools (“the use of algorithms in the justice system”) with a deep dive re chatbots. “How will tighter data protection regulations affect development of legal services and AI‑powered analysis tools? Law firms and counsel have to walk the talk on compliance.”

 

  • In this post (AI, Compliance & The Value of Collaboration: Part I — The Compliance Role), Thomas Fox discusses “what a compliance professional can bring to an AI solution.” It’s a pretty deep dive.

 

  • With GDPR behind us (right??), next comes California’s data protection law. Here’s the best discussion of that one I’ve seen so far. Sullivan & Cromwell Discusses California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. “Businesses need to consider how to apply the requirements of the CCPA with their information technology systems that handle PI (personal information) and address potential challenges in applying the new rules to important areas like big data analytics and artificial intelligence algorithms that leverage PI.”

 

  • From McCarthy Tétrault this in-depth white paper. The title tells it all: From Chatbots to Self-Driving Cars: The Legal Risks of Adopting Artificial Intelligence in Your Business. It’s almost a year old (sorry I missed it when first published), but still very relevant. It includes country-by-country analyses, and analysis by area of law.

 

  • Also from McCarthy, this news release “announc(ing its) membership with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open source blockchain initiative and the EEA Legal Working Group, founded to bring together leading global law firms and leading legal minds to explore building legal use cases and applications using blockchain technology. In addition, McCarthy Tétrault became a contributor to the OpenLaw smart contract project.

 

  • This Artificial Intelligence Deals Tracker from CB Insights even includes “legal”. There are trends from 2013 to present and a link to sign up for the full report.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, “The UK’s Law Commission, which was created by the Government to help study the need to reform and improve the law, has launched a special ‘scoping study’ to explore smart contracts. It will look at what needs to be done to ensure that current law is ‘sufficiently certain and flexible to apply in a global, digital context and to highlight any topics which lack clarity or certainty’ in relation to using smart contracts.” More here.