• From Law.com, an article by Danny Tobey, a Vinson & Elkins partner, titled, “AI is Here, Is Your Company Ready? (Hint: No).” First, a bit of hype:”The scale and scope of artificial intelligence is well-described. Merrill Lynch predicts an “annual creative disruption impact” of $14 to $33 trillion by 2025. Accenture estimates AI could double annual economic growth for 12 developed nations by 2035. Stephen Hawking predicts ‘the rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.'” Then the article gets into a solid description of several of the law-related consequences of AI, for which we are generally ill-prepared, or not prepared at all.


  •  Artificial Lawyer reports that IBM’s Cognitive Legal AI group and blockchain pioneer Integra Ledger have … launched the World NDA Project, which seeks to revolutionise contract management and analysis by combining AI and blockchain technology.


  • Here’s a ranking of the 100 most promising private artificial intelligence companies in the world.


  • One of the obstacles facing AI on several fronts is our seeming inability to understand how its decisions are made (as is obvious with rules-based systems). Such explanations are very important with AI systems making military decisions and when legal disputes involve actions taken by or caused by AI. This article from the NYT explains the problem in some depth and details research underway to try to move beyond AI as a black box.


  • Artificial Lawyer reports that legal tech start-up PartnerVine has launched an automated legal contract product for corporations, in conjunction with Big Four firm, PwC.


  • (Password Required) This is a good summary of a recent Legal Marketing Association “Twitter Chat” about AI.


  • This white paper presents the thoughts of Bas Boris Visser, Clifford Chance partner, about “Artificial Intelligence and the Future for Legal Services.” It is largely focused on international law.


  • This piece: “Will Regulating Artificial Intelligence Lead to a Brave New World or the End of It?” is a good example of why one must take care when surfing the Web for articles on AI; some oversimplify and/or get their facts wrong.


  • This article reports that Hillary Clinton says we need to do more to get ready for the large scale implementation of AI: “We are totally unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.”


  • The Irish Times reports that “artificial intelligence is set to rewrite rules for legal profession.” The article quotes Dan Fox, founder of ALSP Johnson Hana International, as saying, “It is an industry that is in desperate need of disruption. It is very traditional, extremely inflexible and ridiculously expensive….” The article goes on to quote several other authorities as it explains how AI is likely to supplement lawyers rather than replace them.


  • In this short piece, Adriaan Louw and Patrick Bracher of Norton Rose Fulbright describe a recent AI versus lawyer competition, and suggest that lawyers need not fear AI, and that “(T)hose who fear the disruption of AI in their career should consider becoming a preaching dentist.”

  • And here, several Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers weigh in on “Future of Transport: Electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles.”


  • Osborne Clarke is a member of the consortium working on the ADAS&ME project – an EU digital transport initiative set up by the European Commission. (ADAS&ME stands for “Adaptive Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) to support incapacitated drivers Mitigate Effectively risks through tailor-made Human Machine Interface (HMI) under automation”.)


  • Press Release: “Digital Economy Technology Service for Lawyers” is a research service offered by Wintergreen Research.  It is reported to be “a way for lawyers to get quick and accurate insight into technology that relates to their caseload.”
  • Richard Susskind:  By 2036, he posits, “It is neither hyperbolic nor fanciful to expect that the legal profession will have changed beyond recognition.” Check out this article for comments by several others regarding the future impact of AI on lawyering. (My prognostication is that Susskind’s predictions are closer to what we’ll see than those of most of these nay-sayers.)


  • One of the developments that has caught me by surprise is the number of major players in AI who have open-sourced their tech. Here’s such an announcement from Intel. This is particularly good news for smaller companies (and law firms) who want to get into the game without huge investments. This author agrees about the benefit to smaller organizations.


  • Clifford Chance is staffing up to focus on cutting edge tech.


  • Big investments in:

Legal AI: Legal research leader ROSS Intelligence has landed an $8.7M investment from a group led by iNovia Capital. ROSS uses the IBM Watson AI engine and is now working with more than 20 law firms.

Marketing: A group led by Insight Venture Partners has purchased Nashville-based “Emma” a tech-driven eMarketing company.


  • The porn industry has been a driver of many tech innovations (e.g., VCRs, DVDs, augmented reality, Internet streaming). Now Pornhub is using facial recognition to identify and tag the “stars” of their videos.


  • Here’s a fun comparison by Time of where AI seems to really be headed vs its portrayal in Sc-Fi.
(Original Caption) Boris Karloff, Colin Clive and Dwight Frye in a scene from the 1931 Universal Pictures production of Frankenstein.
  • According to a report (AI: The new wave of legal services), produced by Legal Week Intelligence and Bird & Bird, “Law firms should do more to share the benefits of artificial intelligence technology with their clients.” Some see AI as a chance for increased collaboration between law firms and their clients. (Note: the report is based on 15 in-depth interviews).


  • Here’s a two-minute video showing Reed Smith doing a proof of concept with iManage’s RAVN, demonstrating that the software does learn and that it achieves “better, faster, cheaper.”


  • More on self-executing contracts: according to Artificial Lawyer, with BlockCAT “people who need to create commercial contracts do so simply by buying a smart contract from their online marketplace, fill in the details and upload the ‘paper’ to the Ethererum blockchain.”


  • Better, faster, cheaper “deal rooms.” This from press release: “The new Intralinks® VDR is its fastest platform to date. It is 50% faster* across the board and now means a data room can be set up in hours, not days. Its integration with artificial intelligence technology (AI) expedites the due diligence process and reduces deal completion times through the automation of deal room set-up, contract analysis and organisation.”


  • The Chicago-Kent College of Law “Center for Access to Justice & Technology” offers “A2J Author® a software tool that delivers greater access to justice for self-represented litigants by enabling non-technical authors from the courts, clerk’s offices, legal services programs, and website editors to rapidly build and implement customer friendly web-based interfaces for document assembly.”


  • This from NYT/DealBook: Masayoshi Son the founder of SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate, predicts that we will have reached “The Singularity” in 30 years (when artificial intelligence “outstrips” human intelligence), and that by then there will be 10 billion humans and 10 billion sentient robots.


  • Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II: Clifford Chance and Thomson Reuters are collaborating on the development of a “joint offering for MiFID II (that) includes a full scoping and analysis service to identify the best approach to re-paper a financial institution’s full inventory of legal documents within the shortest period of time. It also provides robust and detailed playbooks and a suite of templates to ensure compliant documentation, plus cost effective and scalable teams of full-time legal and financial professionals globally to provide the managed services of drafting, client outreach and negotiation work. In addition, it handles all the related project management capabilities to ensure a successful outcome and minimize the impact and demand placed on internal teams.”