• 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.
  • Here’s a good summary of tools from This Tech Can Turn the Tables in Litigation. “If you can eliminate some of the chance from litigation, if you can bring a higher level of certainty to litigation, why wouldn’t you? Indeed, you might even ask yourself, ‘Is it malpractice not to use analytics?‘”

 

  • Also from Bob: LawNext Episode 21: Blockchain, Smart Contracts and the Future of Law, with Casey Kuhlman of Monax. It’s a 45-minute interview sponsored by MyCase.

 

  • In this short post (Blockchain: Resources To Get On Top Of This Technology), Olga V. Mack offers several good tips for learning about blockchain. “What follows is a compilation of resources in no particular order that I and many other professionals have found useful.”

 

  • This, from EY: Companies ready for leases standard, but only with help, finds EY 2018 Lease Accounting Change Survey. “Automation is a long-term goal, with artificial intelligence (AI) playing an important role. More than 80% of companies are working toward designing a long-term automated solution, with only 5% saying they will use a manual, spreadsheet-based approach long term. Interestingly, more than half (51%) who are implementing automation say the solution includes using AI to identify and abstract lease data.”

 

  • The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) publishedShould we create a certification for AI ethics? “Matthew Stender, a Berlin-based tech ethicist and researcher: ‘…(C)ertainly in the U.S. — regulators’ hands were tied by trade secret laws and the ‘speech is code’ model. ‘For me, the idea of voluntary technical standards provide an interesting alternative to national legislation,” he said.'”

 

  • From Littler: Thought Leaders Predict AI’s Impact on the Workforce. “The consensus of Roundtable participants is that while automation is likely to displace workers in many occupations, it also will spur enormous demand for workers in both existing fields and in new occupations that technological change will generate.” The seven-page report is here.

 

  • Lord Chief backs “smartphone justice” but not so keen on AI. “There is no reason why our online courts and justice systems cannot deliver effective and accessible justice direct to the citizen. Both the Lord Chancellor and I (Lord Chief Justice Burnett) are in agreement on this.” “AI, however, is one area where, while much has been done, we are in the foothills, rather than the uplands, of understanding how and where it can properly be utilised.” More here.

 

  • From Emilie Ducorps-Prouvost of Soulier AvocatsLabor Law And The Challenges Of Artificial Intelligence: 3rd Part Of A Trilogy. “Labor and employment law should be used as a legal tool to steer the obvious changes brought by AI in the workplace.” The article and links to first two parts here.

 

  • Detroit Legal News published: Artificial intelligence in health care: What you need to know. The article includes specific applications and general discussion. And: “It’s all about the data“. “There’s no question that AI can process and analyze information at a rate far beyond any human capacity, but human intellect still remains a key component-not just in further training the algorithm or interpreting the information that’s presented, but in making the connections as how to best use that information in the future.”

 

  • Giangiacomo Olivi of Dentons postedArtificial Intelligence meets AdTech: digital disruption, data privacy and future perspectives. “AI will boost AdTech one-step further and introduce scenarios that will challenge current legal and industry standards, while requesting new and more dynamic approaches to online advertising. So, how is this going to happen and at what future perspectives should we expect?”

 

  • Here’s an interesting essay from How AI and analytics made the billable hour redundant. “If predictive analytics and AI kill off the billable hour for good, they may also prove to be the saviour of a profession that has been under pressure to change for years.”

 

  • Cadwalader postedLabCFTC Explains Functionality And Risks Of Smart Contract Technology, but did not include a link to the report, which I found here. It’s a pretty deep dive (32 pages).

 

  • Tiffany Quach and Stéphanie Martinier of Proskauer postedIs Blockchain Technology Compatible With GDPR? French Data Protection Regulator Provides Guidance. “To address tensions between blockchain technology and the GDPR, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), the French data protection regulator, published an initial report analyzing certain fundamental questions regarding the interaction between blockchain technology and the GDPR’s requirements (the “Report”). The Report was the first guidance issued by a European data protection regulator on this topic.”
  • 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.
  • It’s easy to make long term predictions, largely because it’s so rare for anyone to go back and see how you did. In this post, (The Long View of Legal Innovation) Ron Friedmann goes back 15 years to take a look at his own prognostications. Some of it was pretty obvious (“change management remains a hard problem to solve: many lawyers resist new ways of working”), but I believe the basics of his Federalism & Foundations “grant” model was/is interesting and holds up. Not bad!

 

  • With AI, it’s all about the data. I expect the data in almost every firm’s matter intake system could be improved by both doing less and doing more. It’s time for some serious process engineering! This article by  takes a look at some of these issues.

 

  • From DLA Piper’s IPT Italy BlogPrisca, the DLA Piper chatbot that will become your personal assistant. “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Prisca, DLA Piper chatbot that will be able to answer data protection law questions and intellectual property questions on trade secrets. Prisca is an artificial intelligence system based on IBM Watson technology that can help you to find the information you need about the GDPR and trade secrets, their provisions, definitions and what you should do to be compliant.”

 

  • Speaking of Italy, this is from Dentons Italy. Rise of the machines: could the increasing use of technology lead to a four-day working week for all? “Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: ‘Bosses and shareholders must not be allowed to sweep up all the gains from new tech for themselves. Working people deserve their fair share and that means using the gains from new tech to raise pay and allow more time with their families.'”

 

  • From Kelly Twigger via Above the Law: Why Review Is Much Harder Than You Think. “…(D)o we really need all of this linear review?  Is it worth the money? Review is essential — no question. But what you review needs careful consideration and it should almost always be a small subset of what you’ve collected. To get to that subset takes thoughtful preparation and time, together with input from the client, consideration of the case strategy and your obligations.”

 

  • MoFo postBig Data and AI: “The Algorithm Did It” Defense Will Not Fly in Court.

 

  • Also from MoFo, these brief observations: Artificial Intelligence vs. Emotional Intelligence. (The post’s title sounds promising, but the content doesn’t really deliver.)

 

  • Senators introduce the ‘Artificial Intelligence in Government Act’ “Per a news release, the bill would seek to “improve the use of AI across the federal government by providing resources and directing federal agencies to include AI in data-related planning.” Details here and here.

 

  • This, from  of EffortlessLegal: Top Five Reasons Why Outdated Technology May Be Hindering Your Firm’s Potential. “Even if your legal services are the best available, not measuring up when it comes to technology will give the perception that you are slow, outdated, or otherwise not qualified to handle the client’s legal matter.”

 

  • Law firms join forces with university in lawtech initiative. “The University of Manchester will bring together an interdisciplinary academic team from its schools of law, business and computer science, to form a consortium with City giant Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer and DWF Ventures, the national law firm’s research and development arm. The consortium is the first research collaboration of its type in the UK to draw on business and academic expertise to develop research and teaching focused on the potential application and the impact of digital technology in legal services provision.” More here.

 

  • This post is from Stephen Beney and Reshika Dhir of Bereskin & Parr Inventorship in the Age of AI. “(T)he pervasive use of AI has given rise to a very interesting legal question of who should be considered the true inventor(s) of AI-generated inventions.”

 

  • This article features Ari Kaplan’s interview of Anthony W. Crowell, the Dean and President of New York Law School regarding the newly launched Business of Law Institute. “The Business of Law Institute is going to start with a series of programs that tap into our alumni and other experts, who will teach master classes that give an in-depth review of different areas, including data privacy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other pressing issues.”

 

  • Here’s a detailed look at the PwC/Fragomen hookup: The PwC / Fragomen Alliance Unpacked: A Peek Inside The Big Four’s Legal Market Playbook.

 

  • From Kemp IT LawLegal Aspects of Artificial Intelligence (v2.0). It’s a 47-page white paper on the subject.

 

  • It seems I’ve fallen behind re the always-interesting posts from the UK’s Artificial Lawyer. Here are some recent headlines:

– O Silo Mio! – LegalTech Silos Are On The Rise, and That’s Bad. Story here.

AI Doc Review Co. Evisort Partners with LSI Translator. Story here.

– Smart Contract Org. Accord Bags Clifford Chance + More. Story here.

– 5 Questions Lawyers Should Ask About AI. Story here.

– BCLP Launches New Post-Integration Global Innovation Group. Story here.

– Legal Tech Popcorn, Feat: ContractPodAi, HSF, OpenLaw + vLex. Story here.

– Demystifying AI For Lawyers: Supervised Machine Learning. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • Araa Group of Advocates and Legal Consultants has become Dubai’s first blockchain based law firm after signing a collaborative partnership with e-Mal. Here’s the press release. “By signing the partnership with Araa, e-Mal will bring more efficiency and uniformity in contracting like done by OpenLaw, ContractCode, Integra Ledger within the Legal Industry. By introducing the blockchain based platform, legal documents within the chain will now be a ‘single source of truth’ within the legal blockchain.”

 

  • From India’s AMLegalsIs Your Contract Safe and Healthy? The post offers a bit of a contract check-up via a series of questions.

 

  • Walmart to salad growers: If you want to sell, you have to blockchain. Full story here.

 

  • Shearman & Sterling post: Gaps in Current Legal Framework Hindering Blockchain-based Trade Finance. “…(W)hile it has become technologically possible to execute transactions using negotiable instruments registered via blockchain technology, existing U.S. law recognizes negotiable instruments only if they are on paper and signed, which hinders the advancement of blockchain-based trade finance.”

 

  • Hogan Lovells postedNational Science Foundation Seeks Comments on Artificial Intelligence, Continuing Policy Makers’ Focus on AI.

 

  • Perkins Coie is the latest to join the Accord Project. Here’s their press release.

 

  • This, from Deepika Sharma of Khurana & Khurana Smart IP: Blockchain Technology in China. “Chinese government is introducing measures to protect blockchain IP they are also trying to bring it under China’s cyber security law.”

 

  • California Governor passes two bills in favor of blockchain. Details here. “That it was signed into law is a great testament to the work being done around the state by folks like the Blockchain Advocacy Coalition to advance this rapidly growing technology.”

 

  • Regarding federal blockchain legislation: “Ripple will lead a group of crypto startups to lobby lawmakers and financial regulators in D.C. to support crypto and blockchain innovation, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, September 27.” More here.

 

  • Here’s Volume 36 of K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer, summarizing three blockchain news stories.

 

  • From Shearman & Sterling: “Shearman & Sterling today launched “the FinTech Foundry,” a program dedicated to supporting the FinTech-related activities of their clients and the wider global FinTech ecosystem that consists of financial institutions, FinTech start-ups, accelerators and incubators, venture capital and private equity investors, and policymakers. Blockchain, crypto assets, big data and artificial intelligence are just a few of the FinTech activities Shearman & Sterling advises on.”

 

  • White and Case published this in-depth report: Digitalising the mining & metals global supply chain: Rise of blockchain and the smart contract.

 

  • From Dentons, this very large post: Big data in the energy sector: GDPR reminder for energy companies.

 

  • From Legal Insider: “Herbert Smith Freehills has launched a pilot to test how data extracted from judgments and smart analytics might help prepare clients facing litigation.The firm has partnered with Solomonic, a data and analytics platform, to provide its lawyers with hard data and analytics on all the sitting judges in the Commercial Court – as well as the most recent eight retirees – going back more than five years.

 

  • Gide announces the creation of Gide 255, a new team dedicated to digital transformation, headed by Franck Guiader. “Gide 255 covers in particular the growing stakes of blockchain, ICOs, artificial intelligence, automation and various aspects of data processing.”

 

  • This is an interview with Kate Hutchinson, Director of Marketing at CDS during which she explains why eDiscovery vendors are getting into smart contracts. (It’s all about the data.)

 

  • In this post, Nichole Black of MyCase reviews a recent book by Michele DeStefano, (Professor of Law at the University of Miami): Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in the Law.“(The author) explains why the legal industry is in the middle of an unavoidable transformation, and why lawyers are so resistant to accepting this indisputable fact. Then she suggests that lawyers must learn to innovate in order to succeed in the new world order, and provides a framework for legal institutions to use in order to create a culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation.” The review is an interesting read in itself.

 

  • In this Legal Talk Network podcast, “Abby Rosenbloom talks to Peter Geovanes, Dera Nevin, and Andrew Sprogis about their innovative roles and how to set a precedent when you’re the first one in their position. For law firms looking to add new roles, they offer their advice from establishing strategic goals to firm leadership providing resources and support.”

 

  • From Legal IT Newswire: “ZentLaw, an alternative law firm founded by Monica Zent, has introduced ZentLaw Labs, an innovation lab which aims to bring tech acumen and startup thinking to law. Among the lab’s first projects being announced today are two artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bots. One bot is built for enterprise clients to help them solve their legal resourcing needs by taking them through a series of questions to assess their specific requirements. The other bot is aimed at startups and is calibrated to serve their routine requests. The latter aims to disrupt the way legal services are delivered to startups by providing practical and actionable guidance through the bot to common issues that startups raise.”

 

  • From Bob Ambrogi: “The international legal research platform vLex today introduced the beta version of Vincent, an AI-powered legal research assistant that analyzes legal documents you upload and finds relevant research results. Vincent is in the same vein as CARA from CasetextClerk from Judicata, and EVA from ROSS Intelligence in that you upload a brief, legal document or court opinion, and it finds and it analyzes the document and uses the document’s language and citations to find related cases, statutes, books, journal articles, contract models, and more.” Details here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer

– “Global law firm Clyde & Co has today announced that it will be providing legal services to new global banking and energy blockchain platform, Komgo SA.” Details here.

LexisNexis has announced the six new participants for its third Silicon Valley Legal Tech Accelerator programme.” They’re listed here.

  • This brief article from AALL Spectrum by Fastcase’s Ed Walters and Morgan Wright explains some of the data issues involved in law firm AI applications. Existing and near future AI applications such as contracts, legal research and ‘personalities’ are discussed. They maintain that “(i)t would be natural for the law firms’ experts in legal information, law librarians, to have a central role.”

 

  • Here’s Part 2 of Bob Ambrogi’s Roundup of Company and Product News from ILTACON. Today, iManage, Relativity, BigHand and CaseFleet.

 

  • Again, it’s all about the data. This article from the ABA Journal (Algorithms fall short in predicting litigation outcomes) suggests that, contrary to other posts I have made, predictive analytics regarding litigation results are not yet ready for prime time, and it’s because of data issues.

 

Blockchain

  • “A group of law firms and tech companies have teamed up to develop the Agreements Network, a platform that will aid in the creation, use and sale of smart contracts for lawyers. In a press release issued Thursday, law firms BakerHostetler, LegalBono and ErdosIP, and technology companies Clause, Crowdcube, LexPredict, Libra, Mattereum, Monax, Rymedi, TransparentNode and Wolfram Blockchain Labs announced the launch of the network.” “The network is currently being tested and will launch in October, Forbes reports.” More here.

 

  • Data61 uses IBM Blockchain for Australian smart legal contracts network: The Australian National Blockchain will allow local companies to use digitised contracts, exchange data, and confirm the authenticity and status of legal contracts. “CSIRO’s Data61 has partnered with law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and tech giant IBM to build a blockchain-based smart legal contracts network.” Details (and several related links) here.

AI Funding:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Some blockchain news bits:

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Here’s a good discussion of where we are today vis-a-vis reaching Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), in many ways AI’s Holy Grail. “A machine with true AGI would be able to perform any intellectual task a human being can. This means if you asked a robot with AGI to hammer a nail, it wouldn’t need to be programmed to do so. It would try — and possibly fail — on its own. It would be able to learn from its mistakes and try until it got it right.”
  • This article by Joanna Goodman (author of Robots in Law: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Legal Services) is an excellent recap of a Luminance-sponsored roundtable discussion by in-house counsel of the AI tools they have used and their success with them. It also touches on the changes going on in the legal world generally. It’s a very worthwhile read.

 

  • From Above the Law, this discussion of the evolution of AI applications in legal work from hype to more realism.

 

  • Ireland-based McCann FitzGerald has launched a GDPR Gap Analysis Application. “Built with an AI-engine supplied by Neota Logic as part of a long term development agreement, the app assesses an organization’s GDPR compliance level by asking a series of questions.”

 

  • Also from Above the Law, three ways AI may create more law firm clients and jobs for lawyers: “Artificial Confusion: AI Will Create More Legal Jobs – Not Take Them Away.”

 

 

  • From June Hsiao Liebert, Director of Library and Research Services at Sidley: “Law Firms & Technology – 6 Vital Questions to Ask Your Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Vendors.” Hint: it’s all about the data.

 

  • AI for A2J has come to Russia! Law.com reports that, “Pravoved, a Russian legal marketplace, has designed a chatbot platform to consult Russian citizens on consumer rights protection.” It sounds pretty sophisticated.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer reports that Jim Cramer’s The Street has engaged Seal Software, to “leverage its capabilities for a broader range of contract analysis uses,” and for “GDPR compliance issues.”
  • Check out this interesting post by Gerry Riskin about LTaaS (Legal Technology as a Service). It seems Allen & Overy is using Neota Logic technology to offer some fresh packaging/delivery of services. It’s branded “aosphere.”

 

  • From  Alicia Ryan, Knowledge & Innovation Delivery Manager at Fenwick via Artificial Lawyer, this projection of how consumers of corporate legal services may see AI in about 5 years.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, this post by Laura van Wyngaarden, COO of legal AI company, Diligen, in which she discusses client pressure on legal fees and how legal AI technology can play a positive role. She makes good points about using AI to increase efficiency, but keep in mind that optimal pricing need not be a race to the bottom, being the cheapest. A healthier approach is to discover the client’s value drivers in each situation and work to meet those criteria, and price accordingly. More discussion of this here.

 

  • I’m usually somewhat selective about posting AI content from law firms, but to give you an idea of how much is typically out there, here are almost all of the AI-related briefs from law firms I have seen in the past two days:

I have often mentioned the need for regulations and laws to catch up with AI. Here, from Neil Kirby, Director for Healthcare and Life Sciences Law at Werksmans Attorneys is a good review of the state of affairs in AI and healthcare regulation in South Africa. His general observations are relevant across borders.

From DLA Piper: “Connected devices and the Internet of Things: What insurers need to know.”

and, “Top 5 Internet of Things predictions for 2018.” (It’s all about the data, and hence, the GDPR.)

From Frost Todd Brown: “You Can’t Sue a Robot: Are Existing Tort Theories Ready for Artificial Intelligence?”

An interview with McDonald Carano’s IT Director, Rob Sawyer: “Automating Law-Firm Contracts.”

From Goulston & Storrs: “Facial Recognition in Retail: “Attention all Shoppers: We Already Know Everything about You.”

From Tom Fox Law: “Using AI In a Compliance Function – Part I.”

From Allen & Overy: “Using artificial intelligence to fight financial crime – a legal risk perspective.”

From Bird & Bird: “Data, Database Law, and Digital Innovation – Lessons from the Technomed Telemedicine case in the English High Court.”

From Littler: “AI’s Transformational Role in Making HR More Objective While Overcoming the Challenge of Illegal Algorithm Biases”

 

  • Here’s a good overview of what AI my hold for document management in the coming few years.

 

  • From The Guardian: In the UK, “Police ‘may need AI to help cope with huge volumes of evidence’.”

 

  • And while we’re in the UK, Artificial Lawyer reports that Allen & Overy’s banking practice has adopted deal management platform, Legatics. (It seems I post about Allen & Overy at least once a week.)

 

  • From the always excellent Attorney-At-Work folks, here are several summaries of the most interesting stuff at last week’s Legalweek 2018.

And there are many interesting AI observations and slide shots from Legalweek here.

 

  • Gotta love this application of AI and facial recognition: “AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second. … Thousands of animals including elephants, tigers, rhinos, and gorillas are poached each year. Researchers at the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society have long been applying AI to protect wildlife. Initially, computer scientists were using AI and game theory to anticipate the poachers’ haunts, and now they have applied artificial intelligence and deep learning to spot poachers in near real-time.”

 

  • From our ‘Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye‘ bureau, “Police in China are wearing facial-recognition glasses. … Fixed facial recognition cameras have been in use to fight public toilet paper theft and to catch beer festival-going criminals in China, and now the technology is being mounted onto wearable glasses to eliminate any blind spots for crimes.” There’s much more here about the “insidious downside” of China’s massive investment in artificial intelligence.

Even in the US, as discussed here, consumers seem to be giving up interest in their privacy.

 

  • Finally, for an hour of your weekend listening pleasure, here’s “Frontiers Lecture: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence with Max Tegmark and Neil deGrasse Tyson.”

 

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, with AI, it’s all about the data: clean, connected, current, comprehensive. Once you select a use for AI, your data is your crucial next step.

 

How much data? I haven’t checked this stat from “Information To Insights: Why Business Needs Artificial Intelligence,” but I wouldn’t be surprised: “If you gathered all of the data created in just one day and burned it onto DVDs, you could stack those disks on top of each other and reach the moon — twice.”

 

  • MUST READ: Bob Ambrogi’s ten recommendations to address the A2J crisis (and generally get lawyers up to speed re tech). Really — read this.

 

  • There’s more and more coming out of this week’s Legaltech. For instance:

From law.com: “(AI is)_the defining buzzword of this year’s conference, but the legal profession is still parsing what it means and how it will affect what lawyers do. Here are three takeaways:

1. AI excels at discreet tasks. And it’s only as good as your data.

2. The legal technology industry is still trying to build lawyer trust.

3. AI will put pressure on law firms. But not in the way you think.

– There have been a host of AI-related product announcements. Here, from Caroline Hill, editor in chief of Legal IT Insider, is a good summary. (I won’t even try to cover them all.)

– Here’s an interesting interview by Bob Ambrogi of Bahar Ansari, founder and CEO of Case.one (“case one”), about their pricing model and how to facilitate client relationship management via AI. There’s an Alexa interface! (12 minutes)

 

  • Fraud prevention: Nuance announced that its voice biometrics solution has hit a milestone for adoption of its authentication and fraud-prevention platform … with over 300 million consumers making more than five billion successful voice authentication(s)….” Users include, “The Australian Taxation Office, ICICI Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, TalkTalk, and Vodafone Turkey….”

 

  • From Allen & Overy: “In an age of artificial intelligence and robotics and where electric cars are now a reality, restrictive covenants in employment contracts are essential armour for any employer.” Details and how to manage the risk here.

 

  • I have reported several times on Bird & Bird’s interest and involvement in AI. Now, “Bird & Bird has chosen Luminance’s artificial intelligence platform to assist with its contract review for M&A due diligence. The announcement of the deal follows a successful trial of the technology across the firm’s London and Stockholm offices.”

 

  • From The Christian Science Monitor, here’s a good summary of where we stand re “Artificial intelligence plays budding role in courtroom bail decisions.”

 

Gordon Healiss, of leading transcription company Accuro, describes how modern transcription services work and what features of the service to look out for;

Norma Laming, who works in local government, describes the key features of voice recognition; and

Greig Duncan of leading document assembly company HotDocs describes automated document assembly and how this is reaching into artificial intelligence.

 

  • eDiscovery was the first widespread application of AI in the legal space, but according to this release from McDermott, there are still improvements to be made: “International law firm McDermott Will & Emery announced today it is enhancing its eDiscovery service, combining the most advanced artificial intelligence-driven technology with one of the most experienced eDiscovery legal teams in the world.” Their offering is “powered by NexLP’s Story Engine. This AI-driven platform helps legal professionals uncover the most important documents faster than traditional Technology Assisted Review solutions while leveraging a unique continuous active learning workflow to achieve an even faster, more efficient data classification process.”

 

  • More on healthcare regulations from Jones Day: “Artificial Intelligence and Health Care—Key Regulatory Considerations for U.S. Operations.”

 

  • I never know on which continent Luminance’s will land its next client. From Artificial Lawyer, “Legal AI Co. Luminance Opens in Singapore; Bags Bird & Bird.”

 

  • From Reed Smith: “Four months until the GDPR: Which EU countries have already implemented local GDPR laws? Is there anything relevant in these laws?”

 

  • Regarding our inability to explain how AI reaches any given decision, I recently posted the wonderfully title article, “Don’t Make AI Artificially Stupid in the Name of Transparency.” Along those lines, this from Quartz: ““Human-constructed models aim at reducing the variables to a set small enough for our intellects to understand,” “Machine learning models can construct models that work — for example, they accurately predict the probability of medical conditions — but that cannot be reduced enough for humans to understand or to explain them.”

 

  • This story has been widely reported: “A group of quantitative hedge fund traders long dreamed of bringing their artificial intelligence strategies to all. And now they have with the first exchange-traded fund to combine the worlds of AI and blockchain. The fund tracks the Innovation Labs Blockchain Innovators Index. The gauge, which was created by Innovation Labs Ltd., uses “natural language processing” to scan news sources in order to determine sentiment and spot keywords so it can create a portfolio of as many as 60 stocks.”