• 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.

The biggest story in AI this week is the launch in China of an AI (“Digital Human”) news reader/anchor person. It’s certainly not Uncle Walter, but at first glance it’s pretty convincing. “The Chinese AI anchor man looks very much like the average Chinese citizen, a typical Chinese guy with that oddly intellectual look. He looks reassuring, made for his market like most news readers’ images are supposed to be.” Coverage here, here, here and video here. “There’s fake news, and then there’s fake people doing the news.”

In related news, Microsoft has developed AI that goes beyond the now well-established systems that write news articles. “Condensing paragraphs into sentences isn’t easy for artificial intelligence (AI). That’s because it requires a semantic understanding of the text that’s beyond the capabilities of most off-the-shelf natural language processing models. But it’s not impossible, as researchers at Microsoft recently demonstrated.”

 

  • Read this post from Artificial Lawyer. It provides some excellent insights from the heads of legal departments in some major corporations as to where the industry is headed and why. Legal Is Not ‘Special’ – Key Message of TR Legal Tech Procurement Event.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer (AL) has begun to do product reviews. The first company to be reviewed is Kira Systems, and here is the link. It’s not actually a link to a review, but rather a call for users to review the product according to specified criteria which will then be reported. Cool.

 

More posts from Artificial Lawyer:

– BCLP Launches ML Early Dispute Evaluation Service. “Clear/Cut harnesses the firm’s award-winning in-house forensic technology capability.” More here.

– Big Data Startup Concirrus Wins Norton Rose InsurTech Prize. Details here.

– Using AI Contract Analysis to Prepare for Brexit – Seal Software. More of this sponsored post here.

 

  • Blank Rome publishedWill “Leaky” Machine Learning Usher in a New Wave of Lawsuits? in RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law. “…(I)t seems all but inevitable that some of those (AI) systems will create unintended and unforeseen consequences, including harm to individuals and society at large.”

 

  • Law.com posted this news from Byran Cave: New Data Analysis Service Could Help In-House Clients See the Future. “…Clear/Cut leverages predictive coding and machine learning to comb through massive amounts of data and pluck out key information for legal analysts, who use the data to recommend whether clients should settle or forge ahead with litigation.” More here.

 

 

  • From Laura H. Phillips of DrinkerThe FCC Wades into the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning Pool. ” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a Public Notice announcing a first ever FCC Forum focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This Forum will convene at FCC headquarters on November 30.”

 

  • This, from Jonathan BockmanRudy Y. Kim, and Anna Yuan of MoFo: Patenting Artificial Intelligence in the U.S. – Considerations for AI Companies. “…(C)ertain AI technologies can face increased scrutiny at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to whether the invention is directed to patent-eligible subject matter.”

 

  • James M. Beck of ReedSmith publishedThe Diagnostic Artificial Intelligence Speedbump Nobody’s Mentioning. This is a very interesting and thorough treatment of the FDA’s regulations and the need for more.

 

  • Canada’s Torys published: Software As Medical Devices And Digital Health In Canada: What’s Next? Link here.

 

  • From Pillsbury’s Ashley E. CowgillArtificial Intelligence: A Grayish Area for Insurance Coverage. Download here from The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law Vol. 2, No. 1.

 

  • Here’s an interesting post by Ian Connett of QuantumJuristA Future of J.D. Advantage Jobs? (“J.D. Advantage” jobs are those for which a law degree is strongly preferred, but not necessarily required.) As you might expect, the answer is “yes”, and the specific examples he presents are interesting.

 

  • “Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s on-demand cloud computing subsidiary, was partially HIPAA eligible — AWS customers could use Polly, SageMaker, Rekognition, and dozens of the platform’s other offerings to process health information. But Translate, Comprehend, and Transcribe remained notable holdouts — until now, that is. As of this week, all three comply with HIPAA.” Story from Venture Beat here.

 

  • Dentons has published this Market Insights volume titled: Digital Transformation and the Digital Consumer. There’s a chapter on AI and much of the content is AI-related. There’s a video excerpt here.

 

  • LeClairRyan has published Airplanes and Artificial Intelligence Parts I and II. “…(A)pplications for AI in aviation and its effect on the legal liability and regulation of those who use it.”

 

  • From Hogan Lovells, here’s a link to download Artificial Intelligence and your business: A guide for navigating the legal, policy, commercial, and strategic challenges ahead.

 

  • Milena Higgins of Black Hills is the guest on this episode of Legal Talk Network’s “Legal Toolkit”: Robot Takeover: How Automation Makes Law Practice Easier.

 

  • Here’s Part 4 of Mintz’ Strategies To Unlock AI’s Potential In Health Care, Part 4: How And When Will Congress Act?

 

  • At two events in the past 30 days I’ve been part of discussions about law firms acquiring tech companies. Here’s an example: Singapore law firm Rajah & Tann acquires e-discovery startup LegalComet.

 

  • “Nalytics, is working with Strathclyde University’s Law School post-graduate students on a new project dedicated to promoting digital transformation in legal education. By providing free access to the Nalytics search and discovery platform to students on the Diploma in Professional Legal Studies, the project aims to help students develop a greater understanding of legal technology and more importantly, its applications in tackling a range of big data problems.” Story here.

 

  • This article from S&P Global Platts (Commodity market AI applications are emerging along with new risks) cites partners at several prominent law firms among others. “Artificial intelligence and smart contract technology like blockchain are slowly being adopted by commodity markets, creating opportunities to streamline trading and other functions, but not without introducing challenges and risks experts said Thursday.”

 

  • Exterro has issued the results of another survey. (2018 In-house Legal Benchmarking Report. There’s a link here.) All that is presented regarding the methodology is “…with over 100 respondents (more than ever before), this year’s report surveys a wider distribution of companies, including more from organizations of fewer than 25,000 people than in the past.” So, I’m assuming there are 101 respondents, making the typical margin of error error about +/-10%. Given the wide range of company sizes (1 to 250,000+ employees) and the fact most fall into one size category (1,000-25,000 employees), I don’t see how there can be much useful information anywhere in the report. Law.com talks about it (without regard to the methodology) here.

 

  • Here’s another industry survey. (The Blickstein Group’s 10th Annual Law Department Operations Survey.) This one has 128 respondents this year, but reports data back to 2008 when they had only 34 respondents. This year’s stats are probably accurate +/-9% which means that many of the differences reported are actually in a statistical tie, and the prior year data with very small samples should be ignored. Above the Law includes a summary by Brad Blickstein here without comment on its methodology. When combined with the included content by vendors and law firms, I see this study as the equivalent of an interesting focus group — just don’t take the statistics seriously.

 

  • I find it interesting that this post from Kyocera BRANDVOICE in Forbes (Can The Right Office Equipment Improve Our Legal Culture?) has a section on AI. They include AI as “equipment-related”.

 

  • Here, from the New York Times DealBook is a thorough examination of the bias present in today’s artificial intelligence:  AI: The Commonality of A.I. and Diversity. (It’s written by Alina Tugend)

 

Blockchain

  • This, from ContractWorks: Are Your Contracts in Chaos? Get Organized with These 4 Tips.

 

 

Also from Artificial Lawyer:

Smart Contract Pioneer OpenLaw Goes Open Source. Story here.

  • Ron Friedmann has pulled together pieces from three WSJ articles to offer a bit of a plan for improving value to clients, and hence to the law firm. His thesis combines considerations of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Productivity, and Big Data.

 

  • This, from Eran Kahana of Stanford Law School: Artificial Intelligence and Computational Law: Democratizing Cybersecurity. “An effective solution to a new problem has to incorporate different thinking, an epistemic reconfiguration, if you will. It is a thinking that manifests in novel tools, combined with effective deterrence in the form of penalties for non-compliance. But going back to the different-thinking variable, I think that a good part of an effective solution is available in shifting focus from regulatory efforts to end-user empowerment, essentially enabling end-users to become smarter consumers in the Internet + ecosystem.”

 

  • Robert Bond and Hannah Crowther of Bristows postedEthics and Data Privacy. “The 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners has released a Declaration on Ethics and Protection in Artificial Intelligence. In it, the Conference endorsed several guiding principles as “core values” to protect human rights as the development of artificial intelligence continues apace. The Conference called for the establishment of international common governance principles on AI in line with these concepts. As an initial step toward that goal, the Conference announced a permanent working group on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence.” “Even if Scott McNealy was right in 1999 (when he reportedly said, “You have zero privacy anyway – Get over it.”), individuals deserve respect for their privacy. This respect does not always have to be imposed by law, but should be a matter of integrity and ethics.”

 

  • Richard Jeens and Natalie Osafo of Slaughter and May posted this via Artificial Lawyer: Using AI for Regulatory Investigations. “In this post, we consider and share our views on the opportunities, limitations and future uses of AI for investigations.” “…(AI) is not a panacea. At the moment, significant resource can be required to compensate for AI’s limitations, which are amplified by the unpredictable nature of investigations, and the evolving data protection position.”

 

  • This, from Mintz’ Rodney L. WhitlockStrategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, Part 4: How and When Will Congress Act? “Currently, there is no sense that Congress will actively engage in legislative oversight of AI in the immediate future – the lack of movement on the existing bills combined with the overall lack of more targeted legislation are evidence of this. However, we are able to identify potential circumstances that could spur the House and the Senate to get involved.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “Legal marketplace pioneer, Lexoo, will use some of its recent $4.4m funding to develop its own legal tech applications to support the lawyers who work through the platform and to provide a deeper infrastructure for them to use on client matters. Such tools, e.g. that can support corporate deal work, will also mean that individual lawyers, or lawyers based in smaller firms, will already have some tech tools on hand to leverage their skills and do more for the clients, and work more efficiently.”

 

  • And finally from Artificial Lawyer: “Pittsburgh-based tech startup Three10 Solutions has bagged a $250,000 angel investment to continue development of its AI patent concept search system, named Dorothy. It is also looking for design partners to join the project. Its central idea is that unlike some other systems, it uses NLP to do conceptual searches for similar products, rather than depending just on key words, which are rarely sufficient for a detailed analysis.”

 

  • I wasn’t aware of Australia’s Law in Order until today. Their website provides several useful pieces of content includingThe Importance of Having an eDiscovery Expert on Your Side. Of course, they are promotional, but interesting nonetheless.

 

  • From Legaltech newsArtificial Intelligence: Useful—But Risky, Deloitte Survey Says. “Four out of 10 executives are concerned about the legal and regulatory risks of artificial intelligence, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Lawyers shared with Legaltech News the concerns they’ve heard and gave suggestions to address those risks.”

 

Blockchain

  • From DentonsUK: Manufacturing The Future: Applying Blockchain To The Manufacturing Supply Chain.

 

  • From Howard KennedyBlockchain is not the answer to money laundering… yet. “There is no reason existing regulations should stifle the progress of blockchain in this area. If regulators can create shared platforms, then they could dramatically improve AML measures for financial services while reducing the cost of compliance. It may even result in an internationally recognised digital client-identity forum. But clearly there is work to be done.”

 

  • Korean, Singaporean Firms Form Consortium to Create a Global Healthy Blockchain Ecosystem. “Some of the biggest blockchain-focused companies, as well as one law firm, have formed a consortium to create a “healthy blockchain ecosystem” as well as develop several dApps that are strategically focused on South Korea and Singapore.” Details here.
  • From Akin GumpPolicymakers Focusing in on Artificial Intelligence. “Following a series of recent events involving policymakers from Trump’s Administration and Capitol Hill, artificial intelligence (AI) was the second hottest topic in D.C.”

 

  • From Haynes and Boone:’s Stephanie Sivinski in Law 360: 4 Ways Advances in AI Could Challenge Patent Law.  “Looking further into the future of AI, it is becoming plausible that a machine could devise an invention without any direct input from humans. That would probably not be a physical object, but perhaps a suggestion for a new chemical compound or an optimized method of medical treatment. Recognizing the AI as the inventor of the technology could put patent law into uncharted territory….”

 

  • Insurance (UK): Consumers Increasingly Happy to Let AI & Robots Sort Out Claims. A survey of 2000 consumers in the UK is discussed here.

 

  • Here’s an interesting 14-minute podcast from Above the Law: Managing A Law Firm Right Requires A Good Map. “Data analytics are essential for the successful law firm.”

 

  • From Pinset Masons‘ Out-Law.com: CMA (the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority): collusion could be addressed with personalised pricing. “The risk of businesses colluding with one another over the price of goods and services would diminish if there was extensive use of personalised pricing algorithms in digital markets….”

 

  • Roman V. Yampolskiy of the University of Louisville: AI Systems Could be Able to Own Property, Sue, Hire Lawyers and Enjoy Freedom of Speech. “Humans aren’t the only people in society at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people too without any legislation, court rulings or other revisions to existing law.” “Those human figureheads could be used to expand corporate rights or even establish new rights specific to artificial intelligence systems expanding the threats to humanity even more.” Much more here.

 

  • Gibson Dunn’s H. Mark LyonClaudia M. BarrettFrances Annika Smithson and Ryan K. Iwahashi posted this lengthy, scholarly piece: Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Legal Update (3Q18). “We are pleased to provide the following update on recent legal developments in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomous systems (or “AI” for short), and their implications for companies developing or using products based on these technologies.”

 

  • From The Indian ExpressPM Narendra Modi: ‘Artificial intelligence, blockchain to change nature of jobs’. “…(A)rtificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and big data, can take India to new heights of development and improve people’s quality of life. Our diversity, our demographic potential, fast-growing market size and digital infrastructure has potential to make India a global hub for research and implementation,….”

 

  • Counterintelligence Implications of Artificial Intelligence—Part III by Jim Baker … former General Counsel of the FBI. “This is the third post in my series about the counterintelligence implications of artificial intelligence (AI). The first two are here and here.” “AI and Big Data are a potent combination with many implications. This post focuses on how adversaries might apply AI to the vast amount of data that they collect about American to understand us, predict what we will do and manipulate our behavior in ways that advantage them.” Scary stuff here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Two Thirds of Large Corporates Implementing RPA (Robotic Process Automation)– Deloitte Report. “While many law firms perhaps are not looking at RPA yet – although they may be using LPOs that do use this approach – there are some interesting parallels with doc review automation in law firms.” Story here.

 

  • More about DoNotPay’s recent release/expansion, including a list of the 14 applications. “Not a single one of the things above you could not do on your own. None of them give you new rights or powers that you did not already have (if you live in the right location). All they do is encourage you to go out and get what someone else, somewhere in the vast sprawl of civic, justice and consumer organisations out there, has already created for public use….” (And here’s an update to the post from ABA Journal.[Updated on Oct. 11 after the app’s launch to add details about the issues users were reporting and Browder’s response.])

 

  • Viewpoint: Nouriel Roubini Hammers Blockchain + Crypto’s Failings. “…(B)lockchain tech and the cryptocurrencies that have evolved with it are not without their challenges, as is the case with all tech, from AI systems to mobile phones to airliners to hairdryers.”

 

  • As a die hard Tar Heel, I have issues with anything to do Duke University (a.k.a., “dook”), so it pains me a bit to post thisSeal Software and the Duke Law AI Showdown – #TheRealThing. There was a competition, and “the legal professionals from Duke, UNC and Wake Forest were nothing short of awesome in how quickly they grasped the issues for analysis, and even more so how quickly they mastered the technology at their disposal to solve their problems.” Of course, the team from UNC won the competition even though it took place on Duke’s home court. In conclusion, “… our group of energetic students showed to a certainty the power that a genuine AI platform can deliver.”

 

Blockchain

  • Developing Blockchain Technology Has Potential to Aid Real Estate Transactions. “…(T)he technology has the potential to significantly increase the speed and reduce the costs of real estate transactions, as well as make investments safer and more liquid.” More here.

 

  • From ETH News: Senate Committee Hears Two Very Different Takes On Blockchain. “The banking committee today heard blockchain offers ‘otherwise unattainable benefits’. It also heard it is just a ‘glorified spreadsheet’ that will never produce anything of value.” Testimony of several witnesses is summarized here.

 

  • For your weekend reading, here’s another fairly understandable explanation of blockchain. Blockchain for Lawyers: What Is a ‘Distributed Ledger’, and Why Is It Useful to Lawyers? by EffortlessLegal’s Holly Urban.

 

  • This infographic (quite a few images followed by narrative) may also help you understand the basics of cryptocurrencies. It’s from Bitcoinfy.net.
  • From Goulston & Storrs‘ Retail Law Advisor,  penned Augmented Retail – The Use of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience. The use of these technologies by Amazon, American Apparel, Ikea, Williams Sonoma and Sephora are discussed.

 

  • Standardization of legaltech, what a concept!! “…12 law firms (including LathamClifford ChancePaul WeissCravath, Freshfields, Linklaters and Skadden) have joined a consortium to support a legal tech startup called Reynen Court LLC, which is creating a platform to allow law firms to more quickly deploy legal tech tools such as contract analysis, discovery and practice management. In short, the effort is akin to creating an App Store that will allow law firms to quickly and more securely fire up third-party software.” These Big Law Firms Are Backing an App Store for Legal Tech Products. Coverage of this development here and here.

 

  • From Allen MatkinsKeith Paul BishopIs Artificial Intelligence The Future Of Rulemaking? “I can foresee a time when artificial intelligence is used to identify agency rulemaking proposals and to craft comments.  Agencies may in turn use artificial intelligence to categorize, analyze and even respond to comments.  In this dystopian future, regulations may be entirely drafted, commented on and promulgated by computers.”

 

 

  • This post is from Covington’s Inside Privacy blog: IoT and AI Update: California Legislature Passes Bills on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Chatbots. The post describes the law’s provisions.

 

  • Here’s the story of Keystone Law from it’s founding in 2002 as a different kind of law firm to the decision to float on the London Stock Exchange. AI and blockchain are mentioned.

 

  • Included in this critique of the Legal Services Act (Tensions in Legal Services Act coming to fore, says review by Neil Rose), “The current structure therefore pre-dates the global financial crisis (which has led to austerity, shortfalls in the funding of legal aid and the wider courts and justice system, and then to a rise in litigants-in-person). It also pre-dates a use of technology that has become more extensive and pervasive, as well as the rise of artificial intelligence in law.”

 

  • Here’s Part Three of Squire Patton Boggs’ Artificial Intelligence Law Is Here by Huu Nguyen. “Our discussion of AI Law turns now to the topic of robo-advisors, AI speech and AI legislations before Congress.” It includes reviews of and links to the first two parts. “it is clear that AI Law is here, and here to stay. The advice I can give to the law or computer science student today in this fast changing arena is to be part of the debate of where AI Law should be and not just focus on the technology.”

 

  • This, from Legal FuturesFrom lawyer marketplace to global law firm? “An online lawyer-matching business (Lexoo) targeted at companies has secured £3.4m in its latest funding round with an investor predicting that it could become ‘a virtual and distributed tech-driven global law firm’. Lexoo will use the funding to invest in new technology, including automated contract drafting and project management tools to further increase efficiencies of its lawyers.”

 

  • “The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been awarded £700,000 in taxpayers’ money to support innovations involving artificial intelligence to transform the legal services market for small businesses and consumers.” “According to the department, the SRA’s project, Data-Driven Innovation in Legal Services, ’will seek out and accelerate ethical AI-powered business innovations that support its regulatory objectives. The focus will be on growing the large underdeveloped legal services market for small businesses and consumers, where AI and automation can have a transformative impact’.” More from The Law Society Gazette here.

 

  • From Darren Hau of Marks & Clerk: Patenting AI: the EPO’s new guidelines: “In its annual update of the “Guidelines for Examination”, the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided further guidance for its examiners in relation to the patentability of inventions relating to mathematical methods and computer programs. This updated guidance is of particular relevance to inventions relating to the fast-growing field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In part 1 of this article, we provide a summary of the key points from the updated guidelines that are relevant to AI inventions. Part 2 will follow, in which we will provide an in-depth assessment of the impact of the new guidelines on the patentability of AI inventions.”

 

  • “The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold its annual Legal Issues Forum with the 2018 theme Legal and Ethical Issues of Artificial Intelligence, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at the FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.” Details here.

 

  • Since the release of Westlaw Edge, Thomson Reuters has been on an AI publishing tear. Some of the material is by their own folks and some by third parties touting the advantages of Thomson’s approach or their specific products. Here‘s another: Artificial Intelligence: The Debate Between Point and Platform Solutions by Sally Gonzalez.

 

Here are the latest headlines from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Legal Tech Leaders: Sam Moore, Innovation Manager, Burness Paull. Story here.
  • Meet LegalForce, Japan’s First Ever Legal AI Platform. Story here.
  • SRA Targets Legal AI A2J Applications with ‘Innovate Testbed’. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • How Can Blockchain Thrive In The Face Of European GDPR Blockade? “In an almost direct clash of intentions, the GDPR has effectively banned the use of blockchain technology in Europe because of its immutable nature. The GDPR offers the power back to the individual to edit and delete data which falls into the hands of centralized authorities, but when there is no centralized authority, there is no need for data to be moved around. This is the crux of the GDPR’s clash with blockchain. So, what happens to Europe and the next technological wave?” The post by Darryn Pollockdescribes the situation in some detail and says the regulations should change, but does not offer specific suggestions.

 

  • Here’s a brief summary of the second and the final day of Ripple’s Swell conference, including a link to this 20-page report. (“Conducted in August of 2018, the Blockchain in Payments Report analyzed data from 676 respondents across 22 countries who are directly involved with payment services at their organization.” There is no mention of the response rate of other methodology. Assuming no problems there, 676 responses should support robust analysis.)

 

  • From Anastasios Antoniou of the Oxford Faculty of Law: Bridging the divide between code and law in distributed ledger ecosystems. “Code and law have been entangled in a silent tension ever since the advent of cyberspace.  The centralised architecture of cyberspace paved the way for law to prevail.  The latest manifestation of this tension, however, appears to be opening up a Pandora’s box.  Blockchain and law are on a silent collision course that must be addressed. This post argues that in bridging the divide between code and law in blockchain, a radical rethink of regulation is imperative.”

The College of Law Practice Management just announced the winners of this year’s InnovAction AwardsLawGeex for its contract review automation and NetApp, Inc. for its process automation bot. Congrats to both for winning this very competitive award! (The ceremony will be at this year’s Futures Conference, October 25-26 in Boston.)

 

  • From DWF: Big data, big opportunities. “The adoption of data analytics has grown exponentially, but concerns over security and privacy remain. Read the second in our series of articles that explores how technology is being harnessed to drive the transport of the future.” There’s a link to a “full report” discussing the results of a survey, but there is no information at all about the methodology, even in that “full report”.

 

  • More extraordinary fundraising news: ‘Not to be outdone by Kira Systems’ piddly $50m fundraising last week, Justin Kan’s one-year-old legal tech startup Atrium yesterday (10 September) announced that it has raised $65m and says it is making good progress in realising its vision of transforming the legal industry, or, as TechCrunch’s headline puts it somewhat hysterically, replacing lawyers with machine learning.” More coverage here and here.

 

  • Here’s a link to 2nd Annual Blickstein Group/Exterro Study of Effective Legal Spend Management. There are 59 respondents and no information about methodology or response rates is provided, so be very cautious interpreting the results. The very best case is that they are accurate within +/- 13%. So, if 50% say “yes” to a question, we would conclude that between 37 and 63% of all eligible respondents would have said “yes”, and that’s assuming no non-response bias and other methodological problems.

 

  • This story from Real Estate Weekly focuses on Goodwin’s Salil Gandhi’s thoughts about technology and that industry.

 

  • In this post, LexisNexis’ Kris Satkunas reports: “We look at all of the different types of decisions that have to be made in a legal department, and we help categorize those decisions into five different levels of maturity – based on how the department goes about making them.” “There is plenty of buzz about the possibilities in this area, about starting to use artificial intelligence to make truly data-driven decisions. In many cases, the technology doesn’t exist yet to be able to get to the fifth level, but we can at least take steps to move in that direction – toward that optimal place, even if it’s not fully automated yet. I think that is where the industry is heading.”

 

  • Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus’ Rob Williams postedWorkplace Harassment Is Nothing New, but it’s a Different Beast With Social Media. “Now we’re using artificial intelligence, predictive coding, sampling data – all being pulled and culled by the computer.”

 

  • Here’s discussion of use of Thomson’s new Westlaw Edge in a personal injury firm.

 

  • This somewhat scholarly post from a group at Mayer Brown (United States: If Only: US Treasury Department Report Creates A Wish Tree Of Financial Reform For Fintech). “As the Report points out, the artificial intelligence (“AI”) revolution is here. Treasury offers insight into the problems it anticipates from the use of AI in the financial services ecosystem.” Those insights are detailed in the piece.

 

  • Womble’s Theodore Claypoole posted, How AI Shapes the Future of Wealth Management. “Artificial intelligence (“AI”), from predictive analysis to recommendation engines, will soon provide better decisions, more attentive client service, and a broader customer base for wealth managers willing to trust them. Asset managers are already implementing AI into their businesses.” The piece discusses those applications and provides a bit of background on AI generally.

 

 

  • Here’s a thought piece from HBR: Collaborative Intelligence: Humans and AI Are Joining Forces. “While AI will radically alter how work gets done and who does it, the technology’s larger impact will be in complementing and augmenting human capabilities, not replacing them.”

 

Blockchain

  • A2J: “Is there a place for smart contracts in improving access to legal services for (middle and lower income clients)? In an announcement at last week’s TechCrunch Disrupt SF conference, Rocket Lawyer says yes….” “Already the easiest way to create and sign legal documents, now Rocket Lawyer will make contract performance and resolution of disputes, secure and affordable, by becoming the first mainstream legal technology company to integrate blockchain technology into everyday legal transactions at scale.” There’s a link for you to try it out.

 

  • From Above the Law, an interview with Linda Selker: “Today, I am excited about the potential of smart contracts and how blockchain technology can even further extend horizons for more convenient, personal, inclusive, portable, and expedient user experiences in virtual, decentralized commerce ecosystem without borders.”

 

  • Hunton Andrews Kurth posted this announcement: FTC to Commence Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. “The notice, published in the Federal Register, does not specifically mention blockchain or distributed ledger technology specifically, but the broad list of topics that the FTC lists as areas in which it seeks comments could easily accommodate market developments due to the emergence of blockchain technology and related applications.”

 

  • From The RecorderArbitration Innovation? JAMS Preps for Future Blockchain, Crypto Disputes With New Practice. “The ADR group’s new practice leader is Zeichner Ellman & Krause CISO Daniel Garrie, who argues ‘you need to change the rules’ of disputes for new technologies.”

 

  • Mark Radcliffe and Victoria Lee of DLA Piper posted: The Big Legal Issue Blockchain Developers Rarely Discuss. “Software licensed under open source licenses (OSS) is fundamental to the success of blockchain projects.” “However, OSS licenses are generally quite different from traditional proprietary software licenses. The importance of selecting the right OSS license and complying with the terms of that license is rarely discussed by the blockchain community.” They do so.

 

  • This surprised me. I post a lot about Silicon Valley, Shanghai, London, etc. as AI hubs. Turns out NYC is doing pretty well. See this post (New York Is the Capital of a Booming Artificial Intelligence Industry) from Bloomberg. “If you’re looking to get into AI, set your sights on New York, according to the report. Surprisingly, New York—not San Francisco—boasts the highest percentage of AI and machine learning positions in a single metro area, with more than 11 percent of national job postings.”

 

  • AALL Annual Meeting Session Recap: Powered by AI, Built in the Law Library. “Fastcase CEO Ed Walters has had enough with the magic and the unicorns and the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, or AI.  He urged attendees at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) session, “Powered by AI, Built in the Law Library,” to think of AI like pivot tables in Excel: they’re just tools. They’re not magic, but they can be to those who don’t understand them.” Good insights and examples in this piece.

 

  • The folks at Artificial Lawyer prepared this recapILTACon 2018 – Legal AI Comes of Age. “This time the most remarkable thing at ILTACon was how accepted it has all become, which in turn also signalled a far more mature understanding of the tech involved and the questions that needed to be grappled with. In short, the debate has moved on now to substantive issues around data quality needs for NLP training and real opportunities grounded in discussions around improvements to profit margins.” Definitely worth reading. (Blockchain is included.)

 

  • This summary (Changes to Law Firm Business Model Could Spur Innovation) of an ILTACON 2018 keynote panel includes some examples of modest inovation.

 

  • Also from ILTACON, via law.com, these four “Stories of Innovation: The Power of Personal Stories to Influence Behavior Change.” The examples are from Orrick, Troutman Sauders, Littler Mendelson, and Freshfields. Some funny, all interesting.

 

  • From Reed SmithProposed amendments to the ePrivacy Regulation. “The ePR will repeal and replace the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive 2002/58/EC. The ePR will align Europe’s ePrivacy regime more closely with privacy regime set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR took effect on 25 May 2018.” Amendments to three articles are discussed.

 

  • On Fridays, I try to provide some thought pieces and primer sorts of stuff. So, here’s Artificial intelligence definitions – upgrade your AI IQ, a good, pretty comprehensive, set of introductory definitions.

 

  • From Casepoint’s David Carns, here’s an interesting overview of the general implications of legal tech for “Law 3.0.” “(W)hile the Law 3.0 technology stack enables the digital transformation of real business processes and workflows, it does not replace those processes and workflows. It enhances them. It gives legal practitioners a big boost in speed and efficiency, but it will never replace the people who are practicing law.” Hmmm. Some might disagree.

 

Blockchain

  • “Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the World Bank have claimed the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred, and managed via blockchain.” “According to CBA, the “$AUD Kangaroo bond”, Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument (bond-i), which uses a private Ethereum blockchain, was created, allocated, transferred, and managed through its life cycle solely using distributed ledger technology. The two-year bond raised AU$110 million.” More here.

 

  • From Artificial LawyerPwC Legal Switzerland Joins the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium. “PwC Legal Switzerland has been exploring the impact of blockchain technology on various industries and ‘recognises the transformative potential of blockchain in the legal sector’.”

 

  • From Loeb & Loeb: Mini Law Lesson: What the Heck is Blockchain? It’s a five-minute video. (Focus on the content, not the production values.) Very high level.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi posted this Access-to-Justice news: Legaler Raises $1.5M To Build Blockchain To Help Bridge Justice Gap. Australia seems to do more than just about any other country re A2J tech.

 

  • Here’s Volume 34 of K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer. If you’re really interested in news about blockchain and law, you should be following these posts.

 

  • DWF’s Dominic Watkins contributed this brief post to the UK’s Food ManufactureLegal implications as blockchain disrupts food.
  • The big news yesterday was Thomson Reuters’ launch of “…Westlaw Edge, an updated, artificial intelligence-assisted legal research platform. The updates include new warnings for invalid or questionable law, litigation analytics, a tool to analyze statutory changes and an improved AI-enhanced search called WestSearch Plus.” Here’s their video promo piece, and here the press release. Kudos to Thomson Reuters for garnering so much coverage, such as here and here. This early review by Bob Ambrogi is especially interesting, as is this from Jean O’Grady.

At the same time, Artificial Lawyer has this coverage of Eikon Digest, Thomson Reuters’ “new algorithmic research service aimed at the financial sector, in a move that shows the increasing use of machine learning, NLP and related tech.”

 

  • Meanwhile, “LexisNexis® Legal & Professional today announced the launch of Lexis Analytics, a comprehensive suite of analytics tools that leverages advanced technology, vast stores of legal content and expert curation to give lawyers a decisive competitive advantage in the business and practice of law.” Here’s the press release.

 

  • From LegalWeek, here are Jeffrey Catanzaro’s thoughts about: What junior lawyers need to know about artificial intelligence. “The new lawyers of today are the managing partners and general counsel of tomorrow, and although some commentators may assert that the profession is disruption-free, an increasing body of evidence does suggest the contrary. As the American media mogul Ryan Kavanaugh once said: -The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don’t react to it decades later. You can’t fight innovation.'”

 

  • Tracy Molino of Dentons has these thoughts about: The practical uses of distributed ledger technology, beyond cryptocurrencies. She breaks down the applications by industry. “Dentons is proud to be the first Canadian law firm to join the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC).”

 

  • This piece from The Economist, Law firms climb aboard the AI wagon, doesn’t break any new ground, but provides an overview of law firm applications of AI and the possible ramifications thereof. “Will legal employment eventually shrink? The jury is still out. Some firms expect to employ fewer graduates. But others argue that cheaper services could encourage clients to consult their lawyers more. And although some tasks are automatable, many others rely on human judgment. AI might pinpoint atypical clauses in contracts, for example, but it cannot decide if the anomaly is a deal-breaker. In any event, lawyers should start to find their work more interesting.”

 

  • Here’s a new A2J tool! “An artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed for businesses is to help staff at food banks and MPs’ surgeries refer legal enquiries from members of the public to lawyers….” “What we will be offering is a tool to connect advice givers and lawyers, rather than a replacement for initiatives already taking place.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, “US law firm Fenwick & West has taken the unusual step of making a public announcement about the positive impact its use of legal AI technology, in this case mainly Kira Systems, is having on the firm, stating that use of automated review technology has cut the time needed for such work ‘by half’.

 

  • Press release: “Seal Software, the leading provider of content discovery and analytics solutions, today announced the acquisition of Apogee Legal, a global leader in advanced contract analytics for the enterprise, in a move that will bolster Seal’s award-winning suite of market leading Intelligent Content Analytics (ICA) AI solutions and its global management team.”

 

  • I’ve posted several times about the burgeoning field of AI-based sentiment analysis and it’s use in applications from police departments to job interviews to advertisers. Now there’s an app for that, so you can try it yourself. “The app uses the latest emotional artificial intelligence (Emotion AI) to read 43 facial muscles 14 times a second, using the front camera of a smartphone. The app gives you seven emotional states – fear, anger, disgust, happiness, contempt, sadness, and surprise. It works while you’re watching a video from a friend, recording your reaction at the same time using the front camera. The recipient and the sender both can see the emotion results in real-time, with the top two emotions given priority. These top two emotions are shows with percentages, indicating which emotion is felt the most by individuals concerned.”

 

  • And finally, here’s a weekend thought piece for you: The New Intelligence: Modern AI and the fundamental undoing of the scientific method. “The days of traditional, human-driven problem solving — developing a hypothesis, uncovering principles, and testing that hypothesis through deduction, logic, and experimentation — may be coming to an end. A confluence of factors (large data sets, step-change infrastructure, algorithms, and computational resources) are moving us toward an entirely new type of discovery, one that sits far beyond the constraints of human-like logic or decision-making: driven solely by AI, rooted in radical empiricism. The implications — from how we celebrate scientific discovery to assigning moral responsibility to those discoveries — are far-reaching.” It’s thought provoking, to say the least.

  • Better, faster, cheaper: from Artificial Lawyer, “The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced a partnership with US-based legal data company, OpenText, to make use of its Axcelerate AI-driven doc review tool.The SFO said in a statement that ‘by automating document analysis, AI technology allows the SFO to investigate more quickly, reduce costs and achieve a lower error rate than through the work of human lawyers alone’.” More here from the Law Society Gazette.

 

  • Smart Contracts: More about the Accord Project: “Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy (A&O), and Slaughter & May joined the Accord Project, which already has some of biggest law firms in the world as members. The project is pushing for the adoption of an open source technical and legal protocol that will accept any blockchain or distributed ledger technology – a so-called ‘blockchain agnostic’ standard.”

 

  • From Reed SmithUK government publishes the Digital Charter and reaffirms creation of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

 

  • From Knobbe Martens: “According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration press release, Viz. AI Contact application was granted De Novo premarket review to Viz.AI’s LVO Stroke Platform. According to PR Newswire, Viz.AI’s LVO Stroke Platform is the “first artificial intelligence triage software” and its approval begins “a new era of intelligent stroke care begins as regulatory approval.”

 

 

  • According to American BankerBank of America, Harvard form group to promote responsible AI. “(Cathy) Bessant, the bank’s chief operations and technology officer, wanted to bring in an academic perspective and she wanted to create a neutral place where experts from different sectors and rival companies could discuss AI and craft good policies.”

 

  • Horizon Robotics has debuted a new HD smart camera that boasts serious artificial intelligence capabilities and can identify faces with an accuracy of up to 99.7 percent, the company claims.

 

  • Ever wonder whether the text you’ve used to promote your product or service is perfectly aligned with your brand strategy? Well, “Qordoba, … today announced a revolutionary new capability for scoring emotional tone in product and marketing content.” “Qordoba’s content scoring is based on Affect Detection, a computer science discipline that applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand the primary emotion conveyed by written text. …, to identify the emotion associated with a specific combination of words, allowing developers and product teams to create more effective user interfaces (UI).”

 

  • Interesting, from Science Magazine: Could artificial intelligence get depressed and have hallucinations? “As artificial intelligence (AI) allows machines to become more like humans, will they experience similar psychological quirks such as hallucinations or depression? And might this be a good thing?”