• Read this. HT to Michael O’Horo for the link to this HBR article by Michael Porter and James E. Heppelmann. Augmented reality is an important innovation that will have (and is having) major impact on many industries. I wouldn’t rate its importance as comparable to AI, nanotechnology, Blockchain or genetic engineering, but it’s important. Now back to AI.


  • Technology and talent retention have been identified as two of the main challenges facing law firms, according to research from professional services firm Smith & Williamson – findings which are backed up by new Law Society data that suggests the profession could lose up to 20% of jobs as a result of new technology. Law firms’ favorite approach to any business challenge (“wait and see what happens”) probably isn’t the optimal way to deal with these challenges.


  • OCBC’s chatbot ‘Emma‘ (available on desktops, laptops and smart mobile devices) has helped customers sign S$70m in home loans.


  • Earlier this year, AI-driven CRM leader Salesforce introduced its Einstein AI technology. Now it’s adding more high tech capabilities through a new product called myEinstein. I would take a hard look at Salesforce before implementing any new CRM. (More details here.)


  • I’ve been urging law firms to launch AI “industry teams” for a while now. Here, the vice-chairman of Nasdaq lends credibility to the idea.


  • And here are a couple of law firms already practicing in the AI space:

Foley Hoag has represented Body Labs in its acquisition by Amazon. Body Labs “offers artificial intelligence that uses body data and computer vision to scan 3D human motion and shape.”

Jackson Walker’s Chris Rourk comments on “Patent Eligibility in Asia IP.”

Bryan Cave’s Denver associate Ivan London will present Nov. 15 on artificial intelligence in legal services in their Denver office.

And I’ll wager some law firms have been involved in this: “Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Deals in the Energy Sector Are Up Tenfold in 2017.”


  • This press release may set a new benchmark for the most jargon per sentence, but here’s the deal:  IPsoft (remember the bot “Amelia?”) has launched a platform called, 1Desk™ which “will draw on a digital labor pool of cognitive agents, virtual engineers and virtual administrators to automate entire end-to-end processes, from HR and IT, to Finance and Administration.”  If you’re thinking of using AI to automate processes/workflows, it’s is probably worth a look.


  • In previous posts I’ve mentioned that one of the necessary steps in reaching The Singularity is AI creating/programming more AI without human intervention. Some of the major AI players are making progress in that direction. More here.


  • More than a hundred experts in artificial intelligence have signed an open letter calling on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to push for a worldwide ban on autonomous lethal weapons. Nice idea, but once one country (or bad actor) goes there, everyone will be forced to follow.


  • A bit more on countries and cities committing to being AI leaders: China (again) and Montreal (agIan).
  • Richard Susskind:  By 2036, he posits, “It is neither hyperbolic nor fanciful to expect that the legal profession will have changed beyond recognition.” Check out this article for comments by several others regarding the future impact of AI on lawyering. (My prognostication is that Susskind’s predictions are closer to what we’ll see than those of most of these nay-sayers.)


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


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


  • Big investments in:

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

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


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


  • Here’s a fun comparison by Time of where AI seems to really be headed vs its portrayal in Sc-Fi.
(Original Caption) Boris Karloff, Colin Clive and Dwight Frye in a scene from the 1931 Universal Pictures production of Frankenstein.
  • Check out Sally Gonzalez’ provocative essay about the relationship between AI & KM in law firms, and the likely changes AI will cause.


  • I recently posted an article arguing that in law, the optimal solution today may be an AI/human hybrid. This article argues the same for financial services.
  • Taylor Wessing is touting its “ongoing investment in how we use technology to deliver efficient services to our clients.” (It’s largely AI.)
  • And finally, on the tangentially related but fun front, this article predicts that autonomous vehicles (AV) will make us more human, and and this one shows that AVs aren’t just cars, trucks and drones, they’ve gone to Mars!
  • AI writer “Emma” is getting better and better. It’s especially interesting when she/it writes about AI.


  • Talk about a WILD guess–Accenture predicts that, “Artificial intelligence has potential to increase corporate profitability in 16 Industries by an average of 38 percent by 2035.” The idea that anyone can predict where AI will be in 18 years is “interesting.”
  • One of the most exciting developments in AI over the past year or so has been major players making their work “open source,” giving smaller institutions easier access to the AI arena. This is the first time I’ve seen Semantic Web code being open-sourced.
  • My colleagues Elonide Semmes, Patrick Fuller and Mark Masson and I repeatedly make the point that for AI, data is the sine qua non.  This article explains why. (“Yes, for AI, it really is all about the data.”)
  • This survey shows that content marketers are becoming more sophisticated, but they still don’t seem to “get it” regarding AI.
  • This author finds AI both “overhyped and underappreciated,” but he sees great utility in AI for risk management. Hear! Hear! (“The future belongs to pragmatic AI.”)
  • Focus on AI and AR up, IoT down: survey of 1000+ corporate marketers worldwide.IMG_0434