• How far have smart speakers come? Amazon has 10000 employees dedicated to Alexahere are some of the areas they’re working on. Speaking of Alexa: Amazon team taps millions of Alexa interactions to reduce NLP error rate. Story here. (Ask yours who will win the Super Bowl.)

 

  • This is kinda fun from Above the LawYou’ll Eat A McRib, But You Won’t Try Machine Learning? What Gives?

 

  • Here’s some A2J news from Mary JuettenFree Legal Research For All: AnyLaw. “AnyLaw was established to provide a no-cost alternative solution to the unnecessary – and exclusionary — expense of legal research.”

 

  • I have friends and relatives who are GMU grads, so here’s George Mason students have a new dining option: Food delivered by robots.

 

  • This story is from Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia: The Big Read: Rise of the machine — how technology is disrupting Singapore’s law firms. “Singapore is playing catch up to embrace technological adoption in the legal and judicial world. Legal professionals say tech may also reduce the number of legal roles.”

 

  • It seems the US government shutdown is impacting AIChina To US Tech Investment Plunges 79% To Lowest Level In 7 Years Amid DC Crackdown. “In the BAT’s case, that means U.S. transactions centered on artificial intelligence, e-commerce and games — exactly the sorts of deals they made in the U.S. during 2018.” Story here.

 

  • This, from the WSJDriverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype. “Developers take a more cautious, low-key approach in testing and talking about autonomous vehicles after Uber crash.”

 

  • And there’s more about autonomous vehicles in this article:How AI Is Transforming The Next Generation Of Vehicles. “The headliner of this year’s CES in Las Vegas wasn’t the futuristic concepts of robocars. Instead, it was the production-ready technologies that will infuse AI into the next generation of cars for safer, more efficient driving in the near term.”

 

  • From the always astute Jordan Furlong, this pieceWhy law firms need to think differently – and smarter – about AI. “…(W)e need to go back to basics and deconstruct what we are trying to achieve with this technology, and why.”

 

  • This NYT story is thought provoking: How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out. “The subject was artificial intelligence, and his students last week were mainly senior policymakers from countries in the 36-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”

 

  • This ABA piece is a well-annotated deep dive into several of the big issues in legal AI: Pros and Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence in IP and the Broader Legal Profession. “(S)trong and efficient practitioners must learn to harness the power of AI, but must be wary of overreliance on these technologies.”

 

Law firm posts (blockchain included):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This is a large and useful post from Gibson Dunn: Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Legal Update (4Q18).

 

  • Megan Seabourne of British law firm VWV, this postWould you trust a robot to write your will? “More than seven out of ten people would not want their will to be drafted using artificial intelligence (AI), according to VWV’s latest survey and as law firms are increasingly adopting AI in legal matters.”

 

  • Sunil Thacker senior partner at Dubai’s STA is heavily quoted in this pieceSpace, AI, renewable energy to get priority as sectors open for more foreign investment in 2019.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Artificial Lawyer Announces Launch of Legal Innovators Conference. Post here.

 

  • Neota Logic Partners With Actuate Law To Develop New Legal Tech Tools. Post here. More coverage here.

 

  • CLOC London – Getting To Grips With Data + Better Contracting. Post here.

 

  • M&A Due Diligence Will Get Much Faster – Survey by OCR Co. Merrill. Post here.

 

  • Law Company Elevate Buys Yerra Managed Legal Services Co. As M&A Binge Continues. Post here.

 

  • Mitratech Launches TeamConnect Essentials in Legal Ops Drive. Post here.

 

  • Disputly – Solving the Consumer Legal Challenge One App at a Time. Post here.

 

Press Releases and sponsored content:

  • From ThoughtRiverTurning The Future Vision Of The GC Into Today’s Reality. “Access our new eGuide to discover how automated contract pre-screening technology can transform the role of the GC’s team – and therefore business performance.” Release here.

 

  • Also from ThoughtRiver: Why has the legal profession been slow to embrace AI technology? Release here.

 

  • Actuate Law Debuts New Legal Tech Subsidiary, Quointec LLC. “Quointec will collaboratively build next-generation legal and compliance tools that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to provide clients with innovative and more cost-effective solutions.” Release here.

 

BLOCKCHAIN:

  • Here’s some news re blockchain payments: MIT, Stanford and others to build blockchain payments network to rival VisaNet: “Seven universities are collaborating to create a blockchain-based online payment system that will solve issues of scalability, privacy, security and performance, enabling up to 10,000 transactions per second.”

 

  • This, from MarketplaceThe blockchain is coming to Wall Street. “(F)uture ICOs and their digital coins might start to look a lot more like good old-fashioned stock, except traded on the blockchain. And that has big ramifications for Wall Street.”

 

  • Here are the findings of a statistically reliable survey: Deloitte’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey: Blockchain Is “’Getting Closer To Its Breakout Moment’. “…(O)ut of all of the participants surveyed, 65% reported that their organization will invest $1 million or more in blockchain technology in the coming year. The enterprises with the largest investments will be coming from Mexico, France, and Canada respectively.”

 

  • Securitize To Join IBM’s Blockchain Accelerator To Modernize $82T Corporate Debt Market. Story here.

 

  • CanadianLawyer publishedBlockchain justice. “Crypto-currency and blockchain will increasingly be the subjects of litigation in Canada.”

 

  • Crude oil is about to be traded on a blockchain platform backed by five of the top 10 oil companies.Chevron, Total and Reliance Industries are backing VAKT, a digital platform for crude oil trading based on blockchain that launched late last year. They join a consortium of investors that includes BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Equinor as well as traders Gunvor, Mercuria and Koch Supply & Trading.” Story here.

 

  • Speaking of oil & gas, here’s a piece that probably belongs above under AI, but here it is! The Incredible Ways Shell Uses Artificial Intelligence To Help Transform The Oil And Gas Giant.
  • 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.

In just two weeks, Legalweek 2019 will kickoff in NYC with all-day workshops on Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. I wish I could attend those, but I’ll be participating in the Competitive Intelligence Workshop down the hall.

  • Check out this post by Mark Dibble of HighQ: How to Unlock a Firm’s Data Potential. Drawing on Andrew Baker of HBR Consulting’s idea of “Dark Data“, he does a good job of illustrating how firms miss many opportunities to leverage the data they already have.

 

  • And also check out this insightful post from Joanna Goodman: Two tribes go to war. “I recently watched Mary Poppins Returns and found the same lawyer stereotype. The first indication that Mary Poppins’ help is needed is when two lawyers knock on the door to give the Banks family an immovable loan repayment deadline. These fictional lawyers are inflexible until they ultimately realise that they are on the losing side – when they change their tune. This 2018 movie depiction is almost an allegory for legal AI and innovation, with lawyers and commentators gradually changing sides, so that eventually they all claim the ‘correct’ prediction.”

 

  • An issue with AI has long been the “black box” nature of its decisions. This is especially problematic when it comes to assigning liability in court. According to this article, Google is making some progress in this regard: Google Brain Built a Translator so it Can Explain Itself.

 

  • Here’s a good explanation of how chatbots can be used in law firms, from A2J to corporate clients: Chat show: How chatbots can grow your business.

 

  • Michael Heric and Neal Goldman of Bain & Company postedCorporate Legal Eagles Start to Embrace Artificial Intelligence. “Legal groups committed to accelerating their digital journey need to find a practical path that balances opportunities with the realities of the organization’s current digital maturity, investment budgets and the cultural transformation required.”

 

  • Ari Kaplan interviewed Suffolk Law’s Gabe Teninbaum for this post: Reimagining Innovation In Legal Education. “…(B)eing capable with technology is now a core responsibility for all practicing lawyers.”

 

  • A2J: Here’s a bit of the history about how Legal You is being used within the law firm Navigating The Courts: Legal You.

 

  • From Today’s Conveyancer we haveArtificial Intelligence Within The Legal Sector. It’s a summary of the SRA (Solicitors Regulatory Authority) report on Technology and Legal ServicesReport here.

 

  • Pepperdine Law’s Dean Paul Caron posted: How Law Schools Are Using Virtual Reality In The Classroom. “The University of Kansas School of Law, like a growing number of law schools across the nation, is starting to teach its students cutting-edge quantitative subjects such as data analysis and artificial intelligence.”

 

  • This post is from ComputerWeeklyArtificial intelligence qualification helps law firm implement AI-powered business systems. “International law firm Taylor Wessing is implementing artificial intelligence (AI) across the organisation and wants to ensure staff have the necessary skills to make the most of the technology.”

 

  • AI Litigation Analytics: A Fad Or The Future? A dive into . Article here.

 

  • (These) findings come from a survey conducted in the ABA’s 2018 Legal Technology Survey Report, with 900 respondents from across the nation and at firms of various sizes”: ABA Survey: Only 10 Percent of Law Firms Are Currently Using AI. (Take these results with a large grain of salt as the answers depend on how the respondents interpreted AI; if one rightly includes eDiscovery as AI, these numbers grossly understate actual use.)

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Singapore to Launch Automated Litigation Work Platform For Prosecutors, Set to Embrace AI. Post here.

 

  • Linklaters + Deloitte Join £0.5m FinTech Financial Inclusion Project. Post here.

 

  • Anatomy of the LawGeex Rebrand, From Legal AI to Lawstars! Post here.

 

  • Autto: Pioneering Legal Workflow Automation – A Video Explainer. Post here.

 

  • Atrium: ‘Using Tech to Amplify the Talent of Lawyers, to Help the Clients’. Post here.

 

Law Firm Posts:

 

  • This, from Squire Patton Boggs’ Francesco Liberatore and Barry A. Pupkin: AI’s Impact on Antitrust and Competition Law Issues.

 

  • Gibson Dunn posted this piece: The Impact of the New USPTO Eligibility Guidelines on Artificial Intelligence-related Inventions.

 

  • From Crowell & Moring: Crowell & Moring Releases 2019 Litigation Forecast: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know for the Coming Year. “The Forecast takes a deep dive into how technology is increasingly having a profound impact on the practice of law, and in particular on litigation case strategy.” Post here.

 

  • STA Law Firm posted: Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare Sector In UAE. Post here.

 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases and Sponsored Posts:

  • ADP, Toronto startup bring employment law insights to HR with AI-powered tool. Post here.

 

BLOCKCHAIN

  • This, from MIT Technology Review: Hate lawyers? Can’t afford one? Blockchain smart contracts are here to help. “…(T)he two biggest players in the market—Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom—are experimenting with blockchain smart contracts. In theory, they could help automate a vital part of the process and make some legal services easier and cheaper to use for everyone.”

 

  • Coindesk publishes a lot in this space, this post for instance: Lawyers Rush In: New UNH Blockchain Program Nabs Big-Name Speakers.

 

Who is Supporting And Who is Opposing Blockchain?

  • Against: China will now officially try to extend its Great Firewall to blockchains. “The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will require any “entities or nodes” that provide “blockchain information services” to collect users’ real names and national ID or telephone numbers, and allow government officials to access that data. It will ban companies from using blockchain technology to “produce, duplicate, publish, or disseminate” any content that Chinese law prohibits. Last year, internet users evaded censors by recording the content of two banned articles on the Ethereum blockchain.” Article here.

 

  • Supporting: Douglas County, Washington: After the bitcoin bust and a local bankruptcy, Douglas County doubles down on blockchain. Post hereWashington’s Douglas County is Looking to Build a Blockchain Innovation Campus. Post here and here.

 

  • Supporting: Blockchain Research Now Granted Tax Credit in South Korea. Details here.

 

  • Supporting: Canada: Government of Canada welcomes DENSO Corporation’s Innovation Lab to Montréal, Quebec. Story here. (It’s really AI, but this seemed like a good place to put it.)

 

  • Supporting: Washoe County, Nevada: From Artificial LawyerUS State Officially Starts Using Blockchain for Marriage Certificates.
  • 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.