• This post from Osborne Clarke’s Will Robertson, Mark Taylor and Tamara Quinn (Profiling and automated decision-making under GDPR) is a solid discussion of these important topics. “Profiling and automated decision-making (or ADM) are two areas of the GDPR that have caused a fair degree of confusion for businesses, often with perceived negativity and assumptions that the law significantly restricts most forms of computer-led analysis of data subjects and their activities. Not necessarily so. As per the general flavour of the GDPR, the law has undoubtedly tightened and places a greater burden and requirements on businesses wishing to carry out profiling or ADM activities. However, there’s still plenty of opportunity for those willing to understand the detail of the law, and more generally align their business models to the core themes of the GDPR.”

 

  • Here‘s a brief but interesting post about future improvements to legal search. How Much Better Can AI Make Legal Search?

 

  • From Baker Donelson’s Clinton Sanko: Legal Artificial Intelligence is Buzzing. Are You Ready? “This blog is focused on promoting responsible and knowledgeable adoption of legal AI.” This post is a somewhat skeptical review of current legal applications of AI. More to come.

 

  • Press releaseiManage Acquires Elegrity, Leader in Risk and Compliance Management. “Broadens capabilities in risk management to better protect law firms throughout the client and matter lifecycle.”

 

  • Here‘s a thought provoking post from Griffin Hamersky’s Ivy B. Grey: Innovation Is A Red Herring Without Cultural Change. “Though changing culture may be the toughest challenge law firms have ever faced, the potential rewards are enormous. No combination of automation, artificial intelligence, and firms from other sectors will be able to compete with the law firms that get this right.”

 

  • Legal AI Firm McCarthyFinch Goes to War in Law at TechCrunch Disrupt SF Battlefield. “McCarthyFinch showed off its AI-powered platform: a virtual lawyer that can be trained and plugged into any legal process, from financial compliance to contract automation. ‘Our AI platform learns up to 100 times faster than traditional AI, using far smaller data sets,’ said Nick Whitehouse, CEO and co-founder of McCarthyFinch. ‘Most importantly, its results are entirely explainable, defensible and trustworthy.'” Big claims! Press release here and coverage here.

 

  • Legal Tech: Key Takeaways from a Unique Secondment from Aird & Berlis LLP to Diligen, a Legal Tech Company. No big surprises, but an interesting read. “There’s been a big divide historically between lawyers and non-lawyers (the term that, thankfully, is beginning to be replaced by “other professionals”), but this separation is breaking down as the legal profession begins to better understand that other professionals bring so much value to the table.”

 

  • Excellent points made here by Jean O’Grady: AI in Legal Research – Does Casetext’s “Document As Query” Search Improve Efficiency and Results? “While some of the conclusions may be valid  – I have a recoil reflex when I smell ‘the fog of hype” which sadly hovers around so many discussions of legal AI.”

 

  • Here’s one last post regarding ILTACON 2018, a review of the conference’s stories of success and failure from Tessa Ramanlal, solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills and co-founder of ANIKA. “For a conference firmly rooted in AI, blockchain and all things legal tech, I was surprised that the focus of ILTACon 2018 was predominantly human. Human successes, human failures, and human communities in this evolving world of legal tech.”

 

  • From SKW Schwarz, Artificial Intelligence: operational blessing, employment law curse? discusses the implications of the German government’s recent definition of “cornerstones for an artificial intelligence strategy.” “There are, however, several areas of employment law where the use of artificial intelligence affects the response to typical disputes in a way that is different from the past.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Irish Firm McCann Launches New Neota Logic Compliance App. Story here.

Minority Report’ AI System, Intraspexion, Boosts ‘Pre-Crime’ Tech with dtSearch. Story here.

 

  • This post from Covington’s Jadzia Pierce is largely a teaser for an upcoming webinar. “…an equally important reason for utilizing AI may stem not from these practical considerations, but rather from the ABA Model Rules: in a comment to the Duty of Competence under Rule 1.1, lawyers are required to “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” (emphasis added).”

 

  • “The (US) military’s research arm said Friday it will invest up to $2 billion over the next five years toward new programs advancing artificial intelligence, stepping up both a technological arms race with China and an ideological clash with Silicon Valley over the future of powerful machines.” Details here.

 

Blockchain

  • Google has announced the launch of a system to search for and collect data from the Ethereum blockchain, including data on transactions from self-executing contracts. It will operate via its BigQuery enterprise data analysis platform. Artificial Lawyer coverage here.

 

  • JAMS Launches Smart Contracts, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Practice. “…the first of its kind among institutional ADR providers. The practice is focused on creating protocols that support the use of ADR in disputes arising from blockchain transactions, including smart contracts.” Press release here.

 

  • Posted by Steve Harvey, senior business developer at Legal Futures Associate Allianz Legal Protection, this is a consideration of the balance that must be struck between tech and people in the many applications of blockchain in insurance and law.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “In what is the most significant sign yet of wide-scale adoption of the technology, online consumer law company, Rocket Lawyer, announced yesterday that it will be partnering with smart contract pioneer OpenLaw and blockchain developer ConsenSys, to roll out a variety of blockchain-based applications, starting off with a ‘Rocket Wallet‘ to link to the Ethereum blockchain.”
  • Don’t miss this postWhy Alternative Legal Provider Market Share May be Limited, by Ron Friedmann. He presents some compelling arguments, contrary to a lot of recent thinking.

 

  • According to South Africa’s Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, their enterprise search engine, Insight (powered by RAVN) “ensure(s) that legal information is leveraged and disseminated efficiently to lawyers to fulfill their tasks more quickly and more accurately.”

 

  • From Cleary’s FinTech Update, “(i)n its report on Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation released on July 31st, the Treasury Department (“Treasury”) generally embraced AI and recommended facilitating the further development and incorporation of such technologies into the financial services industry to realize the potential the technologies can provide for financial services and the broader economy.” Full (detailed) report here.

 

  • Womble’s Oliver Rickett and Caroline Churchill wroteIndustry 4.0 and the regulation of artificial intelligence. “This article looks at where AI regulation might be implemented and, specifically, what impact both AI has, and its regulation would have, on the manufacturing industry and what role the UK might have in this ever changing sector.”

 

  • From Harvard Law Today, “Operationalizing innovation in legal organizations.” Questions discussed include: “How is “innovation” operationalized within legal organizations? What are law firms and companies looking for regarding professional backgrounds and skill sets for innovation hires? What are the career paths for these individuals within organizations? By what metrics should “quality” in legal services be measured?” The discussion is based on a survey of 150 individuals (no more methodological details are provided), and should be treated as qualitative and exploratory in nature. “The survey’s target audience is a set of newly emerging innovation professionals. On the in-house side, these individuals are often called ‘heads of legal operations’. On the law firm side, they are often called ‘chief innovation partners’.” The article basically reports what was discussed without providing any conclusions.

 

  • This piece is an infomercial for Westlaw Edge. It’s a brief description of a very important AI-based product.

 

  • From Foley Hoag‘s Gwendolyn Wilber JaramilloUnited States: Foreign Investment And Export Control Reform Update (Part 1 Of Series). “Key elements of the NDAA discussed in this series of Alerts include:” … “4. Establishment of National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence: will conduct a national review of advances in AI and machine learning, address national security needs related to AI, and make recommendations including on how the U.S. can maintain a technological advantage in AI.”

 

  • I’m surprised more hasn’t been written about applications of AI in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Here are some thoughts on that topic from Kluwer Law Arbitration. Bottom line, “So what does AI mean for ADR? There are a good few possibilities – all of which could be true. AI could be a tool for the mediator or adjudicator to embrace, it could be another stage in a bigger resolution process change or it just might be our competition. So are such changes positive or negative? It is hard to know without a crystal ball.”

 

  • From Mark A. CohenLegal Innovation is the Rage, But There’s Plenty of Resistance. It’s an interesting study of why change is not happening, how and why is actually is, and how things may change. “(Lawyers) have an opportunity to leverage their legal knowledge in ways that did not exist previously—as data analysts, legal technologists, legal operations specialists, and scores of other positions yet to emerge. It’s an exciting time to be in the legal profession. It is also past time for the profession to focus on what’s good for consumers, not themselves. That would be ‘legal innovation’.”

 

  • 100th law firm signs up to use Smarter Drafter, the Australian artificially intelligent lawyer. “The software is powered by a unique AI (artificial intelligence), which the team have called Real Human Reasoning™. Smarter Drafter codifies the legal decision making and content of expert lawyers who have worked in top tier law firms like Baker Mckenzie and Clifford Chance. The system works by guiding lawyers through a Smart Q&A, then producing an advanced legal document instantly. Smarter Drafter is only available to law firms in Australia. The largest law firm using the system has over 150 lawyers. The smallest firm is a sole-practitioner….” More here.

 

  • Kim A. Leffert and Corwin J. Carr of Mayer Brown postedElectronic Discovery & Information Governance – Tip of the Month: Defensible Disposition of Data: Guidance from the Sedona Conference Scenario.

 

  • I have a bit of a backlog from Artificial Lawyer (seems they don’t recognize the US’ Labor Day in the UK!), so here goes:

– “Artificial Lawyer recently caught up with Shawn Gaines, the Director of Product and Community Marketing, at ediscovery platform Relativity and asked him if he could tell us some more about the company’s ambitious growth strategy to create a ‘legal tech app store’.” Article here.

This link includes several stories, including these: “Noah Walters, a law student doing a JD/MBA in Canada has developed a site called the Blockchain Law Society to serve as an educational platform for blockchain law-related issues across jurisdictions and that helps connect lawyers with blockchain clients.” and “Legal AI company, Diligen, has extended the company’s contract review platform to also include real estate documents.”

Guest post by Gordon Cassie, co-founder of Closing Folders: Legal Transaction Management Software is Finally a Thing. …(L)legal transaction management software (LTM for the acronym fans) is ready to be inaugurated as the newest category of Legal Tech software.”

 

  • Here’s the final installment of Bob Ambrogi’s Roundup of Company and Product News from ILTACON, Part 4: FileTrail, Workstorm, Casepoint, SeeUnity.

 

  • From Above the Law’s Small Firm Center, Thomson Reuters’ Amy Larson penned, Three Ways to Remove the Pain from Legal Research and Delivering on Client Expectations. Good suggestions here, and it’s no surprise whose products are recommended.

 

  • This opinion piece urges Trump to get serious about AI as a national security issue. AI Weekly: Trump, forget Google — focus on national security.

 

  • Here’s an interesting idea, how might we combine AI and crowdsourcing to come up with better prediction than either alone? Crowdsourcing in the age of artificial intelligence: How the crowd will train machines.

 

  • This development is another step towards the holy grail of General AI. New Artificial Intelligence Does Something Extraordinary — It Remembers.

 

  • From the WSJTop 25 Tech Companies to Watch 2018. “Three industries—AI, blockchain and cybersecurity—dominate the list of companies that look like emerging tech leaders.”

 

  • This is another very practical application of AI — far from the legal arena. Earthquakes. More here.

 

  • And what might those earthquakes impact? How about “risky dams”? It seems AI may be able to locate those too. Story here

 

Blockchain

  • Here’s another pretty easy to understand explanation of how Blockchain works. This one gets a bit deeper than most.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

    – ChainLink: Solving the Smart Contract Fiat Money Problem. “Smart contracts that operate via a blockchain have one little problem: you can’t normally use British pounds, dollars or Yen (i.e fiat money), to conduct business with them. Instead you have to use a cryptocurrency, something that not everyone wants to do. But, ChainLink is working to get around that problem using what the blockchain world calls an ‘oracle’….” Here’s how it works.

– “Blockchain developer the Tezos Foundation has announced that it will issue an undisclosed sum as a grant to Clause to develop a smart legal contract layer on top of the Tezos blockchain.” Details here.

 

  • From Knobbe Martins‘ Bridget A. Smith: Banks Hate Cryptocurrency, But Are Filing Patents Anyway. “The major investment banks have criticized cryptocurrency and blockchain. For example, in their 2018 form 10-k filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan all noted the risks that blockchain and cryptocurrency posed to their bottom lines.”

 

  • Here are a few more thoughts as to how AI and Blockchain may speed each others’ development. How Blockchain Technology Can Transform Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Blockchain has had a mark on the financial sector with cryptocurrency as well as throughout the future of software development. As it continues to improve the way that we encrypt, examine and handle large datasets this can play a particularly important role in the development of AI.”

 

  • Here’s a bit of clickbait from Forbes: Economist Nouriel Roubini Says ‘Blockchain Is Useless, All ICOs Are Scams’. “For Roubini, blockchain is nothing but useless and over-hyped technology. It will never go anywhere because of the proof of stake and the scalability issues. No matter what, this is not going to become another benchmark because it is just too slow.” The author presents contrary views.

 

  • From Roger Aitken via Forbes, this is a deep dive into smart contracts: ‘I Fought The Law’ & Blockchain Won: Smart Contracts For Businesses Handling Legal Have Conviction. “The digital revolution might be changing just about every aspect of society. But for some aspects, the changes can come slowly. Take for instance the legal and justice systems.” “Fortunately, the sector is not entirely opposed to digitization. Digital justice – encapsulating how the justice system and court rooms the world over can leverage technology to save money – is steadily gaining traction (i.e. including PA systems, large screens, video conferencing and high definition displays).”

 

  • Baker McKenzie steps toward next-generation contract analytics. “The global law firm has partnered with ContraxSuite by LexPredict, an open-source contract analytics and legal document platform.” “The custom software reduces time spent on legal document review, making sure human talent is focused more on high-value work, he said. ContraxSuite uses AI and human input to augment and integrate the user’s experience with the document they are working on.” More here.

 

  • From Cozen O’Connor: Ford’s new AV Unit, including Argo AI, opens door to all kinds of investors. “Ford expects to invest $4 billion in its autonomous vehicle efforts, including $1 billion in Argo AI over the next five years, and has structured Ford Autonomous Vehicles to take on third-party investments.”

 

  • Looking for a new home? Revolutionary New Real Estate Shopping Platform HomLuv.com Solves Millennial Home Buying Woes. ” HomLuv.com is a revolutionary new, AI-driven home shopping platform that helps buyers find the right home in the right area and price range with customization features that they have come to expect.” Here’s the press release.

 

  • Google has promised this sort of real-time translation for a while, but it never seems ready for prime time. I look forward to reviews of this one. Xiaomi’s new feature phone does real-time voice translation in 17 different languages. “It is a 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone that runs on a forked Android OS called Mocor 5. The highlight of the device is its AI voice feature that does real-time voice translation in 17 different languages. Using AI, the phone is said to answer questions and tell stories to young ones.”

 

  • From DLADLA Piper advises doc.ai in partnership with Anthem, Inc., to launch AI data trial. “The 12-month trial will begin in August and explore whether AI can be used to predict when people will experience allergies or allergy patterns. To do so, doc.ai and advisors from Harvard Medical School will develop a framework for using machine learning to identify predictive models for allergies based upon the phenome (e.g., age, height, weight), exposome (e.g., exposure to weather/pollution based on location) and physiome (e.g., physical activity, daily steps) data collected from participating Anthem employees and members of the public. Participants will help accelerate research and benefit from the system’s personalized health insights.”

 

  • Upcoming webinar: “Blue J Legal’s CEO, Benjamin Alarie, will give a walk-through of Employment Foresight, a new AI-powered software being used by lawyers, in-house counsel and HR professionals to accurately predict how courts will decide outcomes of challenging employment law issues like reasonable notice periods. He will use the classifier on a recently decided case and demonstrate the impacts of key factors, including which factors can swing a decision one way or another.”

 

  • This is a bit of an infomercial from iManage RAVN, but worth a quick read nonetheless. Lawyers Reaping the Rewards From AI Robots: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Legal Industry. “The real threat AI robots pose is to those lawyers who, through inertia or fear, fail to use AI to help them be more productive, smarter professionals. These lawyers shouldn’t fear being replaced by AI robots but instead, by those lawyers who are using AI to deliver services better than them.”

 

Blockchain

  • Well this hits close to home. Nashville’s real estate market has been on a tear for about a decade (now somewhat constrained by lack of inventory), and now, here come the cryptocurrency investors, “a growing number of competing technology-based ventures flooding Nashville’s real estate market with millions of dollars.” “Our business is something people haven’t seen before,” said Andrew Jewett, co-CEO of Property Coin. “We are buying homes in both cash and cryptocurrencies. We love the Nashville market and want to buy $50 million in Nashville real estate in the next year.”

 

  • From White & CaseIs blockchain M&A poised to accelerate? “As the token industry continues to mature, opportunities for M&A transactions will continue to abound. Start-ups will seek exits and infrastructure players in a fractured market will be consolidated and absorbed by more efficient market leaders. And in a bid not be left behind, established market players will leverage their existing client bases to pivot toward token exposure.” “In navigating these transactions, however, it is important to remember that token technologies, while novel and potentially revolutionary, are not immune from the fundamental legal, regulatory and compliance frameworks that apply to business, and in particular financial services business, more generally.”

Must Read: If you’re especially interested in blockchain or just want to learn what it’s all about, read this fresh report from McKinsey & Co.: Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value? (The interactive infographics are outstanding.) “Blockchain was a priority topic at Davos; a World Economic Forum survey suggested that 10 percent of global GDP will be stored on blockchain by 2027. Multiple governments have published reports on the potential implications of blockchain, and the past two years alone have seen more than half a million new publications on and 3.7 million Google search results for blockchain.” “Despite the hype, blockchain is still an immature technology, with a market that is still nascent and a clear recipe for success that has not yet emerged.” Some very interesting and practical insights and applications are discussed. Applications in 14 specific industries are discussed — not legal.

 

  • Speaking of McKinsey, this story describes the Houston Astros amazing rise from profoundly terrible to World Series champs under general manager Jeff Luhnow, formerly a management consultant for McKinsey (who surrounded himself with other nerds). “‘How do you combine soft information with hard information in a way that allows you to make the best decisions?’ asked Luhnow in 2014.” It’s an interesting story of how combining big data analytics with “gut feeling” may still be the best solution — for now. “In an era in which we are deluged by data, with the specter of job-killing artificial intelligence looming on the horizon, success isn’t a matter of man or machine, but of man plus machine. As long as man remains in charge.”

 

  • Back to blockchain: “The Association of Legal Administrators is the first membership association to become part of the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC), joining more than 30 large companies, law firms, software companies and universities. The GLBC exists to develop standards that govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law.” Details here.

 

  • And more blockchain, this time a two-part post regarding cryptocurrencies from Barnes & Thornburg’s Trace Schmeltz (here and here). Cryptocurrencies — An Overview of the Legal Landscape, The Risks of Investing, and the Future of the Markets. It’s a good explanation of this aspect of blockchain with an explanation of the risks in trading and potential future.

 

  • From KennedysWhy being app-athetic is bad for law firms. “One simple yet undeniably persuasive argument for law firms to cultivate legal technology is that their clients want them to.”

 

  • I expect good things from Bob Ambrogi’s new podcast, “LawNext.” He’s off to a good start with this interview of Nicole Bradick.

 

  • A couple of years ago I would have been surprised to see stories regarding AI and pot. But this morning, “Global Cannabis Applications Corp. is a global leader in designing, developing, marketing and acquiring innovative data technologies for the cannabis industry. The Citizen Green platform is the world’s first end-to-end – from patient to regulator – medical cannabis data solution. It uses six core technologies: mobile applications, artificial intelligence, regtech, smart databases, blockchain and digital reward tokens, to qualify candidates for clinical studies.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Meet Sibyl AI – The New Claims Prediction System.

– US Survey Finds Big Legal Tech Knowledge Gap Among Lawyers. (I could not find the survey methodology, so caveat emptor.)

– Brummie Legal Automation Co. Clarilis Bags $4m Investment.

– Casetext and the Need for Legal AI for ‘Small Law’.  “…(S)mall firms have a double whammy of a challenge: they lack the financial resources to invest in AI research suites and they lack the additional staff resources to do that research work manually.”

 

  • Here’s some noteworthy AI-related news from the world’s biggest tech companies:

– Apple bigwigs Tom Gruber and Vipul Ved Prakash call it quits amid Siri reshuffle. (Dear Lord, I hope this means Siri with catch up to Google Assistant, or at least Alexa.)

– “(IBM) … reported second-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.” “…IBM has been focusing on an array of new technologies ranging from artificial intelligence to cloud computing as it tries to offset weakness in its legacy business of selling hardware and software.” And this storyIs Watson enough to carry IBM?

Microsoft Will Build AI Into Everything, Says CEO Satya Nadella. “It’s going to have perception capability, language capability and autonomy that’s going to be built into the applications going forward.” Details here.

 Intel Partners with Forbes to deliver an all-new Digital Publication called ‘Forbes AI’. “You know that times are changing when Intel, who just turned 50 yesterday, is pushing hard into Artificial Intelligence. Last month during Computex, Intel’s keynote included a segment on AI for PC’s developer program as illustrated in an Intel slide below.” More here and here.

  • Facial recognition AI has been in the news and on my mind a lot lately. Of course, there are legal implications, but regardless of that aspect, these developments are a big deal of which you should be aware.

– Traveling this 4th of July? Orlando’s airport has rolled out facial recognition for all departing passengers in an attempt to speed up lines (e.g., no need to show your passport at the gate). It takes two seconds and is 99%+ accurate. (Passengers can opt out.) This story from CBS News discusses the privacy implications.

– Could this get a bit out of control? Here’s a case study: “(a)cross China, a network of 176 million surveillance cameras, expected to grow to 626 million by 2020, keeps watch on the country’s over 1.3 billion citizens.” (That’s a camera for every two people.) And, the intent is total surveillance, including inside people’s homes. “According to the official Legal Daily newspaper, the 13th Five Year Plan requires 100 percent surveillance and facial recognition coverage and total unification of its existing databases across the country. By 2020, China will have completed its nationwide facial recognition and surveillance network, achieving near-total surveillance of urban residents, including in their homes via smart TVs and smartphones.” “Soon, police and other officials will be able to monitor people’s activities in their own homes, wherever there is an internet-connected camera.”

Are they effective? Last year, “(i)t took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology.” That story here. And the case of the stolen potato here.

– “We live in a surveillance society: A U.S. citizen is reportedly captured on CCTV around 75 times per day. And that figure is even higher elsewhere in the world. Your average Brit is likely to be caught on surveillance cameras up to 300 times in the same period.” This post describes how those images can be used to spot (and even predict) crime.

This post (This Japanese AI security camera shows the future of surveillance will be automated) shows AI technology being developed in Japan to spot shoplifters and discusses the concerns about such technologies.

Facebook and others (such as Adobe) are using such recognition technologies to disrupt terrorist networks and mitigate the spread of fake news. “(T)he biggest companies extensively rely on artificial intelligence (AI). Facebook’s uses of AI include image matching. This prevents users from uploading a photo or video that matches another photo or video that has previously been identified as terrorist. Similarly, YouTube reported that 98% of the videos that it removes for violent extremism are also flagged by machine learning algorithms.”

Amazon employees (like Google’s before them) are protesting their company’s selling of such technologies to the government. Amazon workers don’t want their tech used by ICE.

Many (including me) consider this a much more benevolent identity technology: Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips into themselves – here’s why.

 

 

  • “Mishcon de Reya has joined the ranks of law firms with high-level in-house data science capability, hiring UCL computer scientist Alastair Moore as head of analytics and machine learning.

 

  • From O’MelvenyFTC Seeking Input on Topics to be Explored at Public Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Topics include: “(t)he consumer welfare implications associated with the use of algorithmic decision tools, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.”

 

  • Here, from Digital Journal, is a discussion of the general ways law firms are using AI: Q&A: How technology is shaking up legal firms.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, Wolters Kluwer Joins Global Legal Blockchain Consortium. “The GLBC is a global network of key stakeholders in the legal industry, working toward rules for the standardisation, governance, and application of blockchain and related technologies in the global legal system. Its mission is ‘enhance the security, privacy, productivity, and interoperability of the legal technology ecosystem’.”

– More from Artificial Lawyer about Blockchain hereEY + Microsoft Enter the Blockchain IP + Royalties Sector. “Big Four firm EY and Microsoft have launched a blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management, joining a growing group of legal tech start-ups – which are operating at a much smaller scale – that have also developed similar blockchain-based IP solutions.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: Global AI Governance Group: ‘AI Decisions Must Track Back to Someone’. “A newly launched AI Global Governance commission (AIGG), tasked with forming links with politicians and governments around the world to help develop and harmonise rules on the use of AI, has suggested that at least one key regulation should be that any decisions made by an AI system ‘must be tracked back to a person or an organisation’.”

This Artificial Lawyer interview with Kira’s Noah Waisberg is more than just an overview of Kira’s rapid growth; it has good insights into doc review generally.

 

  • Here’s a somewhat entertaining look at how law firms are engaging AI vendors. Buying AI for Law Firms: Like a Trip to the Auto Show.

 

  • From Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. via JDSupraShould Law Firms Embrace Artificial Intelligence and R&D Labs? “Change is difficult, especially in the legal market. Yet a firm’s willingness to think differently reflects its ability to adapt, to ensure sustainability for itself, and to help solve that industrywide puzzle.”

 

  • This article from the NYT (Is There a Smarter Path to Artificial Intelligence? Some Experts Hope So) may sound negative as to Machine Learning being over-hyped, but it positively presents other types of AI. It’s a good read.

 

  • Also somewhat negative is this post from MIT about the AI threat: “AI programs capable of perceiving the real world, interacting with it, and learning about it might eventually become far better at reasoning and even communicating. ‘If you solve manipulation in its fullest,’ Abbeel says, ‘you’ll probably have built something that’s pretty close to full, human-level intelligence’.”

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.”
  • From Bloomberg Law: “Securitization specialists at law firms including Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and DLA Piper say the first blockchain-based transactions could come as early as this year. “There’s a lot of hype about blockchain, but I am working on actual deals right now,” said Matthew Duncan, a partner and head of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’s London-based securitization practice, who expects to see the first blockchain securitization by mid-2019. “Securitization will change fundamentally.””

 

  • And here’s more about blockchain from Artificial Lawyer: Smart Contract Group, Accord Project, Links with R3’s Corda Blockchain.

 

“Robots have stimulated the imagination of human beings for several thousand years: artificial servants and companions seem to be present as far back as in the ancient Greek myths. To a great extent, these myths are now becoming reality, with the effect that fundamental concepts of law must be revisited in light of recent and rapid technological developments. It remains to be seen how quickly law will follow technology… and to what extent lawyers themselves will be replaced by robots.”

 

  • Press release: Cooley Partner Named to Inaugural European Commission Expert Group on Liability and New Technologies.

 

  • Here’s an interesting post about the growth of legal tech (including AI) in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Legal Tech Market is Booming.

 

Since today is a bit light on legal AI news, here’s some info to catch you up on AI in the rest of the world:

  • From Finextra: “AiX, the artificial intelligence broker, announces today that it has completed the first ever trade brokered by an AI powered chatbot. The trade is the first of its kind to use AI technology instead of the traditional human brokerage model, completing a successful cryptocurrency transaction between Rockwell Capital Management and TLDR Capital.”

 

  • The international AI race: from the Financial Times: “In the race to master artificial intelligence, Europe is a clear laggard. The US and China dominate AI in everything from research to investment. Whereas Europe spent about $3bn-$4bn on AI in 2016, investment in North America was up to $23bn, according to McKinsey Global Institute.”

 

  • For more than a year I have been writing about the tens of thousands of news stories being composed by AI. During that time they have become more sophisticated. Here‘s a bit of an update. (This is about “artificial” but not “fake” news.)

 

  • It’s not just law firms that struggle to achieve greater diversity. Google Employees and Investors Joined Forces to Demand More Diversity. Why Even That Novel Approach Failed. Even the employees that caused Google to drop a major government/defense contract couldn’t clear the diversity hurtle. This story has been widely covered. Here’s the post from Fortune.

“Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin may hold supervoting rights, making these proposals untenable in practice, but they can’t stop this dirty laundry being aired in public—particularly when employees and shareholders join forces. At some point, something has to give. And not just a “more inclusive vegan salad” emoji.”

 

  • I guess if we’re going to really understand how dark/malevolent AI can go, we need to take it there and examine the result. So, MIT scientists create world’s first ‘psychopath’ AI and it’s really spooky. Creepy details here.

 

  • Speaking of creepy, it’s pretty horrifying to imagine the old white guys in our Congress, mainly Luddites, writing the laws that will govern our AI and other tech. Consider this post from the Washington Post‘I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say’: How Congress is struggling to get smart on tech. “(P)olicymakers themselves admit they aren’t fully prepared to deal with the issues.”

The kickoff presentations for Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was a ho-hum affair. Most interesting:

  • Apple continues to stress its superiority to Google and Amazon regarding consumer privacy. Especially when compared to Facebook.
  • Siri, now siri-ously lagging behind Alexa and Google Assistant, is promised to get smarter with the release of iOS 12. The competition will not be standing still while we await that release.
  • The most full-on AI news was the improvements to the augmented reality functions. Again, it looks good in demo, but it will be a while before we can really use it.
  • No hardware announcements.

 

  • Interesting blockchain news from K&L Gates: Understanding the Effect of Wyoming’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Legislation. “As companies examine whether the recent Wyoming amendments provide them with any opportunities, they must carefully consider the actual reach and implications of the amendments. ICO issuers, for example, should carefully consider whether their token will qualify under Wyoming’s narrow exemption, the risk of implicating federal securities laws, and whether the benefits of limiting their issuance to Wyoming residents achieve their goals for the ICO.”

 

  • In the course of a presentation regarding AI and blockchain to a group of Real Estate and Construction professionals last week, I mentioned that blockchain has the potential to upend several areas related to their profession. To wit:

– Supply chain management
– Inspections
– Contracts/leases
– Estimating/budgeting/financial models
– Designs/drawings
– Multiple listing services (MLS)
– Title insurance
– Escrow
– 3rd world land registry
– Generic corporate needs (e.g., audits [automatic and continuous], remittances)

This post by Muthaura Mugambi Ayugi & Njonjo Advocates gets deeper into the subject internationally, and with a focus on Kenya.

And this postThe future of artificial intelligence in real estate transactions by Jan Hoffmeister of Drooms digs into the impact Big Data will have on the real estate industry in Europe. It is, in part, based on a survey Drooms that I have been unable to find, and thus cannot comment on the methodology. “AI complements those elements and adds huge value by making real estate processes much more automated, efficient and cost-effective.”

 

  • From Foley & Lardner: Mobility Policy and Regulation – Finding the Imperfect Solution. The post reports on the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Mackinac Policy Conference. Takeaways include, “…there is a huge gap between connected and autonomous driving technology and its regulation – a gap that needs to be closed in a flexible way – but seeking a perfect, zero-defect outcome is both unrealistic and counterproductive.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– David Gingell, CMO of Seal Software predicts “there are two developments in computing that are starting to have a significant impact on the lawyer of the future: artificial intelligence (AI) and smart contracting.”

– On a somewhat related note, Seal has just released V.6 of its legal AI analysis system. Features, etc. here.

– “Juridoc, (is poised to become) the Brazilian answer to the likes of LegalZoom with added legal analytics, plus a legal bot based on IBM Watson technology and an automated document marketplace as well.” More here.

 

  • “From this autumn final year students at the University of Manchester will be able to take a new optional module called ‘Legal Tech and Access to Justice’ that is being delivered in partnership with AI company Neota Logic and magic circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.” Much more here.
  • I expect some defense work will be required here: “vpnMentor ran a test of over 2,500 websites in the EU that will need to follow the new GDPR regulations and found that as little as 34% of websites are currently compliant. Most of the websites we checked either had old privacy policies, and in some cases no privacy policy at all, and are in no way ready for the stricter privacy guidelines.” Breakdown by country here.

 

  • From Insurance Edge: Human Vs AI: Where Will Blame Lie in Autonomous Vehicle Accidents?

 

  • From McDermottSurfing “Tech’s Next Big Wave”: Navigating the Legal Challenges in Digital Health. “(There are) myriad, complex legal challenges that must be addressed at the earliest stages of the planning process and the intensifying interest of government oversight and enforcement bodies.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Taylor Wessing, Bakers + MDR Partner with LitiGate AI Startup, “to help develop its AI-driven research and argument assessment platform.” Link to story.

– “UK’s HM Courts & Tribunals Service has rolled out an online divorce application platform, which should reduce stress for parties involved and also – and this is the key bit – reduce the cost of a key justice process.” Good news for A2J here.

This is an interesting story about Thomson Reuters taking a step into blockchain contracts via Kleros. “…(F)or those who are already familiar with blockchain technology and feel comfortable with the idea of crowdsourced justice this could be an effective means of dispute resolution.”

 

  • White House to hold artificial intelligence meeting with companies. “The White House will convene a meeting on Thursday on the future of artificial intelligence in U.S. industry with major companies including Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc and Oracle Corp as well as senior government officials.” “The goal is to convene industry experts to advise the federal government on what regulations will be appropriate for the coming wave of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.” Details here and here.

 

  • This is an overview of the ways AI can benefit HR management in almost any organization.

 

  • Microsoft Commits $25 Million to ‘AI for Accessibility’. Details here.

 

  • Google news:

Google is relaunching its news site with lots more artificial intelligence as part of its effort to fight fake news. “Today we’re rolling out an all new Google News, which uses the best of artificial intelligence to find the best of human intelligence—the great reporting done by journalists around the globe.” “Using real-time AI/ML to organize the news.” Details here and here.

– Google goes all-in on artificial intelligence, renames research division Google AI. Details here.

  • From Artificial Lawyer: Thomson Reuters is again turning to AI tools, now with a contract remediation system to help companies review and repaper legal agreements ahead of Brexit. In this case it will be using AI company Logical Construct, which leverages a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques to achieve its extraction results.

 

  • From Patent Docs: FDA Permits Marketing of First AI-based Medical Device; Signals Fast Track Approach to Artificial Intelligence.

 

  • SINGAPORE (Reuters) – In the not too distant future, surveillance cameras sitting atop over 100,000 lampposts in Singapore could help authorities pick out and recognize faces in crowds across the island-state. Some top officials in Singapore played down the privacy concerns. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last week that the Smart Nation project was aimed at improving people’s lives and that he did not want it done in a way “which is overbearing, which is intrusive, which is unethical”.

 

  • Google and AI Ethics: “After it emerged last month that Google was working with the Defense Department on a project for analyzing drone footage using “artificial intelligence” techniques, Google’s employees were not happy.” “(M)ore than 3,000 of the employees signed a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai, demanding that the company scrap the deal.” “Google Cloud chief Diane Greene … told employees Google was ‘drafting a set of ethical principles to guide the company’s use of its technology and products.’” “…Greene promised Google wouldn’t sign up for any further work on ‘Maven’ or similar projects without having such principles in place, and she was sorry the Maven contract had been signed without these internal guidelines having been formulated.”

 

  • House of Representatives Hearing: GAME CHANGERS: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PART III, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY, Subcommittee on Information Technology, APRIL 18, 2018 2:00 PM, 2154 RAYBURN HOB.