• Ken Grady doesn’t post often enough, but when he does it’s always worth the wait. Don’t miss this thought provoking piece. The Boring Law Firm: The model is dead, may it rest in peace. “Large law firm partners like owning their businesses and running them how they please. Right now, it pleases them to make money with ‘few’ risks. Altering the model suggests risk. We are in a battle over time — can they run out the clock (retire) before they lose the game.” And here are Ken’s latest thought about AI taking lawyers’ jobs.

 

  • And here’s a bit more about AI and law firm jobs from Sam Skolnik of Bloomberg LawArtificial Intelligence Creeps Into Big Law, Endangers Some Jobs. “”Here’s what won’t be going away: sophisticated, face-to-face human interaction between client and lawyer,’ said Tim House, U.S. senior partner for Allen & Overy.”

 

  • If you’re new to this topic, you may find this post by Neil Sahota a useful introduction: Will A.I. Put Lawyers Out Of Business?

 

  • Speaking of interesting thought pieces, check out this post from  about technology, firm culture, portable practices and shopping malls (really!). Law firms’ shopping mall problem.

 

  • This post from myshingle.com is full of interesting statistics regarding the economics of Big Law versus small/solo firms and the implications for technology. The Reason Why Legal Tech Remains the Domain of the Legal Elite: It’s All About The Money.

 

  • Here’s a worth-reading post by Rita T. Young, law librarian at K&L Gates (but not representing the firm’s views). As one would expect, well-researched and thoroughly footnoted! AI & the Practice of Law at the Crossroads: Where Are We Going? “Exploring the professional ethics implications of AI in the legal sphere.” “What I do want to talk about are the potential repercussions of the AI you are using now….” “The good news? There is still time to fix things because, if you’re reading this, you’re probably still in practice and your client doesn’t realize what you did because you haven’t either.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting post about “HHS receiv(ing) authority to operate the first blockchain-based tool in the federal government.” ““Our goal is actually to leverage and harness all of the data within HHS, which is about $24.8 billion in spend, about 100,000 contracts, about 1 million pages of unstructured data, and provide that information to the 20,000 members of the acquisition workforce in real time at their fingertips so that they can actually make good business decisions,” Jose Arrieta, associate deputy assistant secretary in HHS’ acquisition division, said during a recorded demo of the tool on Dec. 12. “We believe that without blockchain this would not be possible.”

 

  • I have posted here many times about the coming of chatbots to the legal space. Here’s Bob Ambrogi’s take on a recent entry from LexisNexis: Chatbots are Coming to Lexis Advance, to Help Guide Your Legal Research.

 

  • This piece from Information Age includes links to other interesting content. AI, cloud and security — top priorities for enterprise legal departments.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • AI and A New Way of Looking At Contract Pre-Screening. Post.

 

  • Nalytics + Van Doorne Co-Develop Doc Compare Solution. Post.

 

  • Meet Sparqa – Solving the SME Legal Needs Challenge With Tech. Post.

 

  • Meet Evisort, The New AI Platform Set to Rock The $60 Billion Doc Review Market. Post.

 

From Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

  • Here’s a summary of Hogan Lovells partner Winston Maxwell‘s comments on Using artificial intelligence to fight hate speech.

 

  • Jones Day: Harriet TerrittWhat General Counsel Need to Know about Blockchain. This two-minute video is one of a series about blockchain from the firm.

 

  • Bird & BirdDr. Michael JünemannJörg-Alexander Paul: In Focus, Blockchain. Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is currently one of the most talked about technologies. Heralded as a ‘game changer’, this technology is disrupting a wide range of industries.” Post.

 

  • Kemp LittleEverything you want to know about artificial intelligence. “The rise of AI will present a host of challenges – ethical, practical and legal – and our specialists are involved with their peers in the law and industry in working out the right responses.” Post.

 

 

  • Taylor & Associates, a nationally recognized transportation law firm, is pleased to announce it has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), an organization dedicated to developing best practices and standards for blockchain in the transportation industry.” Post.

 

  • DLA Piper forms council to drive radical change agenda. “Now we are driving a fundamental change in mindset across our business to embrace radical change and evolve and expand our business through partnering with our clients to help them to succeed in our changing world.” Post.

 

Post by/about Vendors:

  • Artificial intelligence for law firms: An interview with Tony Ensinger of Kira Systems. Post.

 

 

  • From the ABA Journal and Ed Walters of Fastcase, AI Practice, Not Promise, in Law Firms. “AI-based analysis of data is just getting started; let’s look at the ways it’s already been implemented.” Post.
  • 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.
  • If you’re a student of AI you should at least skim through this summary of MIT’s recent Platform Strategy Summit. It presents an excellent overview of the state of AI (and a bit of blockchain) from academic and business perspectives (even Thomson Reuters). “Most corporate app development effort today is spent on keeping things running, not on changing and innovating.” (Many cool infographics!)

 

  • This article (Does the legal profession have a moral duty to innovate?) appeared in Canadian Lawyer: “The panel also discussed the fact that more than 30 states in the U.S. have adopted the American Bar Association’s model rule that imposes a duty of technology competence on lawyers. The Federation of Law Societies in Canada is said to be looking at changing the model code of professional conduct in Canada to impose a duty of technology competence similar to the ABA’s rule.”

 

  • This piece (Are big data and artificial intelligence throwing down a new regulatory gauntlet?) from American Enterprise Institute is likely to set you to thinking about the regulation of information technologies in new ways. ‘…(I)f there is a principle to guide the future regulation of big data and AI, it is to focus on first understanding information asymmetries and how they affect the distribution of the gains, rather than the technologies that they are associated with.”

 

  • From The Law SocietySix ways the legal sector is using AI right now. The usual applications are discussed here, plus a bit about threats and a forecast. Interesting definition” “When we talk about AI in 2018 (and for the purposes of this article), we mean clever forms of computerised automation and search.”

 

  • More Reynen Court news hereClifford Chance and Latham Invest in ‘App Store for Legal Tech’. “They are putting an undisclosed amount of money into Reynan Court, the highly touted tech venture that provides law firms with a single platform to manage the procurement, deployment and management of third-party apps. The CIOs of both firms have joined the tech startup’s board of directors.” Coverage from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • This, from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA): Law firms must be able to explain decisions made by AI. (There’s a link to a larger paper.) “While AI has not been 100% accurate in various tests, the SRA said it has never proven any less accurate than work carried out by humans, and in some cases, it has been more so. Looking at some of the issues AI’s use would raise, however, the SRA said firms may find it difficult, where decisions were made by “self-learning AI”, to explain the “assumptions and reasoning behind some automated decisions”.”

 

  • This, from Missouri Lawyers WeeklyNew services or products that support Missouri’s legal community: Manu Stephen. “…(T)he Inventr app uses artificial intelligence to help companies discover patentable inventions in 24 hours. … The app also helps companies to find attorneys to work on their patents by providing the companies with a list of attorneys who have been vetted and preselected by Inventr.”

 

  • “Over 2,000 U.S. adults answered the online survey earlier this month. The survey was conducted by the Harris Poll at the request of Your Lawyers Online, an online legal service provider that guides clients through family, animal and estate planning law.” 69 Percent of People Would Use Online Legal Services Over Attorneys. Other juicy stats here.

 

  • And speaking of surveys, surprise! Report Proves What We Already Knew: Clients Will Pay Any Fee Hike To Get Brand Name Firms. “This has long been the conventional wisdom among legal industry observers, but the new Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group Report went out and actually gathered some hard data to see if our gut instincts are correct. It turns out… they are.” More results survey here.

 

  • A2J: Start-up aims to help NFP sector identify legal nature of problems. “A law graduate will next year launch an artificial intelligence-backed (AI) product that uses natural language processing (NLP) to help not-for-profit agencies identify precisely the legal nature of a problem, potentially cutting out time-consuming confusion.” Story here.

 

  • Artificial intelligence set to free solicitors from lower-level work. “The report, Technology and legal services, suggests that rapid developments in AI will mostly be focused on back-office functions.” More here.

 

  • IBM Unveils Its Vision For The Future Of Artificial Intelligence. “IBM, which has been working on artificial intelligence since the 1950s, is not only keenly aware of these shortcomings, it is investing heavily to improve the basic technology. As Dario Gil, Chief Operating Officer of IBM Research recently wrote in a blog post, the company published over 100 papers in just the past year. Here are the highlights of the technology being developed now.” This is a fast, interesting read.

 

Posts by Law Firms

  • Two of my posts in a row for Dentons‘ Giangiacomo Olivi. Here’s his latest, Non-Personal Data Regulation, AI and the data economy: an Italian perspective. “This new piece of legislation aims to strengthen the principle of free circulation of non-personal data in the EU for the benefit of businesses and the public alike, with a view to foster the European data economy and the future Digital Single Market.”

 

  • Also from Dentons, Eric J. TanenblattAndrew Shaw and Crawford Schneider wrote: Federal Autonomous Vehicle Bill Moves Closer To Passage. “The support of the American Association for Justice, an influential trial lawyer advocacy group, is a welcome sign for the bill. The new-look legislation, circulated Monday night, was altered to reaffirm state and local authority over motor vehicle operation, mitigate concerns about the effect of federal preemption on state common law and statutory liability and constrain the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses related to death or bodily injury.” Post here.

 

  • Winston Maxwell and Gauthier Vannieuwenhuyse of Hogan Lovells postedRobots Replacing Arbitrators: Smart Contract Arbitration. The 10-page scholarly journal article is here. “Given the current legal framework, fully robotised arbitration will not become a reality in the near future. However, prospects of automated expert determination are much more likely. They will lead the way to speedy, less-costly and accurate calculations or determinations, to the benefit of parties in various specific sectors.”

 

  • This, also from Hogan: The emergence of intelligent systems in health care. “With artificial intelligence being implemented across the health care continuum, FDA and other agencies find themselves contending with the prospect of regulating a moving target.”

 

  • Alan S. Levins and Amanda M. Osowski of Littler Mendelson posted: Self-Driving Trucks And Labor Law—A Look Ahead. “Welcome to the future: The year is 2020 and an organized—i.e., unionized trucking company—”L2M2″ has announced it is acquiring a convoy of autonomously powered—i.e., “self-driving”—transportation vehicles.” Post here. (Seems I’m failing at putting my futurist stories in one place.)

 

(More law firm posts under Blockchain below.)

 

Prognostications

  • From Inc.: Here Are 27 Expert Predictions on How You’ll Live With Artificial Intelligence in the Near Future. “It might make life better or it might be the end of us. Either way, it’s coming and here’s what it’s going to look like.”

 

  • This post includes a section on AI, so I did not include it with the Blockchain predictions below. Blockchain And Crypto Industry Predictions For 2019.

 

  • Here’s a half hour podcast in which Elie and Joe talk to Ralph Baxter, former head of Orrick and current board member of Intapp, about the future of the legal industry. (Ralph joins about 7 minutes in.)

 

(More predictions under Blockchain below.)

 

Press releases

  • Lex Mundi Partners With Diligen To Offer Artificial Intelligence Contract Review Tool. Release here.

 

  • Evisort launch Document Analyzer: advanced AI data mining, search and reporting tech. Release here.

 

  • Seal Software releases most comprehensive contract analytics platform for banks and financial services firms. Release here.

 

  • Innovate UK backs bid to create “thinking” legal AI. “Contract review business ThoughtRiver has been awarded funding from the government for a £400,000 development project to develop “thinking AI”.” Story here. Coverage from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

Blockchain

  • BakerHostetler‘s Robert A. Musiala Jr. publishedCryptocurrencies Continue To Permeate Capital Markets As Blockchain Permeates Settlement Systems. “…(T)he long-sought approval of Bitcoin ETFs appears unlikely in the near future, based on recent comments from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who cited continued concerns over a lack of adequate investor protections, including difficulties mitigating risks related to cryptocurrencies being stolen or manipulated on exchanges.”

 

  • Scott H. Kimpel of Hunton Andrews Kurth posted: Blockchain Legal Resource: CFTC Publishes Primer On Smart Contracts. “The Primer discusses their functionality, use cases, regulatory environment and potential risks.” Post here.

 

 

 

  • From  Marc D. Powers of BakerHostetlerBlockchain Platform For Energy Commodities Announced In U.S., Restrictions Ease In Foreign Markets. This post includes several useful links.

 

  • Also from BakerHostetlerJohn C. McIlwee posted: More Blockchain Uses For Digital Advertisers, Software Licensees And Marine Insurers. This post is mainly a summary of a recent report, and here’s a link to the referenced report.

 

  • Neil Gray and Maxwell J. Eichenberger of Reed Smith posted Blockchain: Immutable Ledger, But Admissible Evidence? “(A) brief overview of blockchain technology, then addresses the current evidentiary hurdles blockchain records face, and concludes with considerations for attorneys seeking to enter blockchain receipts … into evidence and businesses implementing blockchain solutions.”

 

  • Amazon got quite a bit more serious about Blockchain in 2018, including its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering: “a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using open source frameworks such as Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum in just a few clicks.” Story here.

 

  • First Blockchain loan closes in Latin America amid transparency concerns. “Itaú’s US$100m proof-of-concept loan, provided by Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo, utilized the R3 Corda Connect blockchain platform, a paperless system that allowed the banks to assess revisions, comments and approve the club loan digitally.” Story here.

 

  • Several law school faculty from around the world contributed to: The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain. “Part of the attraction of distributed ledger systems, such as Blockchain, lies in transcending law and regulation.” Link here.

 

  • Blockchains should have ‘privacy by design’ for GDPR compliance. “Some believe that public permissionless blockchains cannot be GDPR compliant, and that private blockchains might be the answer to blockchain’s regulatory woes. Even so, private blockchains bring into question the very meaning of what a blockchain is. There is no simple answer.” Story here.

 

  • Here are some prognostications about Blockchain: Top 5 blockchain predictions for 2019.

 

  • And here4 Major Blockchain Trends to Watch for in 2019. (Not the same as those above!)

 

  • And much more here10 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Change The Legal Industry.

 

From Artificial Lawyer 

  • RelativityOne Goes Down Under With Australia Partnership. Story here.

 

  • Back to the Future For Legal AI + Automation. Story here. (Again, I’ve put prognostications is a different section.)

 

  • Slaughter and May Publishes Innovation Guide. “The 32-page report, spearheaded by Slaughters partners, Rob Sumroy and Ben Kingsley, and produced in association with Tromans Consulting, the strategy and innovation consultancy, explores both the theory behind innovation and looks at real world examples of what businesses have done and what can be learned from them.” Post here, and here’s the link to the full report.

 

  • AI Co. Diligen Wins Major Business Boost With Lex Mundi Deal. Story here and here.

 

  • Legal AI Co. Seal Launches Financial Services NLP Suite. Story here.

 

  • What is ThoughtRiver’s New ‘Thinking AI’ + What Will It Do? Story here.

 

  • Kira Systems – AL Product Review – Part One. Story here.
  • It seems the FCC plans to have a rather light touch when it comes to regulating AI. “FCC chair Ajit Pai signaled that when it comes to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the FCC was smart enough to exercise regulatory humility, particularly given that the technology could revolutionize communications, but registered concern about AI potentially perpetuating biases in decision-making.” More here.

 

  • Here’s more coverage of LexisNexis’ new Context tool: New Data Analytics Tool Knows Every Federal Judge’s Favorite Cases. “This kind of data—for every federal judge and for 100 different types of motions—is now available to litigators at the click of a mouse through a launch on Thursday of LexisNexis Context, the result of the legal giant’s purchase of Ravel Law in mid-2017. Context will be available as an added purchase in the Lexis Advance suite.” Bob Ambrogi’s take is here.

 

  • Hogan Lovells has been tracing the California Consumer Privacy Act, and here‘s their latest post (with links to their others): California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – The Impact of the CCPA on Data-Driven Marketing and Business Models. “The breadth of personal information covered by the CCPA, going beyond what is typically covered by U.S. privacy laws, will complicate compliance and business operations.”

 

  • 2019 may be the year for something GDPR-ish in the US: Federal Data Privacy Legislation Is Likely Next Year, Tech Lawyers Say. “Why now? More companies appear to be growing concerned with the idea of having a jumble of federal and state data privacy and cybersecurity laws, especially with the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 in June of this year. However, the California law will not fully take effect until 2020. There are also several different laws governing data privacy by sectors, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and The Fair Credit Reporting Act.” Much more from LAW.com here.

 

  • From AshurstA more reasonable approach to internal investigations. “Even investigations by authorities (known as ‘dawn raids’) are primarily carried out using e-discovery today. The authorities first request access to all the company’s servers, demand the surrender of digital storage media and, if applicable, request access to any cloud infrastructure. These can accurately be referred to as ‘e-raids’.”

 

  • Starting Today, Columbia’s Professor Daniel Guetta Uses Evisort to Teach Text Mining in New Artificial Intelligence MBA Course. “Columbia Business School data scientist Professor Daniel Guetta, Director of the Business Analytics Initiative at Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering, has published a case study about Evisort, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced document management and data analytics solution for contracts developed by Harvard Law and MIT researchers” Story here.

 

  • It has been too long since I have written, “it’s all about the data“, so here’s a reminder from Pepper Hamilton’s Joseph C. Guagliardo: “What’s critical to a lot of these machine learning and AI devices is the information that’s given to the algorithms to make them smarter and train them ….” “It’s not just about the algorithms, it’s about the data that’s feeding them.”

 

  • Here’s Sheppard Mullins’ Reid WhittenJ. Scott MaberryCurtis Dombek and Lisa Mays‘ take on the new US tech export controls: The Little Regulation That Will Make a Big Change in How You Do Business: Department of Commerce to Establish New Export Controls on Emerging Technologies. (<– That’s just the title, not the whole article.) “Affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance.”

 

  • This, from MoFo: Counsel’s Guide to AI in the Board Room. “…(D)irectors and their counsel should look to take advantage of the best  technology and information available to them in order to drive shareholder value. In times of change, remember to stick to the fundamentals and help boards, as their counsel, make fully informed, good-faith decisions.”

 

  • From SeyfarthWave Of The Future: The Effect Of AI And Robotics On Commercial Real Estate. Several specific applications are discussed in some depth.

 

  • And Littler posted this podcastEmbrace or Rage Against the Machine? The HR Costs and Benefits of Automation. “The use of automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics to make or provide products and services is no longer uncommon. But what about the use of these tools in making hiring and other employment decisions?”

 

  • This, from MadgwicksDudley KnellerLegal frontiers: From AI to ethics. “Positive results have already been achieved by algorithms within a confined remit but ongoing supervision of data handling practices as well as the application of AI technology is required.”

 

  • There’s an interesting bit of research coming from Oxford University. “…(T)o look at using artificial intelligence to increase processing times, improve customer engagement and unlock new potential in accountancy, legal and insurance services.” “Unlocking the Potential of AI for English Law (Oxford) will look at existing challenges to implementing AI in legal services and how to unlock its potential for good. The project will bring academics, lawyers, businesses and programmers together to develop the skills, training and codes of practice to deliver these benefits. The team will gather best practices across the world, outline data challenges, identify where and how AI can legitimately resolve disputes and map the frontier of AI in legal reasoning.” More here and here.

 

  • This, from Legal Futures: “… Lord Chancellor (David Gauke) yesterday hailed the impact of alternative business structures in driving competition and fostering innovation in the legal market. (And) also praised the way that law firms are embracing technology to maintain the UK’s international position.” “We have also seen PwC’s UK legal practice reach a headcount of 320 and generate revenue of £60m. That puts it just outside the UK’s top 50 law firms in its own right.”

 

  • Oh Lordy. It’s only the first business day of December and the onslaught of 2019 AI prognostications has already begun. To say you time, I’ll try to bunch them, and only include those I find really interesting. Such as:

– Recruitment trends in tech for 2019: Machine learning, AI and predictive analytics. There’s some interesting stuff re HR here.

– If you’re at all interested in Marketing, I expect you’ll find these interesting: Annual Predictions For Marketers: From AI To Politics To Augmented Intelligence To Orchestration.

These seem well-reasoned: 5 Important Artificial Intelligence Predictions (For 2019) Everyone Should Read. :…(W)hen it comes to doctors and lawyers, AI service providers have made concerted effort to present their technology as something which can work alongside human professionals, assisting them with repetitive tasks while leaving the “final say” to them.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

– Clause Creates Smart Contract Template For IoT Devices. Post here.

– ‘Lawyers, Be Truly Curious About Legal Tech’ – Kerry Westland, Addleshaw Goddard. Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • Amazon’s AWS has launched a new service that “is going to make it much easier for you to use the two most popular blockchain frameworks, said AWS CEO Andy Jassy. He noted that companies tend to use Hyperledger Fabric when they know the number of members in their blockchain network and want robust private operations and capabilities. AWS promises that the service will scale to thousands of applications and will allow users to run millions of transactions (though the company didn’t say with what kind of latency).” Coverage here, here, here and here.

 

  • Blockchain Smart Contracts Subject to Financial Laws, Says CFTC Primer. “One of the top U.S. financial regulators, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has released its second guide to understanding smart contracts, with a reminder that the technology is covered under financial rules.” Details here.

 

  • Ohio ‘rolls out the red carpet’ for blockchain businesses by accepting bitcoin this tax season. “As of Monday, Ohio became the first state where business can pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. (Ohio’s state treasurer Josh Mandel) said the decision was twofold: It increases “options and ease” for taxpayers, and it opens the door to software engineers and tech start-ups.” Coverage from CNBC here.
  • The data protection laws described in this post from Barnes & Thornburg are relevant to AI and blockchain. California’s New Data Protection Laws are Coming … but Colorado’s law is Already Here. “If you are a business that maintains, owns, or licenses computerized data that includes PI about Colorado residents, this new law applies to you.”

 

  • Speaking of personal data, Jones Day just publishedSingapore: PDPC Issues Discussion Paper On Artificial Intelligence And Personal Data. The discussion paper was published by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (“PDPC”) on June 4.

 

  • This short paper by Richard Suskind explains his idea of a mind-set called ‘outcome-thinking’. “Nor do taxpayers want tax accountants. They want their relevant financial information sent to the authorities in compliant form. … Patients don’t want psychotherapists. Roughly speaking, they want peace of mind. Litigants don’t want courts. They want their disputes resolved fairly and with finality.”

 

  • Word of this acquisition certainly spread fast — I’ve heard it mentioned twice already today. Elevate Acquires LexPredict, Expanding Capabilities in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.

Meanwhile, Artificial Lawyer reports that, “Elevate has begun to refer to itself as a ‘law company’, rather than an ALSP (i.e. an Alternative Legal Services Provider).” President, John Croft said, “I think the only difference between the two (Elevate and a firm such as Slaughter & May) is that they are a law firm and we are a law company.” “We might provide different legal services, or we might deliver the same legal services in different ways (or we may deliver exactly the same legal services in exactly the same ways!), but we both provide legal services.”

 

  • Holland & Knight’s Norma Krayem just published her take on the FTC’s 7th consumer protection hearing, this one focused on the use of big data and AI. “(T)he FTC has indicated an ongoing interest in these issues as well. Certainly, cybersecurity and privacy issues underpin the concerns along with broader consumer protection issues with the use of Big Data, AI and other tools.” She outlines the subject the FTC will cover.

 

  • Trey Hanbury of Hogan Lovells published Why the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will reinvent network connectivity. It’s a pretty deep dive into all sorts of connectivity and their relation to each other. He discussed infrastructure required, and the FCC’s role in all aspects.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer posted: “US law firm Orrick has today announced a new startup venture fund from which it will make investments in promising legal tech companies globally. The firm intends to create a strategic relationship with each portfolio company, they said, with Orrick typically acting as a beta customer, while making an investment in the range of $250,000. Orrick expects to be investing alongside well-known lead financial investors.”

 

  • Also from Artificial LawyerLegal AI Co. Diligen Integrates with NetDocuments. “The integration, available globally today, allows customers to ‘simply and securely summarise and analyse legal documents using Diligen’s AI and machine learning tools’ for matters such as contract review. The result means that documents can be analysed without leaving the secure NetDocuments ecosystem.”

 

 

 

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.

  • Wow. This tool sounds like a serious way for in-house counsel to leverage AI to better choose outside counsel. There’s No Such Thing As A Competitive Legal Market — But There Are Ways To Make It Better. “Bodhala’s legal analytics offer in-house counsel a wealth of information about the entire Am Law 200, high-quality boutiques, as well as a number of local firms that clients can easily customize to find exactly what they want. The platform also leverages machine learning technology to make predictive calls about opportunities to lower costs with other firms. Beyond talent procurement, the product offers spend optimization features that grant clients an opportunity to really market test quotes for legal services.” Press release here.

 

  • From Gerry Riskin: Next Step in Law-Firm AI Implementation? Getting the Lawyers on Board. “Even at DLA Piper, one of the major users of legal technology (such as the contract and document analysis programs available through Kira Systems), Director of Innovation Adam Hembury estimates that his firm is using only one percent of the overall potential AI support currently available to its lawyers.”

 

  • From WombleInnovation in construction and law: unlocking new value. “To address this, law firms are exploring the use of: Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered tools that provide machine learning capabilities. These are being widely adopted by the legal profession and over the next few decades software systems such as that provided by Kira Systems will apply machine-learning techniques to many of the routine tasks presently undertaken by lawyers, in a way which improves accuracy and limits risk. …”

 

  • State Bar of Michigan On Balance podcast: NEXT Conference 2018: Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Automation. “Nicole Black talks about artificial intelligence and other legal technology.” “She shares tips for automating your practice, with and without AI, and ethics advice to keep in mind when using the cloud and social media.” Here’s a link to the 13-minute podcast.

 

  • Must you disclose what your bot is up to? California weighs in on AI. “The California Legislature recently tackled this issue and the dilemma between the legitimate and productive use of ‘bots’ and the misleading and often socially disruptive use of this technology. In Senate Bill 1001, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 28, the Legislature took the approach of requiring disclosure when a company or a political advocacy group is using a ‘bot’ to communicate with people. The operative language of the law is it is illegal for ‘any person to use a bot to communicate or interact with another person in California online …. to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.'” The post is by Glen W. Price of Best Best & Krieger.

 

  • This, from EntreprenuerWhy Big-Name Investors Like Mark Cuban Are Disrupting the Legal Profession. “It does not seem an obvious or exciting industry for big-name investors. But, some of the most famous entrepreneurs — now including billionaire Mark Cuban — are putting their money into disrupting the legal profession.”

 

  • Five9 Aims To Unlock Insight From Contact Center With Artificial Intelligence. “Five9 has offered new AI features, such as the Five9 Genius, that delivers contextual and intelligent routing using unstructured data from emails, chats and other data channels to derive customer intent. It includes real-time natural language processing, business rules, and open AI connectors to create more intelligent routing and agent guidance.” Much more here.

 

  • The objectives of this video from Law Technology Today are:
    • Learn practical tips on how to bring innovation to legal services
    • Discover the key elements of innovation initiatives
    • Hear best practices in the evaluation, deployment, and adoption of technology
    • Understand the building blocks necessary to be successful

It features Jim Lupo of Northwestern Law, Tariq Abdullah of Walmart, and Wendy Curits and Daryl Shetterly from Orrick.

 

  • Press releaseCorporate Counsels and Contract Management: A Guide to Making the Case for Technology. “Exigent’s new guide, Corporate Counsels and Contract Management: A Guide to Making the Case for Technology, dives deeper into the ins and outs of legal technology. It provides some key questions to ask to identify the right solution for your business, including: What are your security needs? What functionality is and isn’t necessary? How much training will members of your organization need to use the new technology?”

 

  • This, from contractworks: An Introductory Guide to Contract Risk Assessment. “How to analyze, measure, and score your contract terms to identify risks, maintain compliance, and improve operational oversight.”

 

  • Artificial Intelligence – A Counterintelligence Perspective: Part IV by Jim Baker: “Instead, in keeping with the counterintelligence focus of this series, I want to discuss two important baskets of implications and risks related to XAI (explainable AI) and ethical AI:  (1) effective management of certain operational, privacy and reputational risks; and (2) adversaries’ use of black-box AI.” Post here.

 

  • Teaching Technology Today: One Law School’s Innovative Offerings. “Lawyers of the future, regardless of practice area, need to be proficient in legal technology.” Here’s what Hofstra Law’s doing about it. Check out the courses!

 

  • What’s Artificial About Ethical AI In The Legal Industry? Everything. “Lawyers are trained and have studied ethics. They must be utilized to succeed in creating ethical AI programs.” Here’s the post by Andy Neill of HighQ.

 

  • Lisa Morgan interviewed Joe Lynyak of Dorsey & Whitney and other experts for this postPrivacy Compliance May Get Tougher Soon. “Organizations have had a tough time trying to comply with the European Union’s GDPR and now they have to consider the potential effect of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).”

 

  • Calif. Looking to Tech to Increase Access to Justice. “How technology can increase access to justice while protecting the public is the focus of a newly appointed California Bar task force. The question is how the legal services industry can integrate new tech to become more efficient and responsive while avoiding ethical roadblocks against fee-sharing with non-lawyers and other arrangements.”

 

  • This, from Freshfields: People Analytics: The Opportunities and Legal Risks of a Brave New World. “Advances in technology and artificial intelligence are allowing companies to solve strategic issues in ever quicker, more innovative ways. These advances are just as applicable to people management. People Analytics is the application of digital tools and algorithms to data about or relating to people, including through profiling. The data that is collected, processed and interpreted by People Analytics tools can allow employers to make better HR decisions and run their businesses more efficiently through cost reductions and enhanced operational capabilities. In our briefing we discuss the benefits, the challenges and the legal risks associated with the use of People Analytics.”

 

  • Frances Wilding and James Ward of Haseltine Lake postedUK: Updated Guidelines For Examination At The EPO In Force 1 November 2018. “In the 2018 Guidelines, a group of sections relating to CII have been significantly revised and newly added: … New section added about the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, aimed at better defining the criteria for their patentability (G II, 3.3.1).”

 

  • This, from Craig W. Adas and Alex Purtill of Weil Gotshal: Valuation Issues in Acquiring Artificial Intelligence Companies.

 

  • “Further, regarding emerging technology, 68% of solos and 72% of lawyers in firms with 2-9 attorneys report it is “very” or “somewhat” important to receive training and education on emerging technology like blockchain and artificial intelligence.” More from the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report here. (It’s huge.)

 

  • From Gwynne MonahanFalling for Legal Technology Recent updates and releases. “…(L)egal technology product updates and release announcements over the past month.” Just in case I missed something.

 

  • Press release: “Consilio, a global leader in eDiscoverydocument reviewrisk management, and legal consulting services, has announced it has acquired DiscoverReady, a premier eDiscovery, document review, and compliance solutions provider. The combined company will operate more than 70 offices, review centers, and data centers around the world in 11 countries. The company’s global operations will continue to serve investigation, litigation, and compliance matters of all sizes and complexities, anywhere in the world.:

 

  • Lawyers safe from brave new AI world… for now. “James Kwan, partner at Hogan Lovells, said there are ‘few laws’ that explicitly ban robots from being decision makers. He alluded to the Code of Civil Procedure in France, which makes references to arbitral decisions being made by a ‘person’, as one that does appear to reject the prospect. ‘Other laws may have implicitly excluded the possibility,’ he added. However, Kwan referenced proposals going through the European Parliament that would afford ‘legal status’ to robots and ensure that highly capable AI have recognised rights and responsibilities. ‘It’s amazing that we have even got to the point where we can have a discussion on this,’ Kwan said, adding: ‘I think lawyers are safe for the time being’.” Story here.

 

  • This, from Bernard MarrHow The UK Government Uses Artificial Intelligence To Identify Welfare And State Benefits Fraud. “Investment in data strategy, technologies that support machine learning and artificial intelligence, and hiring skilled data professionals is a top priority for the UK government. Ministers of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have rolled out and tested AI to automate claims processing and fight fraud within their department.”

 

  • Criminal justice system ‘really creaking’, warns outgoing CPS chief. “She would also see how technology can be improved to support everyone’s roles: ‘Digital forensics offer us valuable evidence in cases, but at the moment they simply take too long. And everything from faster Wi-Fi connections in court to the use of Artificial Intelligence could make everyone’s roles easier and the system faster and more effective for victims, witnesses and defendants.'” Story here.

 

  • “Charles Ciumei QC of Essex Court Chambers in London said the use of prediction tools “to assist human judicial decision making” was more achievable than “robot judges”.” Post here.

 

  • This, from Shanti Berggren of Optus Legal: Law, the digital age and change to come. “It is technology that facilitates our Optus Legal Team operating nationally allowing some of our lawyers to live and work away from our Sydney headquarters. In short, technology is changing legal culture and what it means to be a lawyer. But how should that change be managed?” The story has some answers.

 

  • Press release: Dentons Rodyk will use XION.AI’s deep learning bots as part of its wider technology initiative designed to enhance productivity and further innovate its legal service offerings in the region. It is part of the firm’s strategy to leverage on technology to optimise legal services for its clients.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:
    • AL Caffeine, Feat: Relativity, QDiscovery, Taylor Wessing, TLT, Luminance + AI Art. Post.
    • TL, DR: The 14 Key Lessons From Juro’s Legal Operations eBook. Post.

 

  • Not AI, but pretty cool tech: (New Zealand’s) TMJAM launches real time IPONZ trade-mark filings. “New law tech company TMJAM disrupts traditional intellectual property lawyering with an advanced platform allowing the public to file their own trade mark applications online.” Story here.

 

  • EPIC calls for US adoption of AI guidelines. “In its letter to the NSF, EPIC argues the principles match up well with AI strategies already laid out by the U.S. “By investing in AI systems that strive to meet the [universal] principles, NSF can promote the development of systems that are accurate, transparent, and accountable from the outset,” EPIC President and Executive Director Marc Rotenberg writes.” Full story here.

 

Blockchain

  • Here’s a collection of TED talks about blockchain.
  • Check out this new user interface and functionality from Neota Logic’s portal, Workbench. There’s a video demo.

 

  • From Sterne KesslerGlobal Patent Prosecution Newsletter – October 2018: Subject Matter Eligibility of Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications in the United States, Europe, and China. “This article surveys subject-matter eligibility requirements of AI patent applications in the United States, Europe, and China.”

 

  • This article appears in Law Week ColoradoAI in IP Opens Questions of Liability. “Artificial intelligence is filling the role of attorneys at law firms more and more. And that includes in situations that could get a law firm into trouble.” David London of Hogan Lovells is interviewed.

 

  • Yolanda Cartusciello contributed this piece to LexisNexis’s Business of Law Blog: AI in the Legal Sector. It’s a brief summary of the state of AI in the industry as discussed at the Somerville Forum this past June followed by her thoughts as to where we’re headed and how fast.

 

  • Dan Bindman postedClients ‘must be told whether legal advice is AI or human’. “Sir Geoffrey Vos, the Chancellor of the High Court cautioned: ‘We will, as a necessary safeguard, need to introduce systems that allow the client to know when they are receiving advice generated by [AI] and when they are receiving advice that emanates from a human lawyer.'”

 

  • From KennedysArtificial Intelligence: time for Alternative Insurance? “AI goes across every aspect of insurance, but here we concentrate on the three sectors we consider it has particular impact.” They are construction, healthcare and transport. “AI offers many opportunities, including a reduction of certain risks. Insurers will need to accommodate the shift in allocation of risk and new policies will need to reflect the changes in behaviours to enable the insurance market to benefit from all that AI can offer.”

 

  • International Family Law Group launch Australian AI technology. “Settify allows clients to provide information on their relationship status anywhere, any time. The online system  will assimilate this information and provide a clear set of instructions for  the lawyers. This is particularly beneficial for clients as it cuts initial costs and helps to speed up the process of their case.” “Created by family lawyers and launched in Melbourne in February 2017, Settify has won more than 3,400 new matters for its partner firms, representing legal disputes worth more than AUD7.2bn (£4bn) in aggregate. The technology has won several awards for innovation and is now ‘the new norm’ in Australia and New Zealand, with over 100 firms adopting the system since its inception, including most of the independently ranked ‘top tier’ and ‘pre-eminent’ firms.” More here.

 

  • Here’s more on Suffolk University Law School’s Learned Hands, “a new game that will help train an artificial intelligence model to spot legal issues and help close the access-to-justice gap.” “(T)he game takes 75,000 legal questions posted on Reddit dealing with family, consumer, criminal and other legal issues and asks the user to determine what the issue is.”

 

  •  postedAre Humans The Weak Link In Technology-Assisted Review? “If there is any shortcoming of TAR technologies, the blame may fairly be placed at the feet (and in the minds) of humans.”

 

  • This from the ALA’s Legal Management magazine: AI Shaping the Way Law Firms Function. The article is something of a primer, beginning with a definition of AI, then how AI is being used in law firms, followed by the question of AI and jobs, and ending with the suggestion that firms can gain competitive advantage via AI.

 

  • Kenneth Jones of Tanenbaum Keale postedHow Bridging The Gap Between Legal Operations And Technology Entities Is Benefiting The Legal Industry. “We in the legal technology field are seeing more and more unique combinations of entities working to deliver process improvements in the industry. It is important to note that the tighter alignment between legal and technology professionals — two classes of professionals who traditionally speak very different languages — seems to be a symbiotic relationship which is yielding better technology applications and services as time goes on. Bridging this gap seems to be an organizational strategy which is benefiting the industry as a whole.” Jones explores various aspects of this relationship in some depth.

 

  • Here’s a case study from iManage/RAVN: Howard Kennedy Improves Knowledge Management with iManage RAVN Insight.

 

  • Press release: “The California Lawyers Association (CLA) and Fastcase today announced a partnership that will provide free access to Fastcase’s nationwide legal research system for all members of the nation’s largest statewide voluntary bar association.”

 

  • From another vendor, Litera, this news: “Litera Microsystems has announced that Litera Desktop, its full document drafting suite, continues to replace multiple vendors at firms around the world. So far this year, firms totaling nearly 20,000 users have replaced multiple point solutions with a single vendor. These firms, including leading global law firm Clifford Chance, are experiencing how the full document drafting suite delivers greater client services.”

 

  • This is from the Thomson Reuters series AI ExpertsRecognizing the limitations of artificial intelligence. It’s a thoughtful (and not completely optimistic) discussion of the state of AI and its future, with a serious dose of ethics and governance thrown in.

 

  • According to this story from CBS, Robocop has arrived on the streets of NYC. At least this time he’s not armed. Robotic Security Forces On Patrol In NYC Prompt Privacy Concerns For Some.

 

  • AI writes a law firm TV commercialThis Is Every Lawyer Ad. If this came on late at night, I doubt I’d notice anything amiss.

 

Blockchain

  • Here’s a bit of a breakthrough for you: Australian State of New South Wales Mandates Land Registry Shift to Blockchain by 2019. “The NSW Land Registry Services maintains the system that defines the legal ownership of both public and private land across the state, according to the report. As of the start of the new financial year, according to ZDNet, all NSW property transactions will be required, under the government’s directive, to be stored digitally, eliminating the need for paper-based Certificates of Title.”

 

  • From HuntonSenate Banking Committee Explores Blockchain. “On October 11, 2018, the Senate Banking Committee held a wide-ranging hearing entitled “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem.” The hearing featured testimony from Dr. Nouriel Roubini, an NYU professor who famously predicted the 2007-2008 financial crisis, as well as a counterpoint from Mr. Peter Van Valkenburgh, the Director of Research from Coin Center.”

 

  • From Bob Ambrogi: Starting Its Second Year, Global Legal Blockchain Group Unveils New Guides and World Tour of Briefings. “(W)ith the aim of further accelerating understanding and adoption of blockchain in legal, the GLBC is unveiling three initiatives for members: 1) A series of non-technical blockchain guides for law firms and legal departments. 2) A global series of 25 regional briefings on blockchain in law. 3) A free “Blockchain 101” course for legal professionals and staff. More here.

 

  • Thomson Reuters sponsored this post from The Guardian: Can blockchain shake up the legal sector for the better? “Blockchain – one of the buzzwords of the year – could help the legal system run more smoothly and efficiently. But data privacy and regulations may limit its impact.”
  • I like the infographic AI Knowledge Map above. Here’s an explanation of the elements.

 

  • “The sixth annual Clio Cloud Conference held a talk with lawyers about how artificial intelligence and blockchain-based technologies can be used by firms of various sizes to become more cost and time efficient.” Summary by Victoria Hudgins here.

 

  • Innovation Driving New Approach to Legal Operations at Novartis. “Maurus Schreyvogel, Novartis’ Chief Legal Innovation Officer, advocates for a more efficient legal function and the broader benefits for the industry.” “…(W)hen we think of the legal profession first and foremost, it’s us – the legal professionals. We have to think about our workplace and how we want to add value because the way legal operations currently work, in many ways, is no longer fit for purpose.” Story here.

 

  • Could an artificial intelligence be considered a person under the law? “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.” Interesting discussion by Prof. , University of Louisville, here.

 

  • Press releaseActive Machine Learning Now Available in the VenioOne Platform. “VenioOne CAL is now hitting its stride as a best of both worlds eDiscovery solution – human reviewers combined with machine learning. This could be a big game changer for firms and corporations relying on large teams of reviewers to get through increasingly larger datasets in their cases.”

 

  • From Hogan LovellsAI, machine learning & legal tech: The 6th Hamburg Legal Tech Meetup at Google with Hogan Lovells. “…(T)the legal spotlight focused on how in-house counsel and external law firms are going to cooperate well under the influence of legal tech.

 

  • And this from Hogan Lovells’ LimeGreen IP NewsEU Patent Office publishes preview of guidelines on patenting AI applications. “…(T) the new section on AI and machine learning now appears in section 3.3.1 of Part G of the Guidelines.”

 

  • Allen & Overy and Freshfields did well at the FT Innovative lawyers Awards. Details here and here.

 

 

  • From Legal Talk NetworkClio Cloud 2018: Blockchain and AI used in the Legal Industry. “Joshua Lenon and Jake Heller talk about how blockchain and AI play a role in their companies, what they are seeing with AI today, and how to spot a product that is not worth using.”

 

  • This story is from the UK’s Law Society Gazette: In-house lawyers expect artificial intelligence to cut firms’ bills. “A report, Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype, found that 75% of GCs expected to be passed on benefits including lower fees, improved quality and faster turnaround times. There was mixed feedback on the satisfaction of legal technology deployed by firms: 40% of general counsel said they were satisfied, 12% very satisfied and 37% were dissatisfied.”

 

Here are some recent posts from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Meet Josef a ‘Next Generation’ Legal Automation Platform. Story here.
  • These nuggets are from a LexisNexis report I previously posted. A Tricky Relationship: General Counsel + Legal Technology.
  • Prop + Legal Tech Pioneer, Thirdfort, Bags £400k Pre-Seed Investment. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • “France’s Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) released guidance on how blockchain can exist in a post-GDPR world. Problem is, they are not sure it completely can.” In this article by Rhys Dipshan, attorneys from Baker Hostetler; Crowell & Morning; McCann FitzGerald; and Morris, Manning & Martin are quoted.

 

  • Here’s an academic piece for you, from professors from law schools in Dusseldorf, Australia and Hong Kong and published in the University of Illinois Law Review: The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain. (It’s a bit over a year old, but I had missed it until today.)

 

  • This is a somewhat technical explanation of how smart contracts work. Smart Contract Technical Underpinnings (Blockchain Report Excerpt). The full report is here.

 

 

Here are a couple of developments in the application of AI and blockchain in real estate:

  • Securrency to Help QuantmRE Build Blockchain-Powered Real Estate Trading Platform. “QuantmRE, a blockchain company that focuses on the tokenization of real estate assets, partnered with fintech company Securrency to build its property trading platform.” Story here.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence in Real Estate: How to Leverage the Disruption by Desirée Patno. Four examples are given here.

 

Background

  • Ready to get your geek on? Here’s a good explanation of how Quantum Computing works. “If a task required you to find one correct answer out of 100 million choices, an ordinary computer would go through 50 million steps to do so. A quantum computer would only go through 10,000.” “For now, anyone without a quantum computer isn’t missing out on anything. Quantum computers can’t yet function any better than our classic computers can and aren’t expected to do so for at least another decade.” Thanks to “physics student”, Ella Alderson.