• 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.
  • “Seven members of the US Congress have sent letters to the Federal Trade CommissionFederal Bureau of Investigation, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asking whether the agencies have vetted the potential biases of artificial intelligence algorithms being used for commerce, surveillance, and hiring.” “We are concerned by the mounting evidence that these technologies can perpetuate gender, racial, age, and other biases,” a letter to the FTC says. “As a result, their use may violate civil rights laws and could be unfair and deceptive.” More here.

 

  • Last Friday, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced that he will introduce three new bills aimed at supporting the development of blockchain technologies, and the use of cryptocurrencies. “The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology, and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.” Details here.

 

  • Edward Baer of Ropes & Gray postedThe SEC’s Proposed ETF Rule Creates Fintech Opportunities. “Custom Baskets Present Opportunities for Fintech Applications, Including Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.”

 

 

  • This is a rather provocative description of Atrium. “Many law firms are notoriously inefficient, charging clients by the hour to complete tasks that could easily be automated. In addition, most firms pay out any annual profits to shareholders, leaving nothing behind to invest in software or internal tools.” “For example, one of its apps automatically turns startup funding documents into Excel cap tables,” from a recent TechCrunch article.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting post from Artificial Lawyer (DLA Using Only ‘About 1%’ of AI’s Huge Potential So Far), featuring thoughts from folks at DLA and White & Case at the recent Legal AI Forum in London. “One might say the hype wave of the last couple of years has propelled AI systems into law firms, the really exciting part is now only really beginning and that is firms implementing such tech at a major scale across the business.”

 

  • Press releaseLexalytics Data Extraction Services Enables Hybrid Analysis of Both Structured and Unstructured Data from Corporate Documents.  “Lexalytics has been a leader in extracting insights from unstructured data for more than 15 years,” said Jeff Catlin, CEO of Lexalytics. “Lexalytics Data Extraction Services represents the first time we’ve brought this capability to the document data extraction market, and we’re excited to help companies go beyond what the current technology allows.”

 

  • UnitedLex, Big Deals in Hand, Sells Majority Stake to European Buyout Firm. “European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners said Thursday it had acquired a majority stake in Overland, Kansas-based UnitedLex Corp., an enterprise legal services provider that during the past 18 months has signed contracts worth $1.5 billion.” “UnitedLex CEO Daniel Reed said the transaction will give his company access to $500 million in debt and equity that he will use to invest in the company’s technology, target businesses for acquisition and to invest alongside the clients it serves.” “The announcement said UnitedLex’s leadership team had “fully reinvested in the transaction,” which Reed said was indicative of their belief that they can create ”the largest legal services company in the world.”” More here.
  • Here’s a deeper dive into Ron Friedmann’s argument that legal tech is in the midst of “evolution” rather than a “revolution”. It’s an interesting read, well-reasoned with several examples. “…(I)n-house counsel change buying habits slowly, which in turn slows legal innovation.” I love that he focuses on the “voice of the client,” as should we all!

 

  • Machine Learning Makes its Way (Slowly) into e-Discovery by David Raths is a rather thorough discussion of the evolving acceptance of technology-assisted review (TAR) and the development of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). Good stuff if you’re interested in eDiscovery.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi pulled together this impressive list of legal tech companies HQ’d in the LA area. Who knew?

 

  • From Osborne Clarke’s Deborah Harvey and Amy Stray comes, this discussion of the need for autonomous vehicle regulation: Developing a regulatory landscape for the future of mobility.

 

  • If you find autonomous vehicles may be a bit scary, how about Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)? In this article, Blank Rome’s Sean T. Pribyl ” discusses the International Maritime Organization’s regulatory scoping exercise to evaluate existing legal frameworks in order to assess the safe, secure, and environmentally sound operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships.”

 

  • Maayan Lattin of Davis Wright Tremaine prepared, NIST to Begin Workshops to Develop Voluntary Privacy Framework for New Tech Platforms like AI and IoT. “The agency’s objective is to develop a voluntary framework that permits providers of AI, IoT and other innovative technology solutions to better identify, assess, manage, and communicate privacy risks to help ensure consumer confidence and trust.”

 

  • From Neota Logic, THE NEOTA LINK – News & Views on AI in Law & Compliance. It’s news about Neota, its offerings and its clients.

 

  • Kerrie Spencer, staff contributor to Bigger Law Firm Magazine prepared this discussion of the ethical issues inherent in legal AI.

 

  • This is an advertorial (infomercial?) from Thomson Reuters re their new Westlaw Edge: Know More Than Your Opposing Counsel and Win. And here’s another, Key Reasons To Use Litigation Analytics.

 

  • The Law Society Gazette’s Joanna Goodman believes we are Reaching a Tipping Point. “Lawtech is approaching a crossroads in terms of technology development, investment and adoption. The start-up dynamic is maturing as a new generation of legal businesses emerges.” Several convincing examples are given, and the thoughtful article separates the substance from the hype.

 

  • Meanwhile, also from the GazetteNew Solicitors not Prepared for AI. Law Society president Christina Blacklaw: “‘At the moment we’re training lawyers for 20th-century practices, not even for current practice,’ she told an international conference on AI in London last week. ‘There is a mismatch with what they are doing in practice today, let alone what they will be doing in future.’”

 

From Artificial Lawyer

– New York-based smart contract pioneer, Clause, has joined forces with consumer legal platform LegalZoom, to provide smart legal contracts to the general public and small businesses. More here.

This sponsored piece from ContractPodAI explains how their automated contract management platform results in fast ROI.

 

Blockchain

From Artificial Lawyer:

– Digital signature giant, DocuSign, has launched an Ethereum blockchain integration and has also set out in detail how it will be working with legal AI company, Seal Software, with which it formed a partnership in June this year. … ‘Intelligent Insights’, … ‘goes beyond keywords to ‘understand’ concepts in agreement clauses, as a human analyst would’. Details here.

– The Accord Project, the smart legal contract consortium co-created by Clause, has announced the launch of a new working group for the real estate and construction industries to be chaired by Philip Freedman, Partner and Chairman of innovative UK law firm Mishcon de Reya. Story here.

 

  • Here’s Volume 35 of K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer, summarizing three blockchain news stories.
  • From Information AgeArtificial intelligence in the legal industry: Adoption and strategy – Part 1, an insightful discussion with Geoffrey Vance, the chair of Perkins Coie’s E-Discovery Services and Strategy Practice, and Alvin Lindsay, partner at Hogan Lovells. The discussion of the future role of associates is especially interesting, and several useful links are included.

 

  • Investment money pouring into legal AI. “Legal tech blogger Bob (“God”) Ambrogi just posted that $200 million in new investment capital has found its way to legal tech companies in just May and June of this year. The money went into companies that are either based in machine learning (sometimes called “artificial intelligence”), an increasingly important sector of legal technology.” The post from the Akron Legal News lists some of the specific investments.

 

  • According to Bloomberg’s Big Law BusinessAnalytics Give Law Firms the Competitive Edge. “Bob Ambrogi’s Law Sites Blog lists more than 690 legal tech start-ups that are either currently active or have closed or been acquired. He only began keeping count in 2016.” The article goes on to report to report the results of a 2017 survey of 1117 respondents, including findings such as, “(b)y providing structure and visualization to information, technology is enabling attorneys to understand past results and forecast costs, time to resolution and outcomes — and thereby better serve their clients and operate their organizations more successfully.” The article includes a lot of interesting data, showing the success to-date of AI. Here’s a link to the full report by Above the Law. The survey was conducted back in October 2017, and results are reported with some care regarding statistical integrity. All that’s missing to have high confidence in the findings is an idea of the response rate; that is, how many were asked to participate in order to achieve the 1117 responses.

 

  • This post by Ron Friedmann (Legal Transformation or Disruption? A New Rule for Talking About It) is a suggestion for mitigating the extreme hype now plaguing discussions of legal AI and tech in general. It’s a step in the right direction, but is still subject to personal judgement (and hyperbole). I do not have a better idea.

 

  • This post (Baker McKenzie’s Growth Shows Value of One-Stop Legal Shopping from Bloomberg Big Law Business) includes: “(t)he firm also recently adopted artificial intelligence tools in 11 offices in three continents as the first step in a worldwide rollout. This will allow faster, more comprehensive review of merger and acquisition work, and other work involving contracts, the firm said.”

 

  • As I visit law firms, I am asked more and more about the Big 4 accounting firms’ encroachment into the legal space. This threat has been popping up since the days of the Big 8, but has more substance today than ever before. For instance:

Breaking: Big Four firm buys services ‘disruptor’ Riverview. “Global accountancy giant EY today laid down a significant marker in its expansion into legal services with the capture of forward-thinking firm Riverview Law.” … “The deal marks another step in what has long been predicted would be the rise of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms to rival – and possibly overtake – the biggest existing law firms. Each of those four, EY, KMPG, PwC and Deloitte, now provide reserved legal services.” Coverage here and here. “EY said the acquisition underlines its position “as a leading disruptor of legal services” and will “help clients to increase efficiency, manage risk, improve service transparency and reduce costs of routine legal activities.”

And the same day, KMPG published, “In the legal sector, this disruption presents vast challenges as firms struggle to move from traditional hierarchies, manual research requirements, time-based billing models, and other traditional ways of operating, into tech-empowered models fit for the future.” “Adapt or fall behind. Now is the perfect time to reimagine every layer of the workplace to future proof the legal profession.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting application of AI from Seyfarth Shaw: Australia: New Transparency: Using Collaboration And Technology To Address Modern Slavery. “Mining data (for example, from mobile phones, media reports and surveillance cameras) which can be analysed using artificial intelligence and machine learning to extract meaningful information and identify risks in the supply chain.”

 

  • From The Atlantic, this interesting application of sentiment analysis. The AI That Reads All a Company’s Emails to Gauge Morale. The very interesting article discusses text analysis generally and is definitely worth reading.

 

  • Canada’s Miller Thomson postedArtificial Intelligence Revolution and the Insurance Industry. “AI may soon be heavily used in all aspects of the insurance industry, including sales, customer service, underwriting, claims assessment and fraud detection and prevention. AI has and will continue to be used in the area of insurance marketing.”

 

Blockchain

  • From ForbesTrust, Security And Efficiency – How Blockchain Really Intersects With Artificial Intelligence. “Blockchain, though powerful on it’s own, becomes enhanced to a whole new level when coupled with AI technology. New features and capabilities become unlocked, enhanced, and more secure through the convergence.” Several instances of this synergy are discussed, but there’s no real insight as to how they will actually work together.

 

  • Get smart: blockchain will liberate lawyers. Sounds good, no? This post from the UK’s Law Society Gazette, focuses on smart contracts and details several concerns and limitations thereof, including use of imprecise terms such as “reasonable.”

 

  • This piece from ComputerWorld (By 2020, 1-in-5 healthcare orgs will adopt blockchain; here’s why) reviews several applications of blockchain in healthcare. It’s a deep dive into the pros and cons, and describes several applications, including smart contracts. “Blockchain lets the healthcare industry exchange data in a standard format, automate complex processes and apply AI against large silos of medical data. It might even allow patients to sell their data for rewards.”
  • From the Mintz Intellectual Property Advisory, “AI: The Path of the Future or Industry Hype?” The post includes some examples of AI in use and an explanation of Machine Learning. The thrust of the article focuses on the patenting of AI systems, concluding with: “(i)n sum, while it is less than certain how far the technology will ultimately take us, it is clear that the field of AI is young, disruptive, and here to stay.”

 

  • Here’s another solid explanation of Blockchain, including a bit of history and some cautions.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “KPMG International has announced a range of AI-driven doc review services under an expanded strategic alliance with IBM Watson’s AI technology.  …(S)olutions utilising Watson now available include the KPMG Contract Abstraction Tool for IFRS 16 lease accounting compliance and KPMG Research Tax Credit Services with Watson.”

 

  • This piece discusses possible uses of AI in the Indian judicial system. Canadian and US applications of AI are discussed.

“Unless artificial intelligence and machine learning are deployed effectively in judicial administration, trial, and adjudication of cases at the earliest, the worrying long-term trend of a pile-up of cases from the lowest courts to the highest will continue unabated. Moreover, like in other pillars of democracy, artificial intelligence, when effectively put to use, can also play a key role to help address challenges of transparency and red tape. With the responsible adoption of artificial intelligence, the Indian judicial system can bring about a drastic transformation to ensure that justice is neither delayed nor denied.”

 

  • Book release: “Co-authored by Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer, and Jim Wilson, managing director of information technology and business research at Accenture Research, Human + Machine is being published by Harvard Business Review Press and will be widely available March 20. Based on the authors’ experience and on quantitative and qualitative research with 1,500 organizations, Human + Machine debunks the widespread misconception that AI systems will replace humans in one industry after another. The authors show that while that will be true for some jobs, with AI being deployed to automate certain tasks, the technology’s true power is in augmenting human capabilities.”

 

  • In case you happen to be hanging around Oxford this Thursday with nothing in particular to do: “(t)he 2nd Annual Conference of the Oxford Business Law Blog will bring together practitioners and researchers to discuss emerging issues in the field of law and artificial intelligence.” Mordan Hall, St Hugh’s College, St Margaret’s Rd, Oxford OX2 6LE, 1:30 pm to 6.30pm. Register here.

 

  • From the IBA, these thoughts about legislation’s struggle to keep up with tech. “Another hot topic at the moment is artificial intelligence (AI) and the extent to which competition law can deal with it. When computers become involved in pricing for goods and services (as is the case at Amazon or Uber), for example, the potential for collusion is even greater than when humans are setting the prices.”

 

  • Also from the IBA: Dubai has been making a lot of news lately about its plans to become an international player in AI. Now, it seems the courts are getting involved. “(T)he Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is launching ambitious plans to set up the first ‘Court of the Future’, a model whose proponents say will forever change the way commercial courts do business. ‘Courts have not been disruptive. We need a disruptive court,’ says Mark Beer, Chief Executive and Registrar General of the DIFC Courts. ‘We’ve got to break free from the atmosphere that we live in, thinking what we designed 200 years ago is right for today or tomorrow.’ What Dubai wants to do is combine the use of extensive technology to deliver justice more efficiently with pioneering court decisions that deal with commercial disputes arising from new, and often largely untested, technology.” This includes AI.

 

 

  • Here, from WebMastersJury, is a very cool infographic about chatbots — LOTS of data. (I expect that once one Big Law firm seriously incorporates a Chatbot in its digital strategy, many others will follow very quickly.)

 

  • There has been a lot of news lately about legal “hackathons”. I’ll be attending my first next month. Here is a good explanation of what they’re all about.

 

  • Since I started this blog almost a year ago, there has been a steady stream of advancements in using AI for live (or near-live) translation. Now, it’s coming to Alexa.

 

  • This post on the LMA’s Strategies+ blog (originally from last month’s issue of the magazine Strategies) has a bit of a clickbait title, “AI Is the Future of Everything, Right? Not So Fast.” The actual substance is a list of seven things law firms could be doing now to improve the business of their firms. It comes with appropriate cautions by Axiom’s Mark Masson and Sean Williams–hence the title. (These guys know what they’re talking about.)

 

  • And speaking of hyperbole, how about “Law Firms Moving to iManage Records Manager 10 from LegalKEY at Exponential Pace.” No doubt that iManage seems to reel in another high profile client every few days — they’re doing very well. But I’d like to see the evidence behind the “exponential movement” in this press release. The only statistic cited is that they have doubled their revenue.

 

  • Much is being written about AI tech enabling porn producers to realistically insert the faces of celebrities onto the bodies of porn performers. “Using machine learning and AI to swap celebrities’ faces onto porn performers’ (results in) (f)ake celebrity porn seamless enough to be mistaken for the real thing. Early victims include Daisy Ridley, Gal Gadot, Scarlett Johansson, and Taylor Swift.” According to Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and the author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, this is going to hard to stop. “There are all sorts of First Amendment problems because it’s not their real body.” Since US privacy laws don’t apply, taking these videos down could be considered censorship—after all, this is “art” that redditors have crafted, even if it’s unseemly.”

 

 

  • And from Bird & Bird, a comprehensive of Europe’s state of Competition (a.k.a., Antitrust) Law and regulation regarding “Big Data.” (Interesting that the GDPR is not mentioned.)

 

  • “The Global Legal Hackathon (globallegalhackathon.com) will arrive in South Africa for the first time next month, the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) announced today. … The event, set for Johanneburg, will see local innovators compete for a place at a New York showcase of the best lawtech innovations in the world.” A2J organization HiiL will host the event in association with Hogan Lovells.

 

  • Yesterday I mentioned some of the AI hype going on at Davos. There’s more. Here’s a summary.

 

  • Here’s an interesting parallel to the legal industry. It seems advertising agencies are facing the same sorts of AI threats as law firms from faster moving agencies, new types of entrants performing similar services, and clients more likely to serve themselves. From the article: ““The advertising landscape has changed dramatically in the last couple of years and the pace of change means the industry is now facing fierce competition from everywhere.” … “This has allowed for consultancies, technology, and media companies, as well as new types of advertising agencies, defined or not, to come into the industry.” I don’t expect Don Draper saw this coming.

 

  • Ireland is branding itself “the AI island.” Toward that end, the University of Limerick has launched “Ireland’s first master’s degree in artificial intelligence.” “Companies that have an AI presence established in Ireland include: Siemens, Zalando, SAP, HubSpot, Deutsche Bank, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Ericsson, Intel, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Mastercard, Nokia Bell Labs, Huawei, LogoGrab and Soapbox Labs, to name but a few.”

On a related note, “UK teenagers (year 9 pupils) are to be taught about artificial intelligence with the launch of a new deep learning teaching kit.” “AI is already part of our everyday lives, and by the time today’s 13-year-olds are entering the workforce, it will have a significant impact on the kinds of jobs available to them,” said Beverly Clarke, the project leader.

  • It’s great to see 2018 start off without any of the AI hype that we saw in 2017. By the way, I noticed these stories this morning (italics mine):

– Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Friday on MSNBC, “AI is one of the most important things that humanity is working on. It’s more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire.”

– Piccadilly Group has launched NEURO, an AI business platform that will eradicate the need for one in four management consultants, saving businesses approximately $122.bn globally.

 

  • This author says “AI is the future of accounting,” but does not believe it will eliminate accountants’ jobs. Interesting. He stipulates that: “…if the AI system is well configured, it can eliminate accounting errors that are generally hard to find and thereby reduce our liability and allows us to move to a more advisory role.” I wonder how many accountants are interested in or able to assume “a more advisory role.” I have the same question, but to a lesser degree, re lawyers.

 

  • This from the ‘getting in front of crime/corruption’ desk, “a computer model based on neural networks that calculates the probability in Spanish provinces of corruption, as well as the conditions that favor it.”

 

  • Ken Grady does not get excited about developments without reason, and his recent post about MDR Labs shows real enthusiasm for this effort to actually DO something in LegalTech. He and several luminaries serve on the Lab’s advisory board. Details here.

 

  • Jones Day just posted this brief on “FDA’s Evolving Regulation of Artificial Intelligence in Digital Health Products.”

 

  • Perkins Coie announced that Matt Kirmayer has joined the firm’s San Francisco office as a partner. His portfolio includes AI clients.

 

  • As this year progresses. I expect it will be increasingly difficult to separate cybersecurity from AI. So, I find it noteworthy that Cooley just added three more cybersecurity partners.

 

  • Just what we need, another entrant into the “using AI for contracts” space. I think this one (Evisort) deserves note because it was created by students at Harvard Law.

 

  • More from Philip Segal, something of a follow up to my reference yesterday. In this one, he cautions that lawyers face ethical problems if they don’t keep track of (and accept responsibility for) what their AI systems are doing. “…(T)oo much passivity in the use of AI is not only inefficient. It also carries the risk of ethical violations.”

 

  • iManage was just named a winner in the Best Use of Technology category at the Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards for its innovative use of AI technology by the Serious Fraud Office (as opposed to the Comical Fraud Office?), a UK-governmental department in charge of prosecuting complex cases of fraud and corruption. SFO recently utilized iManage’s RAVN artificial intelligence (AI) platform to help a team of investigators sift through 30 million documents. Details here.

 

  • Here’s a lengthy but engaging narrative about how one firm embraced (or rather will embrace) Machine Learning and other technologies to improve client service and quality of life for its lawyers. “Science Fiction – A Day in the Life of a Lawyer in 2030.”

 

  • Well, we’ve heard from just about everyone else, and now Pope Francis has weighed in on AI: “Artificial intelligence, robotics and other technological innovations must be so employed that they contribute to the service of humanity and to the protection of our common home, rather than to the contrary.” Hard to argue with that sentiment, but the devil will be in the details.

Along those lines, Element.AI — which last year raised $102 million to work with charities, non-governmental organizations and others on “AI for good,” is opening an outpost in London, its first international expansion.

 

  • After a few delays, the first Amazon Go store opened to the public in Seattle yesterday with no cashiers or checkout lines. They haven’t announced any plans for more stores, but remember, Amazon now owns Whole Foods.

 

  • I’m sure many of my readers are tired of my warnings about AI’s coming exacerbation of our wealth inequality crisis (yes, “crisis”). If so, skip this post. If not, you may find this report from the World Economic Forum’s annual summit (based on research by Deloitte) interesting. It focuses mainly in income inequality in India, China and South Africa.

 

  • This report from Herbert Smith Freshfields suggests that the “bank of 2040 will be vastly different to the bank of today, with new technology and artificial intelligence making financial services more accessible to underutilised markets and enabling customers to connect with banks in new ways. (That’s 23 years from now; in AI terms, forever. IMHO, prognostications about AI more than five years out are no better than wild guesses.)

 

  • The UK government’s departments for Business; Energy and Industrial Strategy; and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, commissioned a study of AI. The report forecasts that AI could add an extra £630bn to the UK economy by 2035 and suggests ways in which the UK could become a world leader in the field. Recommendations include:

development of “data trusts”,

financial backing for AI training,

the setting up of an “AI Council”, and

that the Alan Turing Institute become the nation’s institute for AI.

Here are some thoughts about the report from the BBC.

 

  • And here’s another gentleman from the BBC with interesting thoughts about AI in the UK, including the report mentioned above, and whether AI is being “over-hyped.”

  • According to a recent survey by Corporate Counsel: “… legal departments in some of the largest global companies are looking to bring AI in-house. The market for AI tools is heating up with no end in sight, and some former general counsel are moving into AI tech startups, confident that the technology is what the industry needs.” (BUT!) “… most corporate legal teams are not ready to adopt AI in the near future, nor do many understand its application.” Note “some” in the first line. The story does a good job explaining the hesitancy and confusion about AI among GCs.

 

  • Latham & Watkins reports that the US Senate is on track to introduce autonomous vehicle legislation similar to the House’s SELF DRIVE Act. One notable difference, the Senate version does not address commercial vehicles.

 

  • MoFo announced the results of its semi-annual Tech M&A Leaders’ Survey, which shows dealmakers expect technology M&A to remain robust over the next 12 months. AI is predicted to be a very strong driver.

 

  • This piece is about consulting practices, but the basic argument applies to the practice of law, and using AI to sift through mountains of data to find the elusive bits upon which an argument might hinge.

 

  • Rajah & Tann Asia has adopted Luminance’s artificial intelligence technology to enhance its due diligence processes for M&A transactions.

 

  • Here’s why and how you should use big data to set your fees for legal matters. And here’s why you need to undertake some process reengineering first.

 

  • China’s top e-commerce firm, Alibaba is investing $15 billion (yes, that’s a “B”) to build overseas research hubs in China, Israel, the United States, Russia and Singapore and is hiring 100 researchers to work on AI, quantum computing and fintech. Meanwhile, in this video, the U.S. chief of Chinese search giant Baidu, says “AI is the single most important force of our time.”

 

  • This article may be overstating the hype a bit — that is to say, things will develop faster than the author predicts, but it’s a very good read about AI’s potential, long and short term.

 

  • A couple of days ago I posted about Google new headphones capable of simultaneous translation across 40 languages. This author is skeptical (to say the least). Still, it will be very interesting to see how this AI application plays out.

 

  • I have a feeling AI will soon surpass humans regarding emotional intelligence. This author agrees.