• 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.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Law Firm Posts:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases and Sponsored Posts:

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

 

BLOCKCHAIN

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

 

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

 

Who is Supporting And Who is Opposing Blockchain?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) is in full swing in Vegas, and my feeds are swamped with press releases and news coverage of the myriad AI-enabled products (like this one about a laptop with AI built in). I won’t even attempt any coverage here. If you’d like to catch up and have a few hours to spare, search for “CES 2019 Artificial Intelligence”. That said, this coverage of the keynote by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is quite interesting.

Now, the news:

  • Check out this very interesting post from Judge Penalizes Lawyers For Not Using Artificial Intelligence.”It may not be the most significant opinion, but it may be a sign of things to come.”
  • Bob also posted this interview with Judicata Founder Itai Gurari who “believes he has built a better legal research platform. A lawyer and computer scientist, his approach to designing a legal research engine was to first “map the legal genome” — that is, map the law with extreme accuracy and granularity. The result is a research engine that returns the best results the fastest….”
  • This story (Young lawyers “fearful of innovation resistance) from Legal Futures is based on a survey by the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA). I could not find the survey methodology, but there were 180 respondents.
  • “Chicago law firm Corboy & Demetrio said on Tuesday it filed a lawsuit against electric carmaker Tesla Inc alleging that its 2014 Model S sedan had a defective battery pack that caused the death of an 18-year old passenger in an accident last year.” Story here.
  • From Lawyers Weekly comes this storyHow to fight push back when accessing big data. “…Jay Carle … and Kathleen McConnell… of Seyfarth Shaw shared the benefits of using big data and analytics to both a firm and a client’s advantage.”
  • Mark Medice posted this interesting thought piece: Why a Digital Strategy is Important for Your Firm – Priorities for 2019. Good stuff.
  • Philip Scorgie, technical advisor for AdvoLogix made this post (Late for the Sky: Legal Tech and the Cloud) on ALPMA’s A Survival Guide for Legal Practice Managers.
  • “Forbes publishes 300 stories a day, and is developing AI software that writes first drafts of articles.” Story here.

 

Law Firm AI Posts:

  • Andrew J. Sherman of Seyfarth Shaw postedNow Is The Time To Figure Out The Ethical Rights Of Robots In The Workplace.
  • Peter Vogel of Foley & Lardner wrote this postGood News About The Future Of Humans With AI.
  • From the very prolific Giangiacomo Olivi of Dentons comes this postSmart farming: the rise of AgriTech and its legal issues.
  • From Epstein Becker: Employment Law This Week: January 7th, 2019: A Look Back and the Year Ahead. “In 2018, many employers put the potential of artificial intelligence (“AI”) into practice. AI is being adopted at a rapid pace across the country, and the changing landscape is creating complex concerns around workforce management.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Legal AI Litigation Co. LegalMation Partners With Ogletree Deakins + Interview with Patrick DiDomenico, CKO. Post here.
  • The Innovation Paradox: Lawyers Want Innovation, But Fear Market Change. Post here.
  • Elevate Buys Halebury Lawyers on Demand Service, Plus Interview With Denise Nurse. Post here. More coverage here.
  • Welcome to GROWL – The Global Rise of Women in LegalTech Initiative. Post here.
  • Smart Contracts: The Big Questions – Charles Kerrigan, CMS. Post here.
  • MDR LAB Legal Tech Incubator Opens for 2019, Partners with Microsoft + AWS. Post here.
  • Kennedys KLAIM Automation Platform Goes Global, Now in US, Oz + More. Post here.

 

News Releases and Sponsored Posts:

  • Pillsbury sign up for OpenText Magellan AI system. Release here. And a different version here.
  • iManage postedShort-termist approach to AI tech buying will give way to strategic and rational adoption in 2019.
  • Also from iManage, this post from Legal Support NetworkiManage – Unravelling the Labyrinth of AI Myths: AI does not learn by itself.
  • Exterro’s Winter 2019 Product Release Delivers Significant Innovations in the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Integration with Microsoft Office 365. Release here.
  • Claim Technology announce collaboration with Plexus Law, offering innovative outsourced claims solutions. Release here.
  • This is from HighQ: Leveraging technology as a driver for improved client experience.
  • And from Sysero, this piece: A New Way to Deliver Legal Service: The Scandinavian Approach.
  • Here in Nashville: Cicayda Announces Partnership with NAEGELI Deposition & Trial to Combine its eDiscovery Software and Professional Services with NAEGELI’s Court Reporting and Trial Support Services. Release here.

 

BLOCKCHAIN:

  • From Argentina: NEM Foundation to Develop Blockchain-Powered Copyright System for Journalists. Post here.
  • How cool is this?! The First Program To Train High School Girls With Blockchain Skills.
  • Here’s an interesting background piece: A No-BS Guide to the Blockchain as a Service Space Part I.
  • From Deal Street Asia we have this post: From AI to blockchain, Indian law firms add new practice areas to stay ahead of peers.
  • Press releaseOntology blockchain to create private smart contracts through collab with TEEX.

 

Law Firm Blockchain Posts:

 

 

  • 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.”

 

 

 

  • From Jones DayMajor Patent Offices Meet to Discuss Adoption of AI Tools.

 

  • In this post, Jones Day suggests that Trump may impose tariffs on AI: “President Trump is reportedly considering another round of Section 232 duties of potentially up to 25 percent on automobile and auto parts imports. … Additionally, the administration has suggested that it is considering whether to initiate Section 232 cases on other industries, including semiconductors and artificial intelligence.”

This opinion piece from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that China may resist. Here’s how a trade war over tariffs between America and China could play out.

 

 

  • From Fisher PhillipsRobots, Automation and A.I., Oh My – California Proposes to Establish “Commission on the Future of Work”

 

  • JDJournal posted this discussion of AI as a threat to legal jobs. “Perhaps the biggest challenge for law firms will be adapting to a new business model that embraces and incorporates AI. The hope  is that an increase in capabilities by a law firm will result in an increased ability to take on additional legal projects.”

 

  • Peter Darling, AI consultant to the legal industry has some interesting thoughts in this provocatively titled post: Start Learning to Trust Artificial Intelligence; You’ll Make More Money. “…(O)ne of the most important levers firm management can move to increase profitability is to make these processes more accurate, more efficient, faster and above all, less dependent on human beings. This saves the firm money and time and, ultimately, helps the bottom line. Artificial intelligence is ideal for automating a lot of these processes.”

 

 

  • JP Morgan is unleashing artificial intelligence on a business that moves $5 trillion for corporations every day. (It’s the treasury services division.) Details in this post.

And JP Morgan’s treasury management services unit “…is reportedly testing an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bot to support corporate clients and anticipate their needs. The publication said such a bot would be a first for the corporate payments industry.” Story here.

 

  • I post about investments in legal AI every now and then, but I skip about 20 such stories for every one I post. This one seems particularly interesting: Seal Software unveils global partnership with DocuSign, announces $30 million in growth capital from Toba.

 

  • This teaser includes the link to a deep dive report by Deloitte titled: Machines with purpose. From theory to practice: Artificial Intelligence in professional services. The report is a review of where we are, the story of how we got here, and suggestions for selecting and implementing AI solutions. Oh, and they make the business case for doing so. Good stuff.

 

  • From the Law Society Gazette: “Britain has an opportunity to be a global leader in new technologies transforming legal business and access to justice – but should beware of complaceny, the minister for legal services said last night. ‘There is a lawtech revolution happening all over the world and I want to make sure the UK not only keeps pace with it but leads it,’ Lord Keen of Elie (Richard Keen QC) told an event to launch the latest ‘lawtech incubator’. However Keen warned ‘We cannot afford to be complacent’, pointing to competing initiatives in Canada and Singapore.”

 

  • This editorial from The Irish Times suggests that AI in legal may take a while, but “better faster cheaper” (my words) will come. Making a case for artificial intelligence in the legal profession.

 

  • Blockchain News:

– Cloudsight adds Bitcoin Lightning payment to allow instant AI-to-AI transactions. Story from VentureBeat here.

From Bloomberg LawBlockchain Patent Holders Look to Dodge Trolls, Lawsuits. “A surging number of blockchain experiments and related patent applications across various industries present ripe opportunities for patent assertion entities or trolls, as they’re often known, who could hamper innovation if not properly contained, patent attorneys say.”

 

  • Here’s more on MIT’s recent breakthrough on reading brainwaves. How to control robots with brainwaves and hand gestures. “Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory system enables people to correct robot mistakes on multiple-choice tasks.”

 

  • This is a cool infographic presentation about using AI in a small business. It includes sample vendors. Many of these applications are relevant for law firms. 12 Actionable Tips on How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence in a Small Business.

 

  • Because it’s Friday, here’s the link to a very good intro to AI from the Discovery Channel, it’s clear, pretty comprehensive, and very up-to-date. Here’s a review from c|net.
  • American Lawyer discusses Altman Weil’s latest Law Firms in Transition Survey here. With findings like this:

“…law firm leaders are increasingly fed up with their partners’ resistance to change. Meanwhile, half of firm leaders said there’s nothing especially different about their firms compared to their competitors,”

it’s a good dose of reality. I also love this quote from the always astute Tom Clay: “(t)he whole profession is changing rapidly, and to just drift along, make incremental changes and not have a dedication to innovation in some way seems idiotic to me.” Here’s the link to the whole study.

(In my experience, Altman Weil has always been careful about methodologically sound research. This survey has 801 law firm leaders responding for an overall maximum margin of sampling error of +/-3.5% at the 95% confidence level. You won’t find many surveys in our industry with less potential for non-response bias; they managed an excellent overall 50% response rate. Nice. With few exceptions, they do not break the data down into segments too small for meaningful statistical analysis, and their longitudinal trends are all based on solid samples. I am annoyed that they report findings with unjustified decimal point precision (e.g., 27.3%), especially when they get into very small segments such as 1000+ lawyer firms. The verbatim comments add nice color to the statistical findings.)

 

  • While speaking on Silvia Hodges Silverstein’s “Buying Legal Council” webinar this morning, I believe I said “better, faster, cheaper” four or five times. This post (How AI Is Making Prediction Cheaper) on HBR‘s IdeaCast by Avi Goldfarb, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, does a good job of explaining how machine learning accomplishes those goals.

 

  • Because of its Big Data underpinnings, AI faces all kinds of issues with the GDPR. This post discusses the implications for the insurance industry’s uses of AI. It’s mainly bad news, but some is positive. “Regulators are beginning to teach robots who’s the boss.” More insights from Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr regarding InsurTech Fundamentals and Compliance Strategies for Implementation here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “LinkSquares, the Boston, US-based legal AI contract analytics platform for inhouse lawyers, has just raised $2.16 million in a seed funding round in which Regent Private Capital contributed $1 million.” The post includes an interview with Vishal Sunak, Co-Founder and CEO of LinkSquares.

 

  • Also from Artificial LawyerThomson Reuters Sees AI + Blockchain Creating New Risks for Financial Services. The discussion is about compliance issues and there’s a link to a full report.

 

  • From American (not Artificial) Lawyer: Orrick Snags Weil Gotshal’s Patent Litigation Co-Chair (Jared Bobrow). Explaining the hire, “Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe chairman Mitchell Zuklie believes Silicon Valley is on the cusp of a new wave of IP litigation. Instead of networking and smartphones, the new flash points will likely involve blockchain, artificial intelligence, connected vehicles and virtual reality.” Here’s the link.

 

  • “Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced today the formal launch of its Blockchain Technologies team, an interdisciplinary group of lawyers who counsel clients and interface with regulators to address legal issues raised by blockchain technology. Seyfarth’s Blockchain Technologies team comprises attorneys with a variety of legal practices – including Corporate, Securities, Labor & Employment, Litigation, Derivatives, Real Estate, Banking, International, Tax, Employee Benefits and Immigration Compliance….” Details here.

 

  • “Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP and client Ocwen Financial Corporation, … have been named 2018 ACC Value Champions by the Association of Corporate Counsel” for a “due-diligence model enabled documents to be prioritized and fed into a custom platform that utilized artificial intelligence-enabled automatic text summarization and guided review.” (Better, faster, cheaper.)

 

  • From Jones DayFDA Permits Marketing of First Autonomous Artificial Intelligence-Based Medical Device.

 

  • The US and UK are formally cooperating on the military use of AI. “Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the launch of a new artificial intelligence hub as he hosted the first ever joint US-UK Defence Innovation Board meeting yesterday (21 May) to explore important areas of co-operation that will maintain military edge into the future.” Details here.

 

  • This is sooooo not the world I grew up in. Take the Big Three automakers for instance. Ford recently announced that it’s stopping production of all passenger cars except the Mustang, and in this post from Fortune, Mary Barra, the female (yahoo!!!) CEO of GM discusses the company’s reinvention as a tech enterprise. Among her thoughts: “(a)utonomous technology that’s safer than a car with a human driver is coming, and it’s going to get better and better and better with technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.” “In October she unveiled an audacious aspirational goal to focus everyone on a set of long-term targets: zero accidents, zero emissions, and zero congestion.” Hear! Hear!

 

  • Also from that issue of Fortune: “In our survey of Fortune 500 CEOs this year, a majority of respondents—54%—said AI was “very important” to the future of their companies. That’s up from just 39% last year, and far more than those who cited other technologies like advanced robotics (19%), virtual reality (16%), blockchain (14%), 3-D printing (13%) or drones (6%) as very important.” (I haven’t been able to find an explanation of the research methodology online, but prior years’ surveys have been almost a perfect census of the targeted CEOs, so sampling error is irrelevant and non-response bias is trivial.)

 

  • Google’s Duplex may not be alone in passing the Turing Test. Seems Microsoft has done it in Chinese! “While Google Duplex, which lets AI mimic a human voice to make appointments and book tables through phone calls, has mesmerised people with its capabilities and attracted flak on ethical grounds at the same time, Microsoft has showcased a similar technology it has been testing in China. At an AI event in London on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that the company’s Xiaoice social chat bot has 500 million “friends” and more than 16 channels for Chinese users to interact with it through WeChat and other popular messaging services.” Details here.
  • Here’s the story of Jones Day lawyer Mark Rasmussen’s interest in and practice in blockchain.

 

  • From the International Bar Association (IBA), this discussion of trends in globalization. AI is mentioned as a force somewhat immune to borders. “Now they’re looking at technology, they’re looking at artificial intelligence, and they are concerned that, with technology acquisitions, it’s even easier for a foreign acquirer just to switch activities to another country.”

 

  • Norton Rose posted this notice of Canada’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology conducting its mandatory five-year review of the Copyright Act. “An important goal of this review is to keep Canada’s copyright framework current in light of rapidly evolving digital technology. As the protection and use of artificial intelligence technologies is significantly influenced by both the Patent Act and Copyright Act, this is an important opportunity for artificial intelligence stakeholders to be heard.”

 

 

  • As you’d expect from The New Yorker, here’s a lengthy and interesting post titled, “How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.?” (The article appears in the print edition of the May 14, 2018, issue, with the headline “Superior Intelligence”.)
  • Finally! (And a bit late), AI news from CLOC: Maybe AI Can’t Do Everything, but Corporate Legal’s Still Trying to Adopt.
    “Legal operations directors from Walmart and Nationwide gave their artificial intelligence adoption strategies at the 2018 CLOC Conference.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, an interesting essay by Alistair Wye, of iManage’s RAVN, The Challenge of Law Firm Innovation.

 

  • From Jones Day: (The Japanese) Cabinet Approves and Submits to the Diet the Bill to Partially Amend the Unfair Competition Prevention Act. “The Copyright Act Amendment Bill (excluding certain provisions) is scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2019. The enactment of the Copyright Act Amendment Bill is expected to accelerate advanced technological development in fields such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.”

 

  • Ready for the GDPR? No? According to this survey, it seems you’re not alone. Survey: Only 7 per cent of businesses GDPR-compliant as deadline looms, data privacy gains prominence.

 

  • From HBR a couple of years ago: The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence. Interesting observations re the strengths, limitations and cost savings of prediction.

 

  • Review of the book Army of None. Conclusion, “… excellent and a must-read for anyone who is interested or working in these areas.” Note: “While Scharre devotes much of the book to explaining recent developments and technical challenges, he does not shy away from legal and ethical issues.”

 

  • South China Morning Post reports that, “The US government may start scrutinising informal partnerships between American and Chinese companies in the field of artificial intelligence, threatening practices that have long been considered commonplace for technology companies….” This is a fairly long and detailed examination of where we stand with several good links. More coverage here.

 

  • National support of and investments in AI:

– Britain Spins A Big, Bold Investment In A.I. “The U.K. government announced Thursday that it had put together “an AI deal worth more than £1 billion” that includes public and private funding.”

– In FranceRise Of Les Machines: France’s Macron Pledges $1.5 Billion To Boost AI. A month ago, “Pres. Macron announced Thursday that his government would spend $1.5 billion on a number of initiatives to boost AI research in France, part of an effort to help the country plug a talent and research gap that exists between Europe, and both the U.S. and China.”

EUThe European Commission, an executive of the European Union, has announced it will be more than doubling its investments in artificial intelligence (AI).