• 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.
  • Will an A.I. Ever Become Sentient? “The quest for artificial intelligence could yield something that not only out-thinks humanity but can also feel like us.” Interesting (long) post here.

 

  • Also from Medium: Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness and the Self. This one too is interesting but rather long.

 

  • Capital One AI chief sees path to explainable AI. “Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov, head of artificial intelligence work at card issuer Capital One Financial, disputes the notion deep learning forms of machine learning are “black boxes,” and insists sensitive matters such as decisions to assign credit can be made ‘much more interpretable’.” Story from ZDNet here.

 

  • Uber is getting back into the autonomous vehicle game. Coverage here and here.

 

  • Meanwhile, Kia is looking past vehicle autonomy to reading the driver’s state-of-mind: CES 2019: Kia prepares for post-autonomous driving era with AI-based real-time emotion recognition technology. Coverage here.

 

  • This 45-minute podcast is from   LawNext Episode 23: Dan Rodriguez on Innovating Law and Legal Education.

 

  • Here’s another rather lengthy thought piece from Mark A. CohenLaw Is Lagging Digital Transformation — Why It Matters.

 

  • Google is opening another AI lab, this one at Princeton. Coverage here and here.

 

  • Construction Dive postedThe Dotted Line: Mitigating the risks of technology. “It’s finally happening. Robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other cutting-edge technology that has empowered a number of industries has undeniably made its way to construction sites. But with new tools come new risks and new ways to manage those risks.”

 

  • Google posted this update. If you’re generally following AI, it’s worth your time. “Six months ago we announced Google’s AI Principles, which guide the ethical development and use of AI in our research and products. As a complement to the Principles, we also posted our Responsible AI Practices, a set of quarterly-updated technical recommendations and results to share with the wider AI ecosystem. Since then we’ve put in place additional initiatives and processes to ensure we live up to the Principles in practice.” The text of the post isn’t what matters here, it’s the several links that provide what I consider best practices.

 

  • Jason Tashea of the ABA Journal postedCalifornia imposes new regulations on ‘internet of things’ devices. “…(M)anufacturers of connected devices will have to include ‘reasonable security’ features to protect stored or transmitted information from ‘unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure’.” More coverage of how California’s new data privacy law could change how companies do business in the Golden State here.

 

  • This is also from Jason Tashea at the ABA JournalAccess-to-justice gap? It’s the economy. “In November, the ABA published Formal Opinion 484. From the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, the opinion approves of some forms of attorney fee financing, believing that they can help close the access-to-justice gap, defined as those who need but can’t attain legal support.”

 

  • This vendor (VerbIT) is new to me. “A VerbIT transcription process starts with an adaptive AI engine that automatically transcribes content at very high accuracy, regardless of subject matter or accent. A sophisticated algorithm distributes each file through 2-layers of human transcribers within seconds, and checks for congruence, localized spelling and other common inaccuracies. The entire process is extremely fast, and yields +99% accuracy.”

 

Law Firm Posts

 

  • From Ropes & GrayPodcast: Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Considerations. Sixteen-minute discussion of AI-driven technologies here.

 

 

  • How Fenwick Labs‘ Growth Is a Microcosm of Legal Tech’s Evolution. Post here.

 

 

 

  • This, is from Bruce Stachenfeld of Duval & Stachenfeld: Artificial Intelligence: Is It Really A Threat To Us Lawyers? “(S)omeday AI may have an impact on our profession that is more than automating drudge business, but in my view not yet, and not for a long while.”

 

  • Stewart A. Baker of Steptoe & Johnson LLP postedThe Cyberlaw Law Podcast: Blockchain Takes Over The Podcast. It’s a summary of this hour-long podcast.

 

 

  • Today’s release of the 2018 Blickstein Group Law Department Operations Survey Report reveals law departments are taking advantage of #newlaw options. Post here. I would evaluate the survey’s methodology, but to download the report one must agree to “you are opting in to receive Above the Law Sponsored Messages,” and I won’t.

 

Press Releases/Vendor Articles

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

 

 

  • DFIN Elevates Artificial Intelligence Platform with Acquisition of eBrevia. Post here.

 

  • Ascertus Limited has achieved over 100% business growth in 2018, including head count and revenue. This growth has come equally from existing client retention and new business, which has been driven primarily by increasing interest in iManage Work cloud deployments as well as BusyLamp legal spend management implementations.” Post here.

 

  • Dean Sonderegger of Wolters Kluwer posted: New Year’s Resolutions For Legal Tech. “We’ve covered several different use cases for AI in this column — and while the technology holds tremendous potential, we know that there’s no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution for everyone and every challenge. As we continue to see new offerings enter the market, the professionals who have a clear understanding of their business will ultimately be successful in unlocking the value of these tools and driving innovation within their organizations.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer

  • The eBrevia/Donnelley Merger, Start of A Legal AI Consolidation Wave? Post here.

 

  • This is a guest post by Michael Burne, Founder and CEO, Carbon Law PartnersA New Year’s Evolution: Is the Traditional Law Firm Model Finished…? “Are traditional firms a busted flush? Well, if by traditional we mean ‘unwaveringly wedded to a construct in the face of rapid change’ – then yes. If we mean ‘a broad adherence to values and a purpose driven organisation’ – then no.”

 

  • 2019 Legal Tech Predictions from the Market. Post here. Leaders of vendors are a few law firms make their predictions.

 

  • This look back is especially blockchain-focused. Christmas News Stocking from Artificial Lawyer.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer Year in Review – 2018 – What a Year! Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • This is a good, brief overview by Thomson Reuters Legal: Blockchain and Its Implications within Legal.

 

  • “The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) announced Tuesday that it has launched a new industry specification group for blockchain.” Post here.

 

  • “Earlier this month, Malta held its blockchain conferenceDELTA Summit, attracting more than 3,500 industry experts and government officials. The Summit operates as a platform for investors and experts to share their experience and opinions, specifically on the controversially debated issue of regulation, with fellow entrepreneurs and investors of all ages.” LOTS of topics are covered in this post.

 

AI and Blockchain Prognostications and Looking Back (also see Artificial Lawyer above)

  • From Health IT SecurityBlockchain, HIPAA Regulation Lead Top 10 Stories of 2018. “(T)o get a sense of the topics that matter most to executive and clinical leadership, HealthITSecurity.com compiled the top stories from 2018. Here are the most read stories of 2019, leading down to the most popular article.”

 

  • This, from Medium: 2018 in Review: 10 AI Failures. Several are law-related.

 

  • Team Ripple posted this rather technical look back: 2018: The Year of Breakthroughs in Blockchain.

 

  • From iappTop 10 Privacy Perspectives of 2018.

 

  • The Big Four’s Big Year: Expansion, Immigration and Evaluation. “Deloitte, KPMG, EY and PwC all made moves in 2018 aimed at building their law practices.” You really should read this summary. It includes coverage of law firms hiring from the Big 4!

 

  • This is by Frank Ready of ALM: Blockchain Made Big Strides in the Legal Services Market During 2018.

 

  • Market intelligence firm Tractica posted: Artificial Intelligence Deployments Have Expanded to Include 258 Unique Use Cases Across Enterprise, Consumer, and Government Markets. “Annual Artificial Intelligence Software Revenue Will Total $8.1 Billion Worldwide in 2018.”

 

  • This commentary is from Information WeekPredictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2019. I found these especially interesting.

 

  • 5 Legal Tech Trends to Watch in 2019. This post is from Sysero.

 

  • From Rachel WolfsonBlockchain And Crypto Leaders Share Their 2019 Industry Predictions. This post isn’t very long and it’s quite interesting.

 

  • This one is from ComputerWorldBlockchain in 2019 and beyond: 5 predictions. “After a year where cryptocurrencies lost 80% of their value, and the hype around blockchain as a panacea for business transaction problems has cooled, 2019 will be a year of building real-world solutions.”

 

  • Crypterium posted this look ahead: 4 Major Blockchain Trends to Watch for in 2019. It’s short and straightforward.

 

  • IBM Artificial Intelligence Chief Shares His Predictions For 2019. 4-minute video here. Interesting thoughts re progress toward General AI.

 

  • 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.
  • 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 Artificial Lawyer: “Canadian legal AI company, Diligen, has won BN Lawyers, the Macau law firm, as a client for its machine learning and NLP technology. At the same time, the Toronto-based AI team has also launched a new API that is aimed at widening the use cases for its automated review technology. Interestingly, the BN Lawyers firm said that one of the key drivers for adopting AI technology was a lack of trained lawyers in the Special Administrative Region of Macau to handle process tasks.”

 

  • From Accountancy Daily: “KPMG is to expand its global alliance with software development platform provider Appian in a push to create artificial intelligence (AI) services which improve business decision-making and compliance. The relationship will see KPMG combine its existing ‘Ignite’ portfolio of AI services, which includes methods and tools, with the speed, features, and intelligent automation (IA) capabilities of Appian’s low-code platform.”

 

  • What’s AI worth? According to a study by Gartner, “Artificial intelligence will be worth $1.2 trillion to the enterprise in 2018.” Translation: a LOT!

 

 

 

  • 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.”
  • Read this ==> Here’s “Stagnation And The Legal Industry (Part 2) What Real Transformative Change Could Look Like: Envisioning a radically changed future for legal services,” the followup to Ken Grady’s recent provocative piece. The first step he describes (digitization of contracts, laws, decisions, etc.) is not at all far fetched. Then Ken gets into AI: as a tool, as an owner of IP (?), and as a liable entity (?). As is repeated so often when discussion AI, “it’s all in (or ‘about’) the data.” Ken also paints a picture in which risk management regarding the law will be less risky. I especially like Ken’s distinction between law firms and law companies as they strive to provide service to clients that is better, faster and cheaper (my words). As he points out, “this is one version of the future.” It is a thought-provoking one.

 

  • “…7-Eleven is rolling out artificial intelligence at its 11,000 stores across Thailand…. 7-Eleven will use facial-recognition and behavior-analysis technologies to identify loyalty members, analyze in-store traffic, monitor product levels, suggest products to customers, and even measure the emotions of customers as they walk around. “…(I)t will be using technology developed by US-based Remark Holdings, which says its facial-recognition technology has an accuracy rate of more than 96%.” More here.

 

  • Law firm (and KPMG) news:

Mintz Levin: “AI: The Path of the Future or Industry Hype?” This is a good overview of the history and state of AI, including a bit about AI and IP, including Alice.

Brinks Gilson & Lione: “Trade Secret Theft Cases Reflect A Ferocious Race To Be First In The Autonomous Vehicle Space.”

Jackson Lewis: “Partners with Ross Intelligence on Firm-Wide Artificial Intelligence Initiative.”

KPMG: “Rolls Out AI-Driven Tax Doc Review With IBM Watson.” (From Artificial Lawyer.)

 

  • For your Friday musings, several guesses as to what our AI world will be like in 50 years. Interesting.
  • Colleague Jayne Navarre has been following legal AI for some time, and now she has even tried a Bot to review a contract. Check out her thoughts and experiences here.

 

“…Axiom, has … announced the launch of ‘AxiomAI’, a programme that leverages AI to improve the efficiency and quality of its contracts work.”

Thomson Reuters has partnered with UK-based data analysis company, Logical Construct, on an AI-driven document analysis offering for its institutional and financial services clients.”

 

  • All of these thoughts from IBM about digital marketing are relevant to law firms, or will be in the very near future.

 

  • Yes, AI will eliminate jobs and create more than a few new ones. But the net impact will be loss. Google is doing something about it:

“That’s why today, we’re announcing a $50 million initiative to help people prepare for the changing nature of work. This two-year commitment will fund nonprofits focused on this issue, with our first grantees in the U.S. and Europe; we have plans to expand to other regions soon. These organizations will also be able to draw on Googlers’ volunteer time for technical advice. Combined with our $50 million effort to help close the global education gap, Google.org has now committed $100 million to supporting education and economic opportunity—our largest giving initiative to date.”

 

  • Speaking of Google, most of the tech giants are putting their money (and PR machines) behind AI. I expect this a combined reflection of reality and their efforts to pander to Wall Street analysts who, these days, are smitten with all things AI.

Microsoft’s new vision statement, released yesterday is: “Our strategic vision is to compete and grow by building best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with AI.”

In their Q1 earnings call the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent said,”In the long run, we’re evolving in computing from a ‘mobile-first’ to an ‘AI-first’ world.”

According to CNBC, “Facebook has also invested in both long-term AI research and AI product enhancements….”

During Tuesday’s analysts’ call, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook said: “… we are very focused on autonomous systems from a core technology point of view. We do have a large project going and are making a big investment in this. From our point of view, autonomy is the mother of all AI [artificial intelligence] projects. And the autonomous systems can be used in a variety of ways, and a vehicle is only one. But there are many different areas of it, and I don’t want to go any further with that.”

 

  • I have written several times about the fact that AI technology is progressing much faster than laws, regulations and even discussions about AI ethics. KPMG has just issued a report “An Ethical Compass in the Automation Age.” Number one of their nine recommendations is, “start an ethical discussion within the company.”

“While the cost savings and business model enhancements are potentially huge, without equal attention being paid to labor force impacts, compliance requirements, societal implications and alignment with an organization’s core values, AI-driven transformations can lead to significant risk.”