• Lawyers Are Drowning in Data. What Can They Do About It? “The ‘Why Lawyers Are Adopting AI Faster Than You’ panel at this year’s Legalweek will examine at how firms can use AI to find the needle in some pretty big data haystacks.” Link.




  • Briefing: China looks to build ‘smart courts’ with AI. “A Shanghai court has adopted an artificial intelligence-enabled assistant to help improve courtroom efficiency and accuracy.” Post.


  • This software thinks like a lawyer—so you don’t have to pay one. “A Chicago law firm (Actuate Law) is rolling out a subsidiary that offers clients software designed to mimic their lawyer’s thinking—at a fraction of the price.” “….(I)ntelligent software that walks them through whether they have a legal obligation to report a data breach.” “Although Quointec has no outside funding so far, the partners created the new venture to allow for such investment in the future without violating professional regulations.Post.


  • LawNext Episode 26: Mark Cohen’s Strategies for the Global Legal Marketplace. “On this (hour-long) episode of LawNext, Cohen joins host Bob Ambrogi to talk about a range of topics. They discuss Clearspire and the lessons Cohen learned from that. They also talk about what Cohen sees as the “skills gap” in law and why it is that law schools and law firms are failing to address it. In the fact of a rapidly changing global legal economy, Cohen offers insights on how law firms should adapt.” Post.


  • From The Law Society GazetteAccountants winning in ‘rapidly expanding’ alternative legal services market. “So-called alternative legal service providers – including the Big Four accountants – are growing more quickly than previously predicted and moving up the value chain, research on both sides of the Atlantic reveals today. The new entrants, offering such services as litigation support, legal research and document review with the help of new technology now make up a $10bn (£7.6bn) a year market, the Thomson Reuters study found.”


  • Also from The Law Society Gazette: How legaltech can help you compete against larger firms. “Continuing the discussion on the evolution of the legaltech sector and how it could revolutionise the legal industry, Law Society partner and equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs explains how the rise of legaltech is closing the gap between large and small legal firms.” Post.


  • I thought the 2019 forecasts were behind us, but here’s an interesting report from CBInsightsArtificial Intelligence Trends. Lots of infographics.


  • This lawyer got a gig in Silicon Valley by promising to automate a lot of legal grunt work — now he’s got his own company. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could have associates who could code and automate their own jobs and would make the firm more efficient?” Post.


From Artificial Lawyer:

  • New York Bulletin: Data is Not the New Oil + LSBs Are Splitsville. Story here.


  • Pew: How Stanford + Suffolk Law Schools Are Improving NLP for A2J. Story here.


  • TR: ALSP Market Now $10 Billion-Plus, Law Firms Major Customers. Story here.


  • New York Bulletin – AI Workshop + Do We Need an FDA for Algorithms? Story here.


  • Australia Launches ALTACon Legal Tech Conference. Story here.


  • Legal AI – Its Definition and Its Value to the Legal World. Story here.


  • Global Insurer Allianz Launches Injury Claim Automation Tool. Story here.


  • ALM – Legal Market Will Split In Two + ALSPs Will Grow – NY Bulletin Extra. Story here.


Posts by Law Firms:

  • Alston & Bird: … Teams Up with Georgia State University on Data Analytics.Alston & Bird and Georgia State University have announced a joint effort to develop broad-based competency among the firm’s attorneys in leveraging data science and analytics to help drive new levels of client service and satisfaction.” Post.


  • Andrea PerronaceTechniques for Patenting Blockchain in Europe, the United States, China and Japan. Post.


  • Baker Donelson: 90-minute CLE video post: Analyzing the Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Legal. (5 ‘Micro-Presentations’.) Post. (Poor audio.)






  • Baker McKenzieThe Year Ahead – Innovation: A new generation of legal analysis tools is emerging. Post.



  • Dentons: Chloe A. SniderSmart Contract Series – Legal Implications For Consideration, Part 1: Definition And Enforceability. Post.















Press Releases, Posts and Articles by Vendors:


  • Clio releases new client management platform to ‘help lawyers ensure the future success of their business’. Post.


  • Allianz to use Artificial Intelligence to deliver a true end-to-end automated solution for Stage 3 injury claims. Post. — and — “Allianz Insurance has launched a new digital platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enable its injury claims handlers to process Ministry of Justice Stage 3 claims at a single click of a button.” Story here.


  • Thomson Reuters: Introducing Litigation Analytics. “Unlock data-driven insights on judges, courts, attorneys, law firms, and case types to better develop case strategy and manage client expectations.” Post.


  • Relativity Brings Reduced Data Fees, Unlimited Analytics, and a More Flexible Licensing Model to RelativityOne Customers. Post.


  • Emerging from Harvard Law/MIT, Evisort AI Tech Company Posted Tremendous Growth in 2018, Announces Upcoming New Product Launch. Post.


  • Zero Now Helps Lawyers Bill More Time in Bellefield, Intapp, Carpe Diem and Other Time Entry Tools. Post. — and — Ryan Steadman of Zero: Business as Usual: 5 Law Firm Activities AI will Seamlessly Transform. Post.
  • 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.







  • 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.



  • 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.


  • From Goulston & Storrs‘ Retail Law Advisor,  penned Augmented Retail – The Use of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience. The use of these technologies by Amazon, American Apparel, Ikea, Williams Sonoma and Sephora are discussed.


  • Standardization of legaltech, what a concept!! “…12 law firms (including LathamClifford ChancePaul WeissCravath, Freshfields, Linklaters and Skadden) have joined a consortium to support a legal tech startup called Reynen Court LLC, which is creating a platform to allow law firms to more quickly deploy legal tech tools such as contract analysis, discovery and practice management. In short, the effort is akin to creating an App Store that will allow law firms to quickly and more securely fire up third-party software.” These Big Law Firms Are Backing an App Store for Legal Tech Products. Coverage of this development here and here.


  • From Allen MatkinsKeith Paul BishopIs Artificial Intelligence The Future Of Rulemaking? “I can foresee a time when artificial intelligence is used to identify agency rulemaking proposals and to craft comments.  Agencies may in turn use artificial intelligence to categorize, analyze and even respond to comments.  In this dystopian future, regulations may be entirely drafted, commented on and promulgated by computers.”



  • This post is from Covington’s Inside Privacy blog: IoT and AI Update: California Legislature Passes Bills on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Chatbots. The post describes the law’s provisions.


  • Here’s the story of Keystone Law from it’s founding in 2002 as a different kind of law firm to the decision to float on the London Stock Exchange. AI and blockchain are mentioned.


  • Included in this critique of the Legal Services Act (Tensions in Legal Services Act coming to fore, says review by Neil Rose), “The current structure therefore pre-dates the global financial crisis (which has led to austerity, shortfalls in the funding of legal aid and the wider courts and justice system, and then to a rise in litigants-in-person). It also pre-dates a use of technology that has become more extensive and pervasive, as well as the rise of artificial intelligence in law.”


  • Here’s Part Three of Squire Patton Boggs’ Artificial Intelligence Law Is Here by Huu Nguyen. “Our discussion of AI Law turns now to the topic of robo-advisors, AI speech and AI legislations before Congress.” It includes reviews of and links to the first two parts. “it is clear that AI Law is here, and here to stay. The advice I can give to the law or computer science student today in this fast changing arena is to be part of the debate of where AI Law should be and not just focus on the technology.”


  • This, from Legal FuturesFrom lawyer marketplace to global law firm? “An online lawyer-matching business (Lexoo) targeted at companies has secured £3.4m in its latest funding round with an investor predicting that it could become ‘a virtual and distributed tech-driven global law firm’. Lexoo will use the funding to invest in new technology, including automated contract drafting and project management tools to further increase efficiencies of its lawyers.”


  • “The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been awarded £700,000 in taxpayers’ money to support innovations involving artificial intelligence to transform the legal services market for small businesses and consumers.” “According to the department, the SRA’s project, Data-Driven Innovation in Legal Services, ’will seek out and accelerate ethical AI-powered business innovations that support its regulatory objectives. The focus will be on growing the large underdeveloped legal services market for small businesses and consumers, where AI and automation can have a transformative impact’.” More from The Law Society Gazette here.


  • From Darren Hau of Marks & Clerk: Patenting AI: the EPO’s new guidelines: “In its annual update of the “Guidelines for Examination”, the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided further guidance for its examiners in relation to the patentability of inventions relating to mathematical methods and computer programs. This updated guidance is of particular relevance to inventions relating to the fast-growing field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In part 1 of this article, we provide a summary of the key points from the updated guidelines that are relevant to AI inventions. Part 2 will follow, in which we will provide an in-depth assessment of the impact of the new guidelines on the patentability of AI inventions.”


  • “The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold its annual Legal Issues Forum with the 2018 theme Legal and Ethical Issues of Artificial Intelligence, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at the FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.” Details here.


  • Since the release of Westlaw Edge, Thomson Reuters has been on an AI publishing tear. Some of the material is by their own folks and some by third parties touting the advantages of Thomson’s approach or their specific products. Here‘s another: Artificial Intelligence: The Debate Between Point and Platform Solutions by Sally Gonzalez.


Here are the latest headlines from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Legal Tech Leaders: Sam Moore, Innovation Manager, Burness Paull. Story here.
  • Meet LegalForce, Japan’s First Ever Legal AI Platform. Story here.
  • SRA Targets Legal AI A2J Applications with ‘Innovate Testbed’. Story here.



  • How Can Blockchain Thrive In The Face Of European GDPR Blockade? “In an almost direct clash of intentions, the GDPR has effectively banned the use of blockchain technology in Europe because of its immutable nature. The GDPR offers the power back to the individual to edit and delete data which falls into the hands of centralized authorities, but when there is no centralized authority, there is no need for data to be moved around. This is the crux of the GDPR’s clash with blockchain. So, what happens to Europe and the next technological wave?” The post by Darryn Pollockdescribes the situation in some detail and says the regulations should change, but does not offer specific suggestions.


  • Here’s a brief summary of the second and the final day of Ripple’s Swell conference, including a link to this 20-page report. (“Conducted in August of 2018, the Blockchain in Payments Report analyzed data from 676 respondents across 22 countries who are directly involved with payment services at their organization.” There is no mention of the response rate of other methodology. Assuming no problems there, 676 responses should support robust analysis.)


  • From Anastasios Antoniou of the Oxford Faculty of Law: Bridging the divide between code and law in distributed ledger ecosystems. “Code and law have been entangled in a silent tension ever since the advent of cyberspace.  The centralised architecture of cyberspace paved the way for law to prevail.  The latest manifestation of this tension, however, appears to be opening up a Pandora’s box.  Blockchain and law are on a silent collision course that must be addressed. This post argues that in bridging the divide between code and law in blockchain, a radical rethink of regulation is imperative.”
  • From Osborne Clarke: “From a venture capital perspective, London was Europe’s premier destination for technology investment last year, with research figures showing that London attracted more funding than Paris, Berlin and the next seven cities combined.  Whilst Fintech continued to be a particularly attractive target for funds in 2017, the standout growth area over the last year has been artificial intelligence, with many VC investors pinning their capital to it as the next big thing by placing significantly more capital in AI businesses in 2017 than ever before.”


  • Press release: “LegalMation® was named by the National Law Journal today in its inaugural “Legal A.I. Leaders” list. Published as part of the Law.com network, the “Legal A.I. Leaders” list identifies and highlights the most innovative companies applying artificial intelligence in the legal industry.Developed by award-winning litigation experts, LegalMation® is the only legal A.I. solution that produces actual first drafts of key litigation documents—a fully automated process that takes 60-120 seconds. With no installation required or any functions to learn, LegalMation® identifies key claims and allegations of complaints and then produces high-quality first drafts of answers and initial written discovery. This results in substantial cost savings of up to several thousands of dollars per matter.”


  • Hogan Lovells has issued this guide to AI and space: “In this guide, we highlight the key challenges and commercial opportunities for AI and advanced machine-learning, with particular focus on space based business considerations. We also touch on AI in the areas of space, drones, and terrestrial convergence, particularly communications and imaging platforms or applications.”


  • Allen & Overy has issued this rather detailed discussion of “Using artificial intelligence to fight financial crime – a legal risk perspective.”


  • Foley Hoag announced its representation of “machine learning startup Indico in its $4 million equity seed financing …. Indico helps users benefit from the dramatic advantages of artificial intelligence and machine learning at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional techniques.”


  • I mentioned yesterday that it would be impractical for me to cover all of the product announcements and upgrades from Legaltech18, but I have to mention the release of Neota Logic 9 for a couple of reasons. 1. Much of what is being labeled “AI” is just Big Data, close but not exactly Artificial Intelligence per se. Neota Logic was one of the first in the legal space to have its tech underpinnings firmly in actual AI systems. 2. With this release, Neota is no longer the rather esoteric product (or was it a service?) that lawyers and legal business people may have had trouble figuring out how to use. With this release Neota is clearly positioned to directly address process improvement needs in both the business and practice of law.


  • Finally from Legaltech, this summary of a panel imagining what work in a law firm might look like in 2048. (I suggest that these predictions are all reasonable, but more likely to be in place in 10 years, not 30.) The session was called, “A Day in the Life of a Futurist Jurist Empowered by Artificial Intelligence: An Ethical Dilemma,” but from the summary, I don’t see the “ethical dilemma.”


  • Moving beyond legal, just imagine AI with a quantum computing platform. Among this article’s remarkable observations: “Quantum computers and AI also share another trait: exponential growth. Processors for quantum devices are measured in qubits, with today’s most advanced ones coming in at around 50 qubits. At this size they’re the equivalent to a supercomputer. At just 60 qubits, it would exceed the power of every supercomputer on the planet combined, and then some.”


  • Every few weeks I try to provide a fresh introduction to AI for those new to the topic. Here I go again: first, from Wired, this good history and overview; then from the NYT, this very accessible explanation, based on comparisons between AI and human intelligence; and from the University of Cambridge, this thought piece about the likely societal impacts of AI. And finally for the newbies, here are 10 (not 9) fun facts about AI.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, with AI, it’s all about the data: clean, connected, current, comprehensive. Once you select a use for AI, your data is your crucial next step.


How much data? I haven’t checked this stat from “Information To Insights: Why Business Needs Artificial Intelligence,” but I wouldn’t be surprised: “If you gathered all of the data created in just one day and burned it onto DVDs, you could stack those disks on top of each other and reach the moon — twice.”


  • MUST READ: Bob Ambrogi’s ten recommendations to address the A2J crisis (and generally get lawyers up to speed re tech). Really — read this.


  • There’s more and more coming out of this week’s Legaltech. For instance:

From law.com: “(AI is)_the defining buzzword of this year’s conference, but the legal profession is still parsing what it means and how it will affect what lawyers do. Here are three takeaways:

1. AI excels at discreet tasks. And it’s only as good as your data.

2. The legal technology industry is still trying to build lawyer trust.

3. AI will put pressure on law firms. But not in the way you think.

– There have been a host of AI-related product announcements. Here, from Caroline Hill, editor in chief of Legal IT Insider, is a good summary. (I won’t even try to cover them all.)

– Here’s an interesting interview by Bob Ambrogi of Bahar Ansari, founder and CEO of Case.one (“case one”), about their pricing model and how to facilitate client relationship management via AI. There’s an Alexa interface! (12 minutes)


  • Fraud prevention: Nuance announced that its voice biometrics solution has hit a milestone for adoption of its authentication and fraud-prevention platform … with over 300 million consumers making more than five billion successful voice authentication(s)….” Users include, “The Australian Taxation Office, ICICI Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, TalkTalk, and Vodafone Turkey….”


  • From Allen & Overy: “In an age of artificial intelligence and robotics and where electric cars are now a reality, restrictive covenants in employment contracts are essential armour for any employer.” Details and how to manage the risk here.


  • I have reported several times on Bird & Bird’s interest and involvement in AI. Now, “Bird & Bird has chosen Luminance’s artificial intelligence platform to assist with its contract review for M&A due diligence. The announcement of the deal follows a successful trial of the technology across the firm’s London and Stockholm offices.”


  • From The Christian Science Monitor, here’s a good summary of where we stand re “Artificial intelligence plays budding role in courtroom bail decisions.”


Gordon Healiss, of leading transcription company Accuro, describes how modern transcription services work and what features of the service to look out for;

Norma Laming, who works in local government, describes the key features of voice recognition; and

Greig Duncan of leading document assembly company HotDocs describes automated document assembly and how this is reaching into artificial intelligence.


  • eDiscovery was the first widespread application of AI in the legal space, but according to this release from McDermott, there are still improvements to be made: “International law firm McDermott Will & Emery announced today it is enhancing its eDiscovery service, combining the most advanced artificial intelligence-driven technology with one of the most experienced eDiscovery legal teams in the world.” Their offering is “powered by NexLP’s Story Engine. This AI-driven platform helps legal professionals uncover the most important documents faster than traditional Technology Assisted Review solutions while leveraging a unique continuous active learning workflow to achieve an even faster, more efficient data classification process.”


  • More on healthcare regulations from Jones Day: “Artificial Intelligence and Health Care—Key Regulatory Considerations for U.S. Operations.”


  • I never know on which continent Luminance’s will land its next client. From Artificial Lawyer, “Legal AI Co. Luminance Opens in Singapore; Bags Bird & Bird.”


  • From Reed Smith: “Four months until the GDPR: Which EU countries have already implemented local GDPR laws? Is there anything relevant in these laws?”


  • Regarding our inability to explain how AI reaches any given decision, I recently posted the wonderfully title article, “Don’t Make AI Artificially Stupid in the Name of Transparency.” Along those lines, this from Quartz: ““Human-constructed models aim at reducing the variables to a set small enough for our intellects to understand,” “Machine learning models can construct models that work — for example, they accurately predict the probability of medical conditions — but that cannot be reduced enough for humans to understand or to explain them.”


  • This story has been widely reported: “A group of quantitative hedge fund traders long dreamed of bringing their artificial intelligence strategies to all. And now they have with the first exchange-traded fund to combine the worlds of AI and blockchain. The fund tracks the Innovation Labs Blockchain Innovators Index. The gauge, which was created by Innovation Labs Ltd., uses “natural language processing” to scan news sources in order to determine sentiment and spot keywords so it can create a portfolio of as many as 60 stocks.”
  • Contracts will never be the same, and it’s not just AI. Blockchain may be even more fundamentally impactful. Details in this podcast from Law.com. And from Artificial Lawyer,  here are details about NetDocuments’ announcement that it has completed a ‘proof of concept’ of an integration of its cloud platform with a blockchain system. They say this tech enables ‘firms to validate document existence, details, status, and metadata via a verified and distributed digital ledger’


  • More from this week’s Legaltech conference in NYC. Here’s an overview from Ari Weinstein via Artificial Lawyer.


  • AI/tech related attorney awards abound, and firms don’t seem to hesitate to promote their accolades. For instance, “Top Cyber/Artificial Intelligence Lawyers 2018” awards were granted to Latham attorneys, and they quickly appeared twice in my searches, here and here.

“Michael A. Gold, co-chair of the Cybersecurity & Privacy Group at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM), was named by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 20 Cyber – Artificial Intelligence lawyers.”

And a similar award in the UK, the Hot 100 for 2018 an annual list produced by The Lawyer magazine. I love this quote, “Callum is the third Burness Paull lawyer to be named a ‘hottie’….” It’s relevant to AI because, the citation says: Sinclair has gone into battle to bring topics such as blockchain and artificial intelligence into the lexicon of even the staunchest traditionalists….in the process, he has opened doors the firm would not even have knocked on before.”


  • Press release: Orrick is pleased to announce that Jennifer Martin, a cybersecurity leader for nearly 20 years in both the private sector and government, has joined the firm as a partner in our Silicon Valley office. Jenny joins Orrick from Covington & Burling, where she led the West Coast cybersecurity practice and was co-chair of its Internet of Things (IoT) initiative.


  • Come on people, kick your clients in the butt and tell them to take this seriously. “Global companies still unprepared for GDPR compliance, EY survey finds.”


  • Trump’s State of the Union address: “…technology and innovation went unmentioned tonight…. The word “science” was used once, toward the end, when Trump paid tribute to the American people. ‘They push the bounds of science and discovery.’ There was no mention of space exploration … climate change, artificial intelligence and automation…. Not a word was spoken about the internet or net (non-)neutrality.”


  • As expected, AI-wise, Legaltech kicked off strong yesterday, including an “AI Bootcamp” called, “Use Cases and Applications of AI in Legal Services.” One of the earliest summaries I have seen is this from Artificial Lawyer. I’m especially pleased to see the emphasis on Access to Justice (A2J). The summary includes:

“(AI) can help you do good. AI providing a means to closing the access to justice gap was discussed at length. … AI allows the scaling and accessible of legal advice globally, and a few of the speakers (ROSS, Neota Logic in particular) work for companies involved in teaching law school students to apply technology to provide free legal advice via pro bonos. Now that’s a great way to use AI power – for good.”

Also check out Bob Ambrogi’s posts on LinkedIn.


  • This would be a good week for Legal Tech companies to announce new products and services, and iManage is doing just that, announcing two new offerings:

– “iManage Extract 3, an enhanced version of its award-winning artificial intelligence (AI) data extraction application. Enhancements in iManage Extract 3 include rapid self-training, which enables users to train iManage Extract 3 to locate and analyze content from documents and datasets relevant to their specific needs, without dependence on AI experts. This enhancement helps organizations speed development and deployment of new data extraction applications, speeding the automation of tasks across the enterprise.”

– “iManage Insight 10 for next generation enterprise search and knowledge management. Using RAVN AI technology, Insight 10 unlocks knowledge contained in enterprise content, by enabling universal search to identify relevant content regardless of location. For example, the product’s Insight Knowledge Graph® surfaces connections between people, expertise and knowledge to identify hidden experts, related projects and relevant clients.”


  • From King and Spaulding, their useful “Data Privacy & Security Practice Report — January 29, 2018.” There’s useful info and links to more.


  • Here, from DLA Piper is a deep dive into autonomous vehicles and law, beginning with the big picture, then deep dives into patents, liability, a paragraph on privacy, a Canadian case study and a look ahead. Well done.


  • I mentioned yesterday that Apple may be having Trouble selling the iPhone X and HomePod. Here’s more evidence.


  • Ford has patented an autonomous police car that can chase you down and give you a ticket.
  • From Down Under: Dean of Swinburne Law School, Professor Dan Hunter, and Swinburne researcher Professor Mirko Bagaric say artificial intelligence (AI) could improve sentencing procedures by removing emotional bias and human error. Seems these gentlemen are unaware of 2017’s several instances of AI exhibiting bias and even racism. AI has a way to go to fulfill their expectation that “(AI) would also eliminate judicial subconscious bias in sentencing that results in people of certain profiles, such as indigenous offenders, being sentenced more harshly.” They do admit that this transition will take some time, partly because people aren’t yet ready for machines to assume this role. For now, they recommend AI working alongside judges. Their full article can be purchased here.


  • Artificial Lawyer reports that “(l)eading legal AI company, Kira Systems, has partnered with document management system (DMS), NetDocuments, to allow its customers to make use of AI-driven analysis tools. The move is part of NetDocuments’ AI Marketplace, which the company says ‘paves the way for enhanced document understanding and matter intelligence’.” Kira says the “strategic objective of Kira is not to repeat what RAVN did with iManage,” but the parallels are hard to miss. Press release here.


  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, “Thomson Reuters is introducing a new AI-driven tool, Data Privacy Advisor, powered by IBM’s Watson suite of machine learning technology. The tool is ‘a specialised data privacy research solution that brings the company’s collection of global legal and regulatory information together with expansive data privacy guidance from Practical Law editors, curated news, and a question-answering feature built by artificial intelligence and technology professionals from Thomson Reuters and IBM Watson.’” Here’s the press release. Good point here by Ron Friedmann about this development — can individual law firms undertake this training?


  • From law.com: “(this) week kicks off another Legalweek and its flagship Legaltech conference. Alongside panel discussions taking place all week will be a host of companies exhibiting the latest and greatest in legal technologies. A number of companies will debut new products and upgrades while at the show. And while Legaltech News would love to cover them all, we only have so much time (and space!). Here’s a by-no-means-exhaustive snapshot of some of this news.” And here’s a link to Legalweek’s ongoing conference coverage. I expect excellent coverage, especially of all things AI, by LexBlog’s new publisher and editor-in-chief, Bob Ambrogi at LegalweekMonitor.


  • Here’s a realistic essay about AI in law from Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc. The basic premise is that “Law firms that are proactive about incorporating AI in providing more value to clients will eventually outrun competitors who ignore it.” Yep.


  • I’ve reported several times that the black box nature of most of AI, and our inability to trace back its conclusions through simple if-then logic has cause quite a few problems, not the least of which involves courts’ inability to clearly assign liability. Late last year I reported that AI itself is now being assigned the task of figuring out how to make such explanation possible. This interesting essay from Wired cautions, “Don’t Make AI Artificially Stupid in the Name of Transparency.” It also suggests some work-arounds that might solve the problem, at least in specific situations.


  • It seems full realization of the dystopian world of 1984 is getting a bit closer, at least in Dubai. Last November I reported that “Dubai Police will soon be able to monitor you inside your car through an artificial intelligence machine that will be installed on the officer’s vehicle.” Now the “Dubai Police General HQ announced the launch of an artificial intelligence surveillance programme, called Oyoon (Eyes). It is a part of the Dubai 2021 plan and it aims to enhance the emirate’s global position it terms of providing a safer living experience for all citizens, residents and visitors.” “The aim of the project is to create an integrated security system that utilises modern, sophisticated technologies and artificial intelligence features to prevent crime, reduce traffic accident related deaths, and prevent any negative incidents in residential, commercial and vital areas.” I expect that, “prevent any negative incidents” could be interpreted rather broadly.


  • Apple and AI: reports suggest that Apple is cutting production of the iPhone X, its smartest phone, in half. Meanwhile, last Friday it finally began selling HomePod, its AI-driven smart speaker competitor to Sonos, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home with little fanfare and no advertising support, perhaps in expectation that this very expensive rival is doomed from the start. (Mine is scheduled to arrive on February 9. I’ll let you know what I think of it.) All of the recent reviews I’ve seen comparing Alexa, Google Home, Siri and Cortana have Siri and Cortana way back in 3rd and 4th place. Apple seems to be in serious catch-up mode in the race to capture market share with AI-driven devices for consumers.