• Are Lawyers Ready to Be Managed by Metrics? “There’s momentum in Big Law firms, corporate legal departments and technology companies alike for a data-tracking system that could have radical consequences for the entire legal industry.” Here’s the very interesting and thorough article by Roy Strom.

 

  • This, from ABA JournalFacial recognition scanning goes mainstream. “When Taylor Swift performed at the Rose Bowl in May 2018, concertgoers may have seen a kiosk that showed exclusive video clips of her performing and rehearsing. If they paused for more than a moment to watch those clips, then the kiosk definitely saw them.”

 

  • The World’s Biggest Banks Are Doubling Down On Artificial Intelligence. The specific activities of several institutions are explained in this post.

 

  • EY Continues March Into Legal Market With Global AI Deal. Post. (LexisNexis/Law360 subscription required.)

 

  • Deflating Tech Hype Could Help Firms Keep Pace with Competition. “Law firms can partner with clients as a technological resource to help compete with alternative legal services. But that might occasionally require cutting through some of the legal tech hype in the marketplace.” Article from Law.com.

 

  • Robert Gordon University teams up with Addleshaw Goddard to launch legal tech module. “The module covers the basics on what tech is available in current legal practice, the regulatory framework, as well as data analysis techniques.” More here.

 

  • Here’s a bit from last week’s ABA Techshow: Artificial intelligence isn’t a magical unicorn: It’s a powerful tool lawyers are already wielding.

 

  • The New York Times published: Is Ethical A.I. Even Possible? “Building ethical artificial intelligence is an enormously complex task. It gets even harder when stakeholders realize that ethics are in the eye of the beholder.”

 

  •  took Ark up on their offer to write a chapter for their upcoming book on law firm intelligence functions. Some of her thoughts are presented in this post (Data Doesn’t Make Decisions) for 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.

 

  • Here’s a very short, fun post from William Vogeler: The Real Reason AI Will Kill Traditional Law Practice. “Some say that frogs, like lawyers, are insensitive to gradual change. A frog apparently will sit in tepid water right up to the cooking point. Some attorneys don’t recognize the world is changing around them until it’s too late.”

 

  • A London law school student posted: Robots are not coming to take our jobs — but they are changing the way we do them. “There is a growing skill gap between how legal services are being delivered and what students are being taught to do and think.”

 

“From Artificial Lawyer

  • Slaughter and May Launches Its Own Legal Tech Programme – Apply Now! Post.

 

  • Linklaters Makes 1st Startup Investment in Nivaura’s $20m Funding, A&O + Orrick Also Invest. Post.

 

  • Juro Publishes Guide to Machine Learning in Legal Contracts. Post.

 

  • Algorithmic Justice Could Clear 250,000 Convictions in California. Post.

 

  • Can Governments Help Grow The Legal Tech Sector? Yes, They Can. Post.

 

  • GLH London: Problem Solving, Jimi Hendrix + Freshfields Interview. Post.

 

  • Clio: Build Us An App And Win $100,000….! Apply Within…. Post.

 

  • Is HK’s Property Platform the Beginning of a True Blockchain Revolution? Post.

 

  • Relativity Bags CTO From Amazon Web Services, Will Add 300 Staff. Post.

 

  • Legatics Works With DLA + Herbert Smith to Build ‘AI Microservices. Post.

 

  • Can Smart Contracts Solve the AI Limitations Problem? Clause Thinks So. Post.

 

  • TR Launches Mega Platform ‘Panoramic’, Could Crush Several Startups. Post.

 

From Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Y. Monica Song of Dentons: “(In Canada, there have been calls for) a fundamental rethinking of the regulatory approach to firms whose competitive performance is driven by their ability to collect, analyze and use data. Post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Natalia San Juan of HuntonBlockchain Legal Resources: Florida Court Finds Virtual Currency Subject To Money Service Businesses Law. Post.

 

 

 

  • Van Ness FeldmanEmerging Technologies Update. There’s all sorts of AI-related material in this lengthy post.

 

  • John M. Rogitz, registered patent attorney with his own practiceJapan Patent Office Case Examples on Artificial Intelligence Offer Guidance for Other Offices on Treating AI Inventions. Post.

 

  • Satya Law Group: Veteran Attorneys Form The Satya Law Group and Partner with AI Development Firm To Offer Consulting And Legal Services in the Digital Asset, Blockchain and Crypto Space. Post.

 

  • CMS, Retail Economics study AI tech influence in UK retail. Post. More here.

 

Vendor News/Posts:

 

  • “Ari Kaplan spoke with Jack Newton, the CEO and co-founder of Clio, a leading practice management software platform.” Clio and the cloud, 10 years later. Here’s the post from ABA Journal.

 

  • eDiscovery Daily Blog posted Understanding Blockchain and its Impact on Legal Technology, contributed by Tom O’Connor. This is the first post in a series of six.

 

  • BillerAssist postedWhat is Machine Learning and How Does BillerAssist Use It?

 

Other Blockchain News:

  • MasterCard, Amazon and Accenture Partner To Establish Transparent Blockchain Supply Chain. “Scanning the tag on a pair of jeans, for example, would give customers its supply chain origins from start to finish, along with the opportunity to send a token of appreciation to the people who produced them.” Post.

 

  • Overstock is still a retailer but it wants to be a blockchain company. Post.

 

  • Mercedes-Benz to Use Blockchain Tech for Sustainable Transaction Book, Supply Chains. Post.

 

  • Australian Regulator Trials Blockchain to Automate Transaction Reporting. “The two partners will specifically examine how blockchain and smart contracts, as well as other technologies, can help entities such as banks to automate reporting of international funds transfer instructions (IFTIs) to the regulator.” Post.

 

  • Becker’s Healthcare published5 things to know about blockchain smart contracts.
  • How far have smart speakers come? Amazon has 10000 employees dedicated to Alexahere are some of the areas they’re working on. Speaking of Alexa: Amazon team taps millions of Alexa interactions to reduce NLP error rate. Story here. (Ask yours who will win the Super Bowl.)

 

  • This is kinda fun from Above the LawYou’ll Eat A McRib, But You Won’t Try Machine Learning? What Gives?

 

  • Here’s some A2J news from Mary JuettenFree Legal Research For All: AnyLaw. “AnyLaw was established to provide a no-cost alternative solution to the unnecessary – and exclusionary — expense of legal research.”

 

  • I have friends and relatives who are GMU grads, so here’s George Mason students have a new dining option: Food delivered by robots.

 

  • This story is from Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia: The Big Read: Rise of the machine — how technology is disrupting Singapore’s law firms. “Singapore is playing catch up to embrace technological adoption in the legal and judicial world. Legal professionals say tech may also reduce the number of legal roles.”

 

  • It seems the US government shutdown is impacting AIChina To US Tech Investment Plunges 79% To Lowest Level In 7 Years Amid DC Crackdown. “In the BAT’s case, that means U.S. transactions centered on artificial intelligence, e-commerce and games — exactly the sorts of deals they made in the U.S. during 2018.” Story here.

 

  • This, from the WSJDriverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype. “Developers take a more cautious, low-key approach in testing and talking about autonomous vehicles after Uber crash.”

 

  • And there’s more about autonomous vehicles in this article:How AI Is Transforming The Next Generation Of Vehicles. “The headliner of this year’s CES in Las Vegas wasn’t the futuristic concepts of robocars. Instead, it was the production-ready technologies that will infuse AI into the next generation of cars for safer, more efficient driving in the near term.”

 

  • From the always astute Jordan Furlong, this pieceWhy law firms need to think differently – and smarter – about AI. “…(W)e need to go back to basics and deconstruct what we are trying to achieve with this technology, and why.”

 

  • This NYT story is thought provoking: How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out. “The subject was artificial intelligence, and his students last week were mainly senior policymakers from countries in the 36-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”

 

  • This ABA piece is a well-annotated deep dive into several of the big issues in legal AI: Pros and Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence in IP and the Broader Legal Profession. “(S)trong and efficient practitioners must learn to harness the power of AI, but must be wary of overreliance on these technologies.”

 

Law firm posts (blockchain included):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This is a large and useful post from Gibson Dunn: Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Legal Update (4Q18).

 

  • Megan Seabourne of British law firm VWV, this postWould you trust a robot to write your will? “More than seven out of ten people would not want their will to be drafted using artificial intelligence (AI), according to VWV’s latest survey and as law firms are increasingly adopting AI in legal matters.”

 

  • Sunil Thacker senior partner at Dubai’s STA is heavily quoted in this pieceSpace, AI, renewable energy to get priority as sectors open for more foreign investment in 2019.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Artificial Lawyer Announces Launch of Legal Innovators Conference. Post here.

 

  • Neota Logic Partners With Actuate Law To Develop New Legal Tech Tools. Post here. More coverage here.

 

  • CLOC London – Getting To Grips With Data + Better Contracting. Post here.

 

  • M&A Due Diligence Will Get Much Faster – Survey by OCR Co. Merrill. Post here.

 

  • Law Company Elevate Buys Yerra Managed Legal Services Co. As M&A Binge Continues. Post here.

 

  • Mitratech Launches TeamConnect Essentials in Legal Ops Drive. Post here.

 

  • Disputly – Solving the Consumer Legal Challenge One App at a Time. Post here.

 

Press Releases and sponsored content:

  • From ThoughtRiverTurning The Future Vision Of The GC Into Today’s Reality. “Access our new eGuide to discover how automated contract pre-screening technology can transform the role of the GC’s team – and therefore business performance.” Release here.

 

  • Also from ThoughtRiver: Why has the legal profession been slow to embrace AI technology? Release here.

 

  • Actuate Law Debuts New Legal Tech Subsidiary, Quointec LLC. “Quointec will collaboratively build next-generation legal and compliance tools that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to provide clients with innovative and more cost-effective solutions.” Release here.

 

BLOCKCHAIN:

  • Here’s some news re blockchain payments: MIT, Stanford and others to build blockchain payments network to rival VisaNet: “Seven universities are collaborating to create a blockchain-based online payment system that will solve issues of scalability, privacy, security and performance, enabling up to 10,000 transactions per second.”

 

  • This, from MarketplaceThe blockchain is coming to Wall Street. “(F)uture ICOs and their digital coins might start to look a lot more like good old-fashioned stock, except traded on the blockchain. And that has big ramifications for Wall Street.”

 

  • Here are the findings of a statistically reliable survey: Deloitte’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey: Blockchain Is “’Getting Closer To Its Breakout Moment’. “…(O)ut of all of the participants surveyed, 65% reported that their organization will invest $1 million or more in blockchain technology in the coming year. The enterprises with the largest investments will be coming from Mexico, France, and Canada respectively.”

 

  • Securitize To Join IBM’s Blockchain Accelerator To Modernize $82T Corporate Debt Market. Story here.

 

  • CanadianLawyer publishedBlockchain justice. “Crypto-currency and blockchain will increasingly be the subjects of litigation in Canada.”

 

  • Crude oil is about to be traded on a blockchain platform backed by five of the top 10 oil companies.Chevron, Total and Reliance Industries are backing VAKT, a digital platform for crude oil trading based on blockchain that launched late last year. They join a consortium of investors that includes BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Equinor as well as traders Gunvor, Mercuria and Koch Supply & Trading.” Story here.

 

  • Speaking of oil & gas, here’s a piece that probably belongs above under AI, but here it is! The Incredible Ways Shell Uses Artificial Intelligence To Help Transform The Oil And Gas Giant.
  • Legalweek (formerly Legaltech) is just a few days away, so here’sA Beginner’s Guide To The Biggest Week In Legal Technology.

 

  • Data & Analytics: Transforming Law Firms” has just been published by ALM Intelligence and LexisNexis. Here’s an executive summary and link to the report.

 

  • Here’s a fresh essay about law firm innovation from  of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed ServicesGreasing The Gears Of Legal Commerce — Automatic, Systematic, Hydromatic (alt.legal) Innovation. “CLOs indicated that nearly 25 percent of outside counsel fees are “price-insensitive.”

 

  • The Big 4 continue their relentless march into legal. I skip most of these posts, but this one specifically mentions AI: KPMG expands Asia Pacific legal services. “It will also offer technology enabled legal services, using robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies developed globally and in China through the KPMG digital ignition centre.”

 

  • This is an interesting post by Charles P. Edwards of Barnes & Thornburg: The Noisy Business of the Law and Insurance Claims. “…(T)he idea we humans are needed for most decisions is an ‘illusion.'”

 

  • Here’s a good example of a law firm (Amsterdam’s De Brauw) using tech as a differentiating marketing strategyHop on board and experience the value of legal tech and project management.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi posted this 47-minute podcast: LawNext Episode 25: Using AI to Enhance Virtual Receptionists, with Smith.ai.

 

  • From Arup Das of Alphaserve Technologies, here’s an interesting discussion of the age-old build vs. buy conundrum: How to Approach Legal Innovation: Options for Every Firm.

 

  • This is a thought-provoking post: Can Deepfakes Pose a Cybersecurity Threat to Legal? ““Deepfakes are real and emerging as an issue but they, like certain types of technology, could emerge very quickly; we talk about this today and it could be a very big deal in six months or it could be nothing,” Reed Smith’s Stegmaier cautioned. “We simply don’t know.””

 

  • This hour-long podcast is from the Lawyerist: “In this episode with Natalie Worsfold, we talk about her law firm’s approach to law practice, and why more firms aren’t following suit. We start by asking Natalie what problem Counter Tax was trying to solve, then explore how they solved it, what their solution does now, and the plans they have to evolve and grow their solution.”

 

  • This is an idea I have been kicking around for a while. Nick Hilborne gives it the thought I believe it’s due: “Reproduction of the legal profession” at risk from automation. “If junior associates are ‘gradually culled’ from law firms as a result of automation, the entire reproduction of the legal profession could be jeopardised….'” And here’s a US write up of the same issue: Junior Lawyers Are Going Extinct And Nobody Knows What To Do About It.

 

  • AI Goes to Court: A Conversation With Lex Machina and Dorsey & Whitney. Post here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • The Benefits of the LexisNexis LegalTech Accelerator. Post here.
  • EY and Artificial Lawyer Hold Legal Ops + Technology Event.  Post here.
  • Slaughter and May Names 3rd Fast Forward Cohort, Inc. Blockchain Co. Post here.
  • Meet ATJ Bot – The World’s First Legal Aid Voice Assistant. Post here.
  • How to Build Your Business Case For Contract Management – The Juro Guide. Post here.
  • Oz + NZ Professional Services Startup of the Year Award Launched. Post here.
  • Legal AI Co. CourtQuant Predicts Hard Brexit Impact on British Law. Post here.
  • Christian Lang + Former TR Boss, Tom Glocer, Join Reynen Court. Post here.
  • GCs Keen To Embrace Tech Tools + Legal Ops Skills – Survey. Post here. (Note: This story is based on a survey where n=80. Assuming no other methodological problems [big assumption!], this means that in all of the findings each number is well within the margin of sampling error of the statistics above and below it on the graphs.)
  • Meet Fincap Law: A New Tech-Driven Firm For the New Legal Era. Post here.

 

Posts by Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Eric A. Klein and Aytan Dahukey of Sheppard Mullin posted: Day 2 Notes From The 2019 JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. “We are seeing a lot of healthcare entities starting to focus on precision medicine – artificial intelligence suggesting which oncology drug works best for your specific genetic condition and cancer – but that essentially is a transactional function. And the market really wants a partnering function ” Post here.

 

 

 

  • From Reed SmithDraft ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence published by the European Commission. Post here.

 

 

  • Akin Gump postedPolicymakers Focused on Artificial Intelligence, Write Akin Gump Lawyers in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.

 

  • Hogan Lovells postedLitigating intellectual property issues: The impact of AI and machine learning.

 

Press Releases and sponsored posts:

  • Here’s a thorough explanation of Gavelytics: Want Better Litigation Outcomes? Know Your Judges. “…(W)ith Gavelytics, you finally get the quantifiable and reliable judge information you need to customize your litigation strategy and increase your chances of winning.”

 

 

  • Gibson Dunn launches AI and automated systems group. Post here.

 

  • The world’s first virtual lawyer, built for Amazon’s Alexa, tests whether lawyers will be replaced by robots. “Australian legal-technology company Smarter Drafter have announced a prototype virtual lawyer, built on Amazon’s Alexa, that creates legal.” documents instantly, just like a real human lawyer. Here’s the Smart Drafter release. Hype much?? And then there’s this: “No date has been set for the release of the first working Alexa integration.”

 

  • HaystackID Acquires eDiscovery Managed Services Provider eTERA, Release here.

 

  • Legal IT Newswire New Product News… Alphaserve Technologies launch Execution as a Service. Post here.

 

  • I’m including this because I used to work there! Am Law 200 Firm Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Selects Litera Desktop, Litera Microsystems Full Document Drafting Suite.

 

Blockchain

 

 

 

 

  • From the Baker & Hostetler Energy BlogNew Blockchain Products, an FBI Raid, the $11 Billion Bitcoin Case, Hackers Strike With a 51 Percent Attack and Crypto Tax Analysis. Post here.

 

 

  • Here’s a deep dive into the legal services offered by Oath ProtocolThe Lay of the Land in Blockchain Dispute Resolution and Governance Designs.

There was very little real AI or blockchain news over the holidays, especially legal-related. But there was a plethora of posts reviewing 2018 and forecasting 2019 and beyond, so that’s the focus of this post. I suggest you skim these titles and then skim through the lists included in most of the posts; you’re likely to find a nugget or two that focus on your interests.

(Note: there have been dozens of similar AI and blockchain posts specific to other industries. Many are at least tangentially related to legal, but I have omitted those to keep this post somewhat manageable. Those include almost every industry you can imagine from maritime to construction and from automotive to marketing. Healthcare leads the pack. Similarly, there have been many country-specific posts and quite a few regarding the international competition to lead in these areas. Some of that is summarized in this, from the Centre for International Governance Innovation: 2018: A Landmark Year for Artificial Intelligence.)

 

First, a bit of real news:

  • A2J has taken a step forward (I think) with SUE THE COLLECTOR. Here’s the (typo-filled) news release: “After partnering with literally dozens of law firms across the United States, Sue The Collector, Inc has helped thousands of Consumers in America turn the tables on Debt Collection companies and help consumers recover millions in damages caused by reckless and illegal debt collectors that violate the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, (FDCPA), The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and RESPA, TILA and SCRA Acts including numerous state laws such as California’s Rosenthal Act. To date, the Lawyers have helped consumers cancel over 1 Billion Dollars in Debt and have recovered millions in fines and settlements.”

 

  • This, from Epstein Becker: Startup Roadshow: AI in Healthcare (FDA Regulation of Artificial Intelligence Used in Healthcare – 2019 Multi-City Tour). (H/T to Rich Westling for the post.)

 

  • From the Reno Gazette Journal, here’sDriver’s licenses next? How one Nevada county is using blockchain for marriage certificates.

 

  • Giangiacomo Olivi of Dentons posted: Top Five Issues To Consider. “Datasets processed through AI systems (also “AI Data Lakes”) are becoming increasingly popular, with an exponential increase in potential “use cases.” You will find here below the main legal issues to consider.”

 

  • Streetwise Reports postedMajor Title Companies Adopt Blockchain to Cut Down on Security Breaches.

 

 

  • Just this morning, the NYT postedCurbs on A.I. Exports? Silicon Valley Fears Losing Its Edge. “The Commerce Department is considering national security restrictions on artificial intelligence. Some worry they could stunt the industry in the U.S.”

 

  • From The IPKatCommercial use of image rights: Paris Tribunal boosts models’ and performers’ protection.

 

  • I had never heard of East Coast Polytechnic Institute University in my home state, but it seems University in North Carolina Issues Degrees Using Blockchain. And also from North Carolina, “For students at the North Carolina School of Science and Math, the future is now. An alum has given $2 million to start an artificial intelligence and machine learning program at the public boarding school in Durham.” Story here.

 

  • Sharmeen Shaikh of Khurana and Khurana posted: Is It Possible To Patent Artificial Intelligence? “(AI) is yet to gain compatibility with the patent laws on a global level.”

 

  • This, from American Banker: BankThink Don’t underestimate AI’s risks. “Artificial intelligence technologies have already begun to transform financial services. At the end of 2017, 52% of banks reported making substantial investments in AI and 66% said they planned to do so by the end of 2020. The stakes are enormous — one study found that banks that invest in AI could see their revenue increase by 34% by 2022, while another suggests that AI could cut costs and increase productivity across the industry to the tune of $1 trillion by 2030.”

 

  • The Next Web‘s blog, Hard Fork posted this useful guide: 5 of the best podcasts to get you into cryptocurrency and blockchain.

 

  • From the New York Times, here’s a sobering look at just how big tech is todayBig Tech May Look Troubled, but It’s Just Getting Started.

 

Artificial Intelligence in 2018:

  • One of the best sources of all news re legal innovation is , so here’s Bob’s My Most Popular Posts of 2018. Also from Bob, here’s The 20 Most Important Legal Technology Developments of 2018.

 

  • Another reliable source of the best and latest news is Richard Tromans’ Artificial Lawyer, so here’s Artificial Lawyer Year in Review – 2018 – What a Year! (I agree.)

 

  • Fieldfisher provided this list of 2018’s data protection milestones2018 – a year like no other for data protection! Part 3.

 

 

  • New Atlas publishedFrom weapons to works of art: The year in artificial intelligence.

 

  • According to “a panel of experts,” here’s What Mattered in 2018: Industry Insiders Reflect on the Biggest Moments in IP. (Lots of AI and some Blockchain is mentioned.)

 

  • From TechTalks, here’s The biggest artificial intelligence developments of 2018.

 

  • Here’s a useful collection: CMSWire’s Top 10 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Articles of 2018.

 

  • From Pat Lamb and the good folks at Attorney at Work here’s2018 InnovAction Award Winners More Than Just the Latest Buzz.

 

  • Here’s How Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google And Microsoft Made 2018 The Year That IT Mattered A Lot.

 

Artificial Intelligence Forecasts:

  • From the always astute Ron Friedmann, here are some thoughts about Overcoming FOMO – The Reality of Legal Tech. Not exactly a forecast, but how to shape your own future (in-house and law firm folks). And here are more thoughts from Ron on how to move ahead: The Long View of Legal Innovation. At the end of the latter post Ron included this link to another excellent post about legal tech innovation, this one from 

 

 

  • From Housing Wire, here’s Expert: Regulatory burdens to drive AI replacement of humans. (Ballard Spahr Partner Richard Andreano is interviewed.)

 

  • I did not sign up to receive this survey, so I can’t critique its methodology, but here’s “MarketResearchReports.Biz Announced New Research Study on Report “Artificial Intelligence and RegTech Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2018 – 2026.”

 

  • Rather surprisingly, this post is from Interesting EngineeringAI vs. Lawyers: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Law. “Leibniz: The First Lawyer to Predict the Use of Machines in Law”

 

  • This, from Barron’sArtificial Intelligence Is Coming to Disrupt Customer Service — and Sooner Than You Think.

 

  • How about some tabloid click bait? From the UK’s Express, here’s Artificial intelligence: ‘Empathy bots’ with human emotions to be in our homes NEXT YEAR. “NEXT year will see the introduction of robots which have HUMAN emotions and could believe that they have been enslaved, according to leading tech experts.”

 

  • But seriously, from DataQuest, here’s The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in 2019. Sandeep Parikh of EY is interviewed.

 

  • From TNW (The Next Web): Here’s what AI experts think will happen in 2019. Story here.

 

  • From Wired, here’sIn 2019, despite everything, the UK’s AI strategy will bear fruit :The UK plans to spend £1 billion on artificial intelligence. By closing the skills gap, the UK can stay at the forefront of innovation.”

 

  • According to my favorite magazine and some Pew research, many Americans are not very comfortable with where all this is headed.

 

  • Just for funBlade Runner’ predicted what life would be like in 2019. Here’s what the movie got right — and wrong. Here’s another take on Blade Runner’s prescience. And from NBC, here’s19 bold predictions for science and technology in 2019 (lots of smart folks and their predictions).

 

Blockchain in 2018:

  • Here are some blockchain sports cards for you: CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2018.

 

Blockchain Forecasts:

  • This, from Olga V. Mack: How To Innovate Using Blockchain Within The Legal Field And Other Industries? I like her focus on the relationship between the practice and business of law.

 

  • FinExtra postedSome blockchain predictions for 2019. (If you only read one overview of what’s coming for blockchain generally, this would be a good choice.)

 

  • Crypto site Smartereum posted2019 May Not Be Marked With A Lot Of Progress In The Blockchain Industry According To Some CIOs, and thisWhat Will 2019 Bring For Blockchain Technology? and thisBlockchain Technology Will Fulfill Its Purpose By Revolutionizing The World In 2019.

 

  • CoinDesk posted2019: The Year We Might (Finally) See Better Blockchain UX? And also from CoinDesk, we have2019: The Year Blockchain Begins Finance’s Great Unbundling.

 

  • CoinTelegraph postedToo Soon for Blockchain Benefits in 2019, Says UPS Executive. “Senior executives at United Airlines (UA) and logistics giant UPS think 2019 will not be the year blockchain goes mainstream, the Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 28.”

 

  • Digital Journal postedWill 2019 finally see the rise of blockchain?

 

Looking back and ahead, and/or AI and Blockchain:

  • From Zach Abramowitz, here’s Notes From A Legal Binge (Part II). “Legal technology has gone from something that no one cared about to one of the industry’s most important sectors — and the conversation continues to mature.”

 

  • This, from Information AgeArtificial intelligence: What changed in 2018 and what to expect in 2019. “In the artificial intelligence and machine learning space, 2019 will see the rise of the intelligent application.”

 

  • From Hacker Noon, here’s OpenText: Convergence of blockchain, IoT & AI will lay out the path for supply chain autonomy.

 

  • Law.com has pulled together several futurist articles here in: Business, Tech and Regulation: What’s Ahead for the Legal Industry in 2019.

 

  • TechTarget interviewed several IT professionals as the basis for this postTechnology trends 2019: Expect AI, blockchain uncertainty.
  • 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.
  • Enough Hype Already: Inside Legal’s (Over?) Excitement with AI. “While many in the legal industry still over hype AI technology, some are beginning to separate fact from fiction. But the hype hasn’t been all bad—or good—for the legal market.” The post by Rhys Dipshan is here.

 

  • Covington’s Thomas Parisi postedAI Update: FCC Hosts Inaugural Forum on Artificial Intelligence. “Chairman Pai made clear in his opening remarks that the purpose of the forum was not to initiate AI regulation at the FCC. He stated: “It’s important to note that this event is about discussion and demonstration.”

 

  • Anna Cope and Melanie Lane of CMS wrote: Disciplinaries and Performance Management: Artificial Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence. The article addresses, “AI can help to remove both conscious and unconscious bias in decision-making and to ensure consistency of approach. However, will it ever be acceptable culturally for a machine to decide to fire an employee? Where should the line be drawn when important decisions need to be made about employees’ performance or disciplinary matters? Is the human element still important in this process?”

 

  • Cadwalader’s Steven Lofchie postedAgencies Urge Banks To Pursue AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Compliance Innovation. “In a joint statement, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, FinCEN, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “agencies”) stated that innovation – including the use of artificial intelligence, digital identity technologies and internal financial intelligence units – has the potential to augment banks’ programs for risk identification, transaction monitoring, and suspicious activity reporting.”

 

  • In this post, Chris Cook, Katherine Bravo, KC Halm and Amy Mushahwar of Davis Wright Tremaine summarize the FTC’s hearings on Competition and Consumer protection (a month ago). FTC Hearings Exploring Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics Focus on Notions of Fairness, Transparency and Ethical Uses.

 

  • Here’s a complete seminar from Dentons. It’s their eighth annual CPD Bootcamp. Chasing Shiny Objects: A Practical Guide To Managing The Challenges Of Transformative Technologies. “The session covered the following: Things to consider before acquiring a transformative technology: how much is real and how much is hype? And how do you know? How select transformative technologies create unexpected privacy and other compliance challenges and ways organizations can address them. Steps organizations can take to manage common risk and liability issues, including via contracts.”

 

  • And this from Dentons Italy’s Giangiacomo OliviAI And Drones, A Love Affair (Part I). “One of the main innovative characteristics of drones is their capability to collect and process great amounts of data, including personal data, which is often difficult to manage. This implies that the future usage of drones will be increasingly linked to data analytics and AI patterns and algorithms.”

 

  • “Microsoft Corp. called for new legislation to govern artificial intelligence software for recognizing faces, advocating for human review and oversight of the technology in critical cases.” Details here.

 

 

  • K&L Gates has posted Volume 39 of its Blockchain Energizer Energy Alert, this time summarizing three recent developments.

 

  • More on AML Reform: Artificial Intelligence, Beneficial Ownership and Real Estate from Ballard Spahr. “…(T)he OCC believes that ‘[n]ew technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning offer banks opportunities to better manage their costs and increase the ability of their monitoring systems to identify suspicious activity, while reducing the number of false positive alerts and investigations’.” This in-depth post includes this link to Part One.

 

  • Sameer Gokhale of Oblon, McClelland asks is the Pendulum Swinging Back In AI Direction? “(M)ost inventions in AI will not be directed to a magical robot or the self-driving car. Instead, a lot of inventions are directed to the building blocks of AI, such as deep learning and machine learning algorithms along with data collection techniques which are vital to train the AI software.” “If the USPTO director can guide the examining corp to take a patent owner-friendly approach toward inventive algorithms related to AI, then it will help swing the pendulum of patentable subject matter toward a place that is in harmony with the current state of technology.” Article from Intellectual Property Magazine here.

 

  • Suebsiri Taweepon and Pimpisa Ardborirak of Tilleke Gibbins postedChallenges of Future Intellectual Property Issues for Artificial Intelligence. “…(W)ould the software developer(s) of an AI be entitled to the work created by that AI? And if the user of the AI continually inputs new sources of information for the AI to learn, resulting in newly created IP, would the user be entitled to own the created IP?”

 

  • This interesting post warns of possible negative unintended consequences of cheap “lawtech” A2J such as, “the silencing of #MeToo activists with an avalanche of libel lawsuits; honest tradesmen ripped off by an automatic lawsuit over every invoice; online bullies spinning up endless court cases against their enemies in order to intimidate them into submission; patent trolls automating their hunt for genuinely innovative companies to exploit”.”

 

  • Meanwhile, here’s more progress on the A2J front: Chatbot to help renters released today. (From New Zealand.)

 

  • Peter Krakaur of UnitedLex posted this overview of legal technologies. It includes a nice summary chart. Planning Your Next Legal IT Strategy Discussion: A Service Delivery Framework (Part I).

 

  • Columbia University’s AI Business Course Studies Legal Tech Startup (Evisort). “…(L)egal technology offers a prime example of using tech experts and industry experts—in this case lawyers—in the development of a needed business tool.” Coverage here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

– “Big Tech company, Microsoft, is to broaden the appeal of its NLP and machine learning tools for doc review as part of a project to bring its Azure Cognitive Service capabilities into the Power BI platform for business level analysis and data visualisations. The service will open for public preview from March 2019.” Post here.

HighQ Integrates With Legal AI Co. LEVERTON + Launches V. 5.0. Post here.

– “Smart contract pioneer, OpenLaw, and oracle platform Rhombus, have joined forces to build derivatives smart contracts, as part of a project to see if their tech can be used in the $500 trillion market for handling derivatives trades.” Post here.

Relativity Develops ‘Pre-Crime’ Abilities With Trace App at ING Bank. Post here.

 

  • Press release from Littler: Littler Hosts Roundtable of Industry Leaders to Discuss Impact of Automation Technologies. It’s an interesting summary of the event and includes a link to Littler’s recent TIDE (Technology-Induced Displacement of Employees) report. Oh heck, why not just include that link here and save you a click?

 

  • Press releaseElevate Acquires Sumati, Expanding Capabilities and Scale in Contract Lifecycle Management Support.

 

  • Press releaseXDD Acquires Leading AI Automation Software Company, Esquify, Further Optimizing the Company’s Managed Review Service Offering.

 

  • Press release: Successfully Migrates 10 Terabytes of Litigation Data to Casepoint eDiscovery Cloud.

 

More prognostications:

– Legal Technology – the future of legal services from Dan Bindman. Post here.

– Moving Beyond Smart Contracts: What Are The Next Generations Of Blockchain Use Cases? Post here.

– 2019 will be the year of artificial intelligence. Post here from Damien Willis.

– This, from Information AgeArtificial intelligence for the lawyer – transforming the legal industry.

– 5 Artificial Intelligence Trends To Watch Out For In 2019. This is a bit technical, but interesting.

– Tech predictions from The Economist in 2019: Facial recognition to AI regulation. “…Major League Baseball will start allowing fans to validate their tickets and enter stadiums via a scan of their face, rather than a paper stub. Singapore’s newest megamall will use the technology to track shoppers and recommend deals to them. Tokyo will spend the year installing facial-recognition systems in preparation for the Olympics in 2020, when it will use the technology to make sure that only authorised persons enter secure areas.” More here.

– If those forecasts aren’t enough for you, how about: 120 AI Predictions For 2019. I did not verify the count or even read them all, but 120 feels about right. Here they are.

 

Blockchain

  • This, from Scott H. Kimpel of Hunton. Blockchain Legal Source: Mining Cryptocurrency Under Federal Election Law. “The acting general counsel of the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) recently published for public comment a draft advisory opinion under the Federal Election Campaign Act and related FEC regulations regarding mining cryptocurrencies for the benefit of political committees.”

 

  • Seven EU States Sign Declaration to Promote Blockchain Use. “…(T)he document cites “education, transport, mobility, shipping, Land Registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare” as services which can be “transformed” by this technology. The group also cites blockchain tech’s use for protecting citizens’ privacy and making bureaucratic procedures more efficient.” More here.

 

 

  • James Marshall, Deals Partner at PwC postedHow blockchain could upend M&A and other deals. “As a tamper-proof shared ledger that can automatically record and verify transactions, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) could vastly change how investors value, negotiate and execute deals.”

 

  • From Legal Theory Bookworm, this review of the recent book, Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code by Primavera De Filippi & Aaron Wright. “De Filippi and Wright welcome the new possibilities inherent in blockchains. But as Blockchain and the Law makes clear, the technology cannot be harnessed productively without new rules and new approaches to legal thinking.”

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

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

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

 

Blockchain

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

 

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

 

  • Ohio ‘rolls out the red carpet’ for blockchain businesses by accepting bitcoin this tax season. “As of Monday, Ohio became the first state where business can pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. (Ohio’s state treasurer Josh Mandel) said the decision was twofold: It increases “options and ease” for taxpayers, and it opens the door to software engineers and tech start-ups.” Coverage from CNBC here.
  • O’Melveny is getting a lot of coverage of its recent announcement that it will use neuroscience-based games in its recruitment process. See stories here, here, here and here.

 

  • This post was prepared by Kurt Watkins of Contextum and Matthew Savare of Lowenstein Sandler and published by the ACC via Lexology: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on General Counsel. It’s a solid deep dive and includes specific advice for GCs. “The technological advancement of AI and its concomitant increased adoption in the legal profession cannot be stopped. For many years, lawyers believed that AI would not impact them or their profession. Think again. In order to stay ahead of the proverbial curve, general counsel need to understand this transformation, adjust their ways of thinking….”

 

  • Seyfarth’s Hannah L. JacksonRaymond Tran and Theodore E. Woodward postedWave Of The Future: The Effect Of AI And Robotics On Commercial Real Estate. It’s a solid, rather in-depth look. “Advancements in AI robotics and integration with the IoT have the potential to change the way that commercial properties are owned, leased, managed and operated in the future.”

 

  • The Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth recently published the first report in its project on Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and Data Protection: Delivering Sustainable AI Accountability in Practice. The report, entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection in Tension” aims to describe in clear, understandable terms: what AI is and how it is being used all around us today; the role that personal data plays in the development, deployment and oversight of AI; and the opportunities and challenges presented by AI to data protection laws and norms.” Overview here.

 

  • This, from DLA Piper: International Trade Alert. “The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on November 19, 2018 requesting public comment on identifying ’emerging technology.’ Under the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA), which was signed into law on August 13, 2018, the Department of Commerce is authorized to establish export controls on emerging and foundational technologies under the framework of the Commerce Control List (CCL). In the ANPRM, BIS indicated that it will issue a separate ANPRM for ‘foundational technology’.”

 

  • The Alliott Group (Maciej Kokotposted: An Alternative Perspective On Use Of Artificial Intelligence In Professional Firms. “This article, written by Alliott Group Polish accounting and law firm member ALTO, provides an alternative perspective on AI’s role in the mid-size firm. Authors Maciej Kokot and Wojciech Kokot propose we question the preconceptions and fears we have surrounding AI, and instead invite accountants and lawyers to familiarise themselves with its capabilities. From automating rudimentary accounting services to streamlining first-line support using chatbots, this article outlines why we have every reason to feel positively about the rise of AI.”

 

  • This post is from Switzerland’s Bär & Karrer‘s Andrew M. GarbarskiThe Sealing Of Evidence Under Swiss Criminal Procedure Law. “The fast-changing technical landscape and the potentially endless capabilities of artificial intelligence may ultimately offer better solutions for judicial authorities and practitioners alike. However, in the meantime, both must turn towards the case law of the SFSC to find practical ways of dealing with the increasing complexity of unsealing procedures.”

 

  • If you’re interested in how the Skunkworks approach to innovation adoption can work at a law firm (I am!), check out this podcast interview with Orrick’s Chair, Mitch Zullie.

 

  • Here’s a rather academic piece from the University of Toronto — Faculty of Law’s Benjamin Alarie, Anthony Niblett and Albert YoonHow Artificial Intelligence Will Affect the Practice of Law. “In the short run, we can expect greater legal transparency, more efficient dispute resolution, improved access to justice, and new challenges to the traditional organization of private law firms delivering legal services on a billable hour basis through a leveraged partner-associate model.” “In the longer term, it is difficult to predict the impact of artificially intelligent tools will be, as lawyers incorporate them into their practice and expand their range of services on behalf of clients.”

 

  • “A subsidiary of the German arm of Clifford Chance has entered into a partnership to advance the development of an AI platform. Clifford Chance Tech GmbH and German firm EVANA will work together to enhance EVANA’s platform for corporate law and M&A transactions.” More here, here and here.

 

  • In this post, Law Society Council member, addresses the question, “…if you are going to receive advice or even representation from either a solicitor or a robot with artificial intelligence, should the criteria for the product be the same in each case?” Interesting read.

 

  • Dentons’ Todd D. DaubertPeter G. FeldmanJason M. Silverman and Michael E. Zolandz posted: BIS Begins Process For Export Controls Of “Emerging And Foundational” Technologies: What Tech Companies Need To Know. “On November 19, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which controls the export of sensitive dual-use and less-sensitive military goods and technology, took an important preliminary step in establishing the review and control process required under ECRA. The agency published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), soliciting comments from the public on specific matters related to identifying and controlling emerging and foundational technologies.” More here.

 

  • Also from Dentons (this time, Eric J. TanenblattCrawford Schneider and James A. Richardson): Autonomous Vehicles Start Act Legislative Update. “Republicans are eager to finally advance a light-touch autonomous vehicle regulatory framework after the proposal has languished for more than a year in committee over cyber and safety concerns.”

 

  • Here’s part 6 of Mintz’ Strategies To Unlock AI’s Potential In Healthcare, Commercialization Of AI Tools In Healthcare – The Challenge Of Securing Adequate Data Rights.

 

  • A blog on behalf of CILEx Regulation by Eve Dullabh, managing director of the Law Training Centre in Kent: Reality versus the robot lawyers. “…(L)egal training will be required to adapt accordingly to provide the skills to the modern lawyer in order to remain indispensable in the era of AI technology. Cyber-security training, management of risk training and coding will, inevitably, become part of every lawyer’s legal training and, already, some of the top firms in the country have recognised this and instructed that all their trainees undertake coding training. The future is now and embracing the evolution of the new legal era will prepare us for the things to come.”

 

  • Steven D. Lofchie of Cadwalader postedFRB Governor Brainard Focuses On Risks And Supervisory Approaches Associated With AI. “Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) Governor Lael Brainard urged firms to be mindful of risks associated with artificial intelligence (‘AI’) innovation and advised regulators to remain diligent in the quest to understand and regulate the use of AI by supervised firms.”

 

  • Also from Steven D. Lofchie, FDIC Chair McWilliams Urges More Collaboration On FinTech. “In remarks delivered at the FinTech and the New Financial Landscape Conference, Ms. McWilliams underscored that innovation is expanding bank access to more customers, and that new technology has enhanced ‘customer experience, [lowered] transaction costs, and increase[d] credit availability’.”

 

  • WilmerHale‘s Timothy Syrett and Natalie R. Pous prepared this articleThe Developing Landscape Of Internet Of Things Standards For Cars, “the first in a series of five articles written by WilmerHale discussing how the emergence of IoT technologies will impact the automotive industry. “The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of a multitude of devices through the Internet to collect and exchange data. One area of particular promise for the IoT is cars. Exchanges of data between cars on a street, between cars and pedestrians crossing the street, between cars and traffic lights on the street, and between cars and the Internet could improve safety, reduce traffic, save fuel, and make for a more entertaining drive.”

 

  • And here‘s a closely related article, also from Wilmer (this time by Christian DuvernoyFrédéric LouisDr. Martin BraunAnne ValleryItsiq Benizri and Naboth van den Broek): The European Commission Launches A Public Consultation On Connected And Automated Vehicles. “The ambition of the European Union (“EU”) is to become a world leader in the deployment of connected and automated mobility. The EC believes that driverless mobility and connectivity will help bring down the number of road fatalities and reduce harmful emissions and congestion. In this context, the EC published a Communication in which it identified the actions it would take to guide the sector and EU countries to reach its objectives. One of these actions is to issue a Recommendation to complement the regulatory framework for connected and automated mobility and to help EU countries achieve a coordinated approach in this respect.”

 

 

 

  • From Jones DayDriverless, Networked Vehicles on the Rise, French Liability Regulations Lag Behind. “The Situation: Autonomous cars with incorporated artificial intelligence (“AI”) are now a reality whereas French regulations have yet to adjust. The Issue: The phenomenon of new autonomous cars using AI gives rise to questions about how product liability principles will apply and adapt thereto. Looking Ahead: Carmakers should already be considering what liability risks could be created by incorporating AI in autonomous cars and how to mitigate such risks.”

 

  • Andy Neill of HighQ postedWhat’s artificial about ethical AI in the law? Everything. “Lawyers are trained and have studied ethics. They must be utilised to succeed in creating ethical AI programs.” It’s an interesting read.

 

  • Here’s an important and useful study conducted by Dentons: Dentons submits results of research into the development of global legislation in robotics, AI and cyberphysical systems. “Dentons global law firm has carried out unique, large-scale research of the development of law and legislation on robotics, artificial intelligence and cyberphysical systems. The research was commissioned by the Competency Center for Statutory Regulation of the Digital Economy, which operates at the Skolkovo Foundation. It is the first such research done in Russia.”

 

  • This post is from Hungary’s KCG Partners Law FirmFree Flow Of Non-Personal Data In The European Union. “According to the communication of the European Parliament, the Council of the EU will adopt the regulation in the coming weeks, before it will enter into force by the end of the year. The Member States will have 6 months to apply the new rules from the date of the formal adoption of the regulation.”

 

  • Here’s a taste of what to expect at the “Emerging Legal Departments: Legal Tech 101” roundtable (Evolve the Law, Above the Law’s Legal Innovation Center at Logikcull’s San Francisco headquarters) on December 5. Monica Zent and Stephanie Corey will lead the discussion.

 

  • From José Santacroce of Moeller IP Advisors we have: The European Patent Office (EPO) Publishes New Guidelines On Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII). “…(T)he new EPO CII Guidelines include for the first time new sections on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), and on Simulation, design or modelling.” Post here.

 

  • Philip Cupitt of Marks & Clerk posted: Artificial Intelligence: Is Your Business Ready? “Our own research at Marks & Clerk reveals that more than 78,000 patent applications relating to AI were filed around the world in 2017. On current trends, we’ll see around 86,000 such patent applications filed in 2018, which represents almost a twofold increase in the past decade.”

 

  • Government invests to research how AI can improve the law was posted on Legal Futures by Dan Bindman, “The government is funding research into the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the legal system, with a warning that, if the technology is mishandled, it could have dire consequences. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will fund three research projects into aspects of AI costing £3m, of which ‘Unlocking the potential of AI for law’ is one.”

 

  • HBR Consulting postedLaw firms must act with urgency to keep pace with law department analytics maturity. “…(L)aw departments are gathering, centralizing and sharing more data than ever, and many law firms are lagging behind.”

 

  • Law schools are often (and often justifiably) accused of not keeping pace with innovations in the business of law. But here are some noteworthy exceptions: You Think Legal Education Can’t Change? 8 Innovative Ideas from Law Schools.

 

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

– Few GCs Have ‘Digital Transformation Skills’ – LawGeex Report. Link.

– Nordic Law Firms Go All-In For Legal AI, (Especially Luminance), But Why? Link.

– UK Gov + MoJ Back Major Research Project to Boost Legal AI Use. Link.

– Relativity Partner QDiscovery Buys Evidox in eDiscovery Consolidation Move. Link.

 

Blockchain

 

  • Smart Contracts May Have Weaknesses. This Tool Helps Find Them. “ released a blockchain security monitoring service that includes a tool by ConsenSys Diligence allowing users to scan smart contracts for vulnerabilities.” Story here.

 

  • Pinsent Masons postedMEPs call for business GDPR ‘guarantee’ on using blockchain. “Businesses should not begin using blockchain technology to process personal data until they can ‘guarantee compliance’ with EU data protection laws, a committee of MEPs has said.”

 

 

  • This, from Sheppard Mullin: United States: The Hammer Falls On The First Major Blockchain-Based Art Auction. “Christie’s made history again last night during its evening sale, An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, at 20 Rockefeller Center in New York. This time, the history was not in the form of a record-setting sale (though the sale brought in $317.8 million), but as the first major art auction to be recorded by distributed ledger technology.”

 

 

  • Here’s a blockchain milestone: “Abu Dhabi-headquartered Al Hilal Bank has carried a blockchain-based transaction for an Islamic bond worth $500 million. The bank, an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, announced Monday that it settled the Islamic, shariah-compliant bond, or sukuk, worth $500 million on the secondary market, using blockchain tech.”

 

  • And here’s another: Real Estate on the Blockchain: $20 Million Sale ‘. “In the first offering of its kind, U.S. investors can now acquire a piece of South Carolina real estate in the form of blockchain tokens. The tokens represent ownership in a luxury student residence called The Hub … which is located near the University of South Carolina in the state’s capital.”

 

  • This is an interesting article from the December issue of the ABA JournalWhat do AI, blockchain and GDPR mean for cybersecurity? “…(W)e close this series by looking around the bend to understand how major emerging technologies will affect cybersecurity in the coming years. While experts disagree when technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain will play a larger role in cybersecurity and data protection, there is broad agreement that their roles will be pivotal. This could, in turn, create new solutions, risks and regulatory headaches.”
  • Some recent posts report some variation of: “Legal Industry in Last Place in AI, Machine Learning Adoption, According to RELX Survey“. I can’t find the study’s detailed results or methodology, but from what I see best case accuracy is +/-8%, so all 6 industries are probably in a statistical tie. Here’s an example of such reporting. Let the reader beware.

 

  • Yanbin Xu of Finnegan postedStrategies For Blockchain Patent Applications. (I’d say more, but the article is only available in Chinese.)

 

  • Yalonda T. Howze of Mintz posted (in English!): Strategies To Unlock AI’s Potential In Health Care, Part 5: Product Liability Prevention For AI Product Designers—And Their Lawyers. “From my experience in working with outside counsel, in-house counsel, designers and engineers, it has become apparent that safer product design and the minimization of product liability exposure in the AI space requires a collaborative, systematic and iterative protocol. Ultimately, this approach helps to better protect the user, the brand, and the company.”

 

  • Yesterday I had a post from Wales, so today, here’s one from Scotland: In 2050: Education – Equipping Our Learners For The Future, from Neil Maclean of Shepherd and Wedderburn. “As part of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s 250th anniversary, we commissioned the Fraser of Allander Institute to undertake a research project to identify how Scotland might best position itself for the future. The initial scene-setter report can be found here.”

 

  • This is a very deep dive by Fichte & Co.: Demystifying the Financial Regulatory Landscape in the UAE. “The areas that Fintech Hive encourages include big data analytics & protective modeling, robo advisors, biometric & digital identification, the blockchain, P2P & crowdfunding, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence & machine learning, InsurTech, Islamic fintech and RegTech.”

 

  • Meanwhile in India: Redesign ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) For The Contemporary World. “PwC and Deloitte are respectively the sixth and seventh largest legal services providers in the world. Accounting firms have an edge in using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The committee’s proposal to allow MDPs will enable audit firms to provide integrated services. Safeguards are necessary to maintain independence.”

 

  • Marine Giral and Herbert Smith’s Shaun McVicar penned: The blockchain revolution and what it means for pharma. “With the development of data driven artificial intelligence, increasingly complex decision could be automated, and implemented without delay. Blockchain transactions are immutable, which makes it virtually impossible to alter or selectively report clinical trial results and could ensure greater transparency and trust in reported outcomes.” There’s quite a lot about blockchain in the article.

 

  • Orrick’s Daniel Nathan and Jorge Pesok postedA Foreboding View of Smart Contract Developer Liability. “On October 16, 2018, Commissioner Brian Quintenz of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission explained his belief that smart contract developers can be held liable for aiding and abetting CFTC rule violations if it was reasonably foreseeable that U.S. persons could use the smart contract they created to violate CFTC rules.” ” In his speech, Commissioner Quintenz provided valuable insight into how one regulator is thinking about applying existing laws to this new market.”

 

  • From the ‘Who’d a Thunk It’ department, Bob Ambrogi went to Moscow and discovered legal tech startups! Dispatch From Russia: Legal Tech Startups Emerge, But Adoption Lags. “Cyrillic doesn’t do AI any favors.” That’s just one footnote to Bob’s very interesting story here.

 

  • For this small, informal survey from the UK, “Jomati interviewed 29 innovation heads from 24 practices and ‘explored the innovation and legal tech strategies of dozens more law firms’.” “While some pioneering law firms had decided firmly, for instance, on adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology, others were waiting until its cost advantages over outsourcing were more certain before taking the plunge.”

 

  • The Baker McKenzie report Ghosts in the Machine: Revisited I reported last week is getting quite a few mentions in legal and financial publications. Here’s an example. And here.

 

 

  • A couple of months ago, Artificial Lawyer covered the blockchain-based contract software by Chainlink. Now even the MIT Technology Review is taking notice: Blockchain smart contracts are finally good for something in the real world. “A startup says it has tackled a long-standing problem that has kept smart contracts from responding to actual events.” “Using cryptography, the Chainlink service provides proof on the blockchain that the data is in fact the information it committed to delivering. Customers can pay for different levels of decentralization, and the nodes can make money in return for submitting data. Nazarov says the combination of Chainlink’s software with the Town Crier hardware system is the first ‘provably secure, decentralized oracle network.'” Story here.

 

  • This is pretty cool: “The Open Data Institute (ODI), co-founded by the inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is to launch two of the first ever government-backed Data Trusts in the world, with the purpose of training AI systems underpinned by a specific legal structure.” “Data Trusts, which are legally constructed entities, are seen as the answer and help form a regulated bridge between the collected data and the AI companies (or other tech companies such as smart contract developers), while retaining public trust.” More from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • Also from the UK  via Computer WeeklyPutting the UK at the forefront of ethics and innovation in AI and data. “Stellar British firms are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help defend against cyber attacks and law firms are adopting the technology to help lawyers do legal searches and draft documentation. But we know the huge rise in the use of data-driven technology must be backed up by a strong ethical framework so it delivers the best for people.” This piece is by Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (aka, “Culture Secretary”).

 

  • Several firms have posted in the past couple of weeks about moves by various US Government agencies and departments to regulate or at least study AI and related topics. Here’s a sampling:

From GoodwinU.S. Government to Define ‘Emerging Technologies’, impacting CFIUS and Export Controls.

From Sheppard MullinThe Little Regulation That Will Make a Big Change in How You Do Business: Department of Commerce to Establish New Export Controls on Emerging Technologies.

–  From DechertNew Government Regulation of Emerging Technology.

From SkaddenUS Department of Commerce Solicits Comments Regarding Emerging Technologies That Are Essential to US National Security.

From LathamDeep Dive on Deep Learning: FTC Considers Artificial Intelligence.

From DLA PiperA New Chapter in Stress Testing. “While noting that emerging artificial intelligence technologies offer many actual and potential beneficial applications for banking, Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard said that financial services ‘firms should be continually vigilant for new issues in the rapidly evolving area of AI.'”

From Davis PolkNewsflash: FTC Hearings 5, 6 and 7 on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.

From Holland & KnightFTC Kicks Off New Consumer Protection Hearings: Focuses On The Use Of Big Data And Artificial Intelligence.

– From Squire Patton BoggsDigital Health Update: Recent FDA Cyber Initiatives.

From CadwaladerFDIC Chair McWilliams Urges More Collaboration On FinTech.