• Legalweek (formerly Legaltech) is just a few days away, so here’sA Beginner’s Guide To The Biggest Week In Legal Technology.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

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

 

Posts by Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Press Releases and sponsored posts:

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Blockchain

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

  • Here’s a deep dive into the legal services offered by Oath ProtocolThe Lay of the Land in Blockchain Dispute Resolution and Governance Designs.
  • Will an A.I. Ever Become Sentient? “The quest for artificial intelligence could yield something that not only out-thinks humanity but can also feel like us.” Interesting (long) post here.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Law Firm Posts

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Press Releases/Vendor Articles

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

From Artificial Lawyer

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Blockchain

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • From iappTop 10 Privacy Perspectives of 2018.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • I love this “back of the envelope” answer to “Is it AI?” from Karen Hao and the MIT Technology Review.

 

 

  • This half-hour podcast from MeDermott’s Week in Health Law series addresses AI & the Practice of Medicine. Five guests participate (Terry Dee, Jiayan Chen, Kate McDonald, Dale Van Demark, Eric Fish). Topics include where AI in medicine is headed, the need for regulation, privacy, liability, insurance and more. Sorry about the audio quality.

 

  • From Buckley Sandler, here’s a brief summary of Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard’s remarks at the 11/13 “Fintech and New Financial Landscape” conference. “Brainard’s prepared remarks emphasize the benefits and potential risks to bank safety and consumer protection that new AI applications pose.”

 

  • AI probe hears calls for ethics code. “Calls for a code of ethics, concerns about ‘Minority Report’-style crime prediction systems and a proposal for a new legal framework governing data ownership were among the evidence presented to the second public meeting of a landmark probe into the use of algorithms in the justice system. Appearing before the Technology and Law Policy Commission last week, The Hon. Mr. Justice Knowles called for the development of an ethical and legal framework for artificial intelligence. ‘AI is going to go deeper into people’s lives than many things have before,’ he told the commission chaired by Law Society president Christina Blacklaws. ‘It is imperative that we take the opportunity for law and ethics to travel with it.’” Here’s the brief summary from The Law Society Gazette.

 

  • Also from The Law Society GazetteEmbrace technology before your business model is threatened, Welsh firms told. This article summarizes “a seminar held by the National Assembly for Wales on the challenges presented by artificial intelligence and automation to legal services….”

 

  • Greenberg Traurig’s Paul Ferrillo posted this along with SDI Cyber’s George PlatsisQuantum Computing to Protect Data: Will You Wait and See or Be an Early Adopter? “So while we are still very much in the “zone of the unknown” a word of advice: if you’re a data-heavy organization and you plan to use and keep that data for years to come, you need to start thinking about new and alternate forms of encryption today.”

 

  • Here’s another thought piece from Mark A. CohenWhat Are Law Schools Training Students For? “Law is entering the age of the consumer and bidding adieu to the guild that enshrined lawyers and the myth of legal exceptionalism. That’s good news for prospective and existing legal consumers.” He addresses the challenges this will present for law schools. “These changes are affecting what it means to ‘think like a lawyer’ and, more importantly, what skills “legal” skills are required in today’s marketplace.”

 

 

  • From MobiHealthNews: Roundup: 12 healthcare algorithms cleared by the FDA. “As AI cements its role in healthcare, more and more intelligent software offerings are pursuing 510(k) and De Novo approvals.” Each of the 12 are summarized here.

 

  • Here (Geek comes of age), Joanna Goodman provides a good summary of this year’s Legal Geek event and the look into the future presented.

 

  • This story appeared in the New Hampshire Union LeaderIs Alexa’s speech protected? “The proper police procedures for searching a home or briefcase have been hammered out through decades of case law. But the question of how easy it should be for police to access the vast troves of data collected by the so-called internet of things — devices like Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, smart toasters, and other household objects equipped with sensors and connected to networks — is far from settled law.” Several credible sources are cited for opinion.

 

  • Ashley Deeks of the University of Virginia Law School penned: Artificial Intelligence and the Resort to Force. “How will AI change the way states make decisions about when to resort to force under international law? Will the use of AI improve or worsen those decisions? What should states take into account when determining how to use AI to conduct their jus ad bellum analyses?” This post is an overview of a larger article by Deeks and two colleagues.

 

  • Eamonn Moran of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton wrote: A Regulator’s Assessment of the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Financial Services. The Federal Reserve Board’s “Fintech working group is working across the Federal Reserve System ‘to take a deliberate approach to understanding the potential implications of AI for financial services, particularly as they relate to our responsibilities.'” Here’s the full post.

 

  • Former Lehman lawyer predicts big role for AI post-Brexit. “A former senior counsel for Lehman Brothers investment bank and artificial intelligence (AI) technology pioneer has predicted AI will be crucial in helping companies alter thousands of contracts rapidly in the aftermath of Brexit. Beth Anisman, former global chief administrative officer in Lehman’s legal compliance and audit department, who subsequently co-founded an AI company, Apogee Legal – recently sold to e-discovery giant Seal Software – said disentangling contracts following Lehman’s collapse 10 years ago would have benefited from AI.” More here.

 

Blockchain

  • From BlockTribuneBlockchain, AI and the Legal System – Will Tech Lead The Law? “What happens when technologies, such as deep learning software and self-enforcement code, lead legal decisions? How can one ensure that next-generation legal technology systems are not unfairly biased against certain groups or individuals? And what skills will lawyers need to develop in order to properly assess the quality of justice that flows from data-driven decisions?” “Mireille Hildebrandt, professor at the law, science, technology and society research group at Vrije Universiteit Brussels in Belgium, will formulate and respond to during a five-year project to investigate the implications of what she calls ‘computational law’.” More here.

 

  • K&L Gates has posted Volume 38 of it’s Blockchain Energizer Energy Alert, this time summarizing three recent developments.

 

  • West Virginia Secretary of State Reports Successful Blockchain Voting in 2018 Midterm Elections. “…(I)n the 2018 midterm elections, 144 military personnel stationed overseas from 24 counties were able to cast their ballots on a mobile, blockchain-based platform called Voatz….” More here.
  • Don’t miss this postWhy Alternative Legal Provider Market Share May be Limited, by Ron Friedmann. He presents some compelling arguments, contrary to a lot of recent thinking.

 

  • According to South Africa’s Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, their enterprise search engine, Insight (powered by RAVN) “ensure(s) that legal information is leveraged and disseminated efficiently to lawyers to fulfill their tasks more quickly and more accurately.”

 

  • From Cleary’s FinTech Update, “(i)n its report on Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation released on July 31st, the Treasury Department (“Treasury”) generally embraced AI and recommended facilitating the further development and incorporation of such technologies into the financial services industry to realize the potential the technologies can provide for financial services and the broader economy.” Full (detailed) report here.

 

  • Womble’s Oliver Rickett and Caroline Churchill wroteIndustry 4.0 and the regulation of artificial intelligence. “This article looks at where AI regulation might be implemented and, specifically, what impact both AI has, and its regulation would have, on the manufacturing industry and what role the UK might have in this ever changing sector.”

 

  • From Harvard Law Today, “Operationalizing innovation in legal organizations.” Questions discussed include: “How is “innovation” operationalized within legal organizations? What are law firms and companies looking for regarding professional backgrounds and skill sets for innovation hires? What are the career paths for these individuals within organizations? By what metrics should “quality” in legal services be measured?” The discussion is based on a survey of 150 individuals (no more methodological details are provided), and should be treated as qualitative and exploratory in nature. “The survey’s target audience is a set of newly emerging innovation professionals. On the in-house side, these individuals are often called ‘heads of legal operations’. On the law firm side, they are often called ‘chief innovation partners’.” The article basically reports what was discussed without providing any conclusions.

 

  • This piece is an infomercial for Westlaw Edge. It’s a brief description of a very important AI-based product.

 

  • From Foley Hoag‘s Gwendolyn Wilber JaramilloUnited States: Foreign Investment And Export Control Reform Update (Part 1 Of Series). “Key elements of the NDAA discussed in this series of Alerts include:” … “4. Establishment of National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence: will conduct a national review of advances in AI and machine learning, address national security needs related to AI, and make recommendations including on how the U.S. can maintain a technological advantage in AI.”

 

  • I’m surprised more hasn’t been written about applications of AI in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Here are some thoughts on that topic from Kluwer Law Arbitration. Bottom line, “So what does AI mean for ADR? There are a good few possibilities – all of which could be true. AI could be a tool for the mediator or adjudicator to embrace, it could be another stage in a bigger resolution process change or it just might be our competition. So are such changes positive or negative? It is hard to know without a crystal ball.”

 

  • From Mark A. CohenLegal Innovation is the Rage, But There’s Plenty of Resistance. It’s an interesting study of why change is not happening, how and why is actually is, and how things may change. “(Lawyers) have an opportunity to leverage their legal knowledge in ways that did not exist previously—as data analysts, legal technologists, legal operations specialists, and scores of other positions yet to emerge. It’s an exciting time to be in the legal profession. It is also past time for the profession to focus on what’s good for consumers, not themselves. That would be ‘legal innovation’.”

 

  • 100th law firm signs up to use Smarter Drafter, the Australian artificially intelligent lawyer. “The software is powered by a unique AI (artificial intelligence), which the team have called Real Human Reasoning™. Smarter Drafter codifies the legal decision making and content of expert lawyers who have worked in top tier law firms like Baker Mckenzie and Clifford Chance. The system works by guiding lawyers through a Smart Q&A, then producing an advanced legal document instantly. Smarter Drafter is only available to law firms in Australia. The largest law firm using the system has over 150 lawyers. The smallest firm is a sole-practitioner….” More here.

 

  • Kim A. Leffert and Corwin J. Carr of Mayer Brown postedElectronic Discovery & Information Governance – Tip of the Month: Defensible Disposition of Data: Guidance from the Sedona Conference Scenario.

 

  • I have a bit of a backlog from Artificial Lawyer (seems they don’t recognize the US’ Labor Day in the UK!), so here goes:

– “Artificial Lawyer recently caught up with Shawn Gaines, the Director of Product and Community Marketing, at ediscovery platform Relativity and asked him if he could tell us some more about the company’s ambitious growth strategy to create a ‘legal tech app store’.” Article here.

This link includes several stories, including these: “Noah Walters, a law student doing a JD/MBA in Canada has developed a site called the Blockchain Law Society to serve as an educational platform for blockchain law-related issues across jurisdictions and that helps connect lawyers with blockchain clients.” and “Legal AI company, Diligen, has extended the company’s contract review platform to also include real estate documents.”

Guest post by Gordon Cassie, co-founder of Closing Folders: Legal Transaction Management Software is Finally a Thing. …(L)legal transaction management software (LTM for the acronym fans) is ready to be inaugurated as the newest category of Legal Tech software.”

 

  • Here’s the final installment of Bob Ambrogi’s Roundup of Company and Product News from ILTACON, Part 4: FileTrail, Workstorm, Casepoint, SeeUnity.

 

  • From Above the Law’s Small Firm Center, Thomson Reuters’ Amy Larson penned, Three Ways to Remove the Pain from Legal Research and Delivering on Client Expectations. Good suggestions here, and it’s no surprise whose products are recommended.

 

  • This opinion piece urges Trump to get serious about AI as a national security issue. AI Weekly: Trump, forget Google — focus on national security.

 

  • Here’s an interesting idea, how might we combine AI and crowdsourcing to come up with better prediction than either alone? Crowdsourcing in the age of artificial intelligence: How the crowd will train machines.

 

  • This development is another step towards the holy grail of General AI. New Artificial Intelligence Does Something Extraordinary — It Remembers.

 

  • From the WSJTop 25 Tech Companies to Watch 2018. “Three industries—AI, blockchain and cybersecurity—dominate the list of companies that look like emerging tech leaders.”

 

  • This is another very practical application of AI — far from the legal arena. Earthquakes. More here.

 

  • And what might those earthquakes impact? How about “risky dams”? It seems AI may be able to locate those too. Story here

 

Blockchain

  • Here’s another pretty easy to understand explanation of how Blockchain works. This one gets a bit deeper than most.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

    – ChainLink: Solving the Smart Contract Fiat Money Problem. “Smart contracts that operate via a blockchain have one little problem: you can’t normally use British pounds, dollars or Yen (i.e fiat money), to conduct business with them. Instead you have to use a cryptocurrency, something that not everyone wants to do. But, ChainLink is working to get around that problem using what the blockchain world calls an ‘oracle’….” Here’s how it works.

– “Blockchain developer the Tezos Foundation has announced that it will issue an undisclosed sum as a grant to Clause to develop a smart legal contract layer on top of the Tezos blockchain.” Details here.

 

  • From Knobbe Martins‘ Bridget A. Smith: Banks Hate Cryptocurrency, But Are Filing Patents Anyway. “The major investment banks have criticized cryptocurrency and blockchain. For example, in their 2018 form 10-k filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan all noted the risks that blockchain and cryptocurrency posed to their bottom lines.”

 

  • Here are a few more thoughts as to how AI and Blockchain may speed each others’ development. How Blockchain Technology Can Transform Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Blockchain has had a mark on the financial sector with cryptocurrency as well as throughout the future of software development. As it continues to improve the way that we encrypt, examine and handle large datasets this can play a particularly important role in the development of AI.”

 

  • Here’s a bit of clickbait from Forbes: Economist Nouriel Roubini Says ‘Blockchain Is Useless, All ICOs Are Scams’. “For Roubini, blockchain is nothing but useless and over-hyped technology. It will never go anywhere because of the proof of stake and the scalability issues. No matter what, this is not going to become another benchmark because it is just too slow.” The author presents contrary views.

 

  • From Roger Aitken via Forbes, this is a deep dive into smart contracts: ‘I Fought The Law’ & Blockchain Won: Smart Contracts For Businesses Handling Legal Have Conviction. “The digital revolution might be changing just about every aspect of society. But for some aspects, the changes can come slowly. Take for instance the legal and justice systems.” “Fortunately, the sector is not entirely opposed to digitization. Digital justice – encapsulating how the justice system and court rooms the world over can leverage technology to save money – is steadily gaining traction (i.e. including PA systems, large screens, video conferencing and high definition displays).”

 

Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, kicks off at 9 AM PT today. There will certainly be consumer-related AI news, perhaps B2B and even legal. I’ll cover it tomorrow. The conference will be streamed live on the WWDC website and mobile app. WWDC runs June 4-8, 2018, in San José, USA. Here are some guesses as to what will be unveiled.

 

  • According to the ABA Journal, “ABA Techshow 2018 went beyond the usual focus on legal technology and provided sessions on leadership, team building and mindfulness.” “Those technologies took center stage as multiple panelists and speakers talked in March about the ways lawyers can augment their practices by utilizing artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality and the ‘internet of things’.”

Interesting. I’ve always thought the ABA’s mission was to protect lawyers and their industry from change/progress.

 

  • Heart-ificial Intelligence: “John C Havens (author of Heartifical Intelligence: Embracing our Humanity to Maximize Machines and executive director of the IEEE Global initiative on Ethics and Autonomous Intelligent Systems.) has a hopeful vision for the future but it comes with a word of caution. He believes that the cause of humanity’s demise will not be because of killer robots but rather due to our stubborn fixation on money. Speaking to Lawyers Weekly ahead of a major talk he was due to give in Sydney yesterday, Mr Havens argued that to avoid this fate, more companies should adopt the concept of the triple bottom line — a notion that values people, the planet and profit equally — and measure quarterly performance to those three standards.”

 

  • From Reed Smith: “Trust, accountability and a predictable legal environment will be required to ensure the EU remains innovative and competitive in the AI sphere, while retaining a commitment to fundamental rights and safety. The Commission proposes to establish a European AI Alliance by July 2018, bringing together relevant stakeholders to draft guidelines on AI ethics by the end of 2018. These guidelines will address issues such as algorithmic transparency, security, consumer protection and the embedding of key values into AI solutions.”

 

  • White & Case has posted Embracing AI, “A review of the legal and policy considerations that will shape the development of artificial intelligence.” (It’s just an expression of the need for regulation.)

 

  • From FindLaw: How to Handle a Discovery Request Targeting A.I., “While the discovery rules generally allow for liberal discovery, when it comes to eDiscovery, and a robot or A.I. would clearly fall under that hub, courts are less inclined to allow unrestricted access to an adversary’s system, especially if there are no reasons to believe they’ve been hiding anything. It’s almost always going to be a question of proportionality.”

 

  • Thompson Mackey, a risk management consultant at EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants has these thoughts about Artificial Intelligence and Professional Liability: “[C]laims of malpractice are common, so underwriting data is vast and pricing models are well-tested. Insurers are able to get comfortable with the risk, since they have decades of data upon which to base their premiums. In effect, they are confident in how much they will pay out for every dollar of premium they take in. The same cannot be said for malpractice caused by an AI.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

–  “Relativity has set itself the strategic objective of providing its platform to the broader legal tech world, including legal AI review companies focused on matters such as M&A and real estate, to create a new ecosystem for lawyers focused on doc review and analysis that goes far beyond eDiscovery.” Details here.

“The Accord Project consortium of legal tech companies, law firms and standards-setting organisations has released its first working prototype for Ergoa new domain specific language for smart legal contracts. The software has also been made available to anyone who wants to use it and can be downloaded from Github.” Details here. (FYI, Github is about to be acquired by Microsoft.)

 

  • Press release: “ayfie, a leading provider of search and text analytics solutions, is pleased to announce leading Norwegian law firm, BAHR, as its newest partner. Aimed at managing BAHR’s vast domain knowledge, ayfie will combine and leverage different technologies from its portfolio to get BAHR’s lawyers the information they need. All documents will now be automatically classified for efficient recall and BAHR can easily search for internal competencies, clauses, terms and documents.”

 

  • Legal Text Analytics: “The special issue of the Artificial Intelligence and Law journal on Legal Text Analytics (Vol 26 Issue 2, June 2018) is now available online on the Springer website. The papers in this issue exemplify recent developments in the use of language technology, machine learning, and data science to provide new insights into legal problem solving and analysis of legal texts. Topics include automated patent landscaping, the geometry and semantics of networks of authoritative legal texts, and legal text segmentation and classification. The reports demonstrate the growing application of Deep Learning and other state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to a range of legal problems. They also signify a growing appreciation that explainability, in the broader context of explainable AI, should remain one of the key objectives for such techniques.”

 

  • Here’s a very interesting thought piece by Mark A. Cohen, Esq., The Golden Age of The Legal Entrepreneur — Why Now and Why It Matters. My favorite paragraph:

“Lawyers crafted language, procedures, and an insular, homogeneous culture to differentiate themselves from the rest of society. This supported a “lawyer/’non-lawyer’” worldview and preserved their hegemony over the delivery of legal services. It also perpetuated the myth of lawyer exceptionalism. Law firm structural and economic models were predicated on lawyers performing all ‘legal’ work with a labor intensive, ‘no stone unturned’ approach regardless of client objective or value. Budgets, price predictability, and knowledge management were not a part of the law firm modus operandi, although their business clients operated that way for decades.”

 

  • And here’s an interesting (non-legal) post about AI and empathy. Artificial intelligence is being trained to have empathy. Should we be worried? “The move towards empathetic gestures in our technology comes as voice-activated devices are growing in popularity. The coming generation of products, driven by voice, will rely more on inference, emotion and trust, according to Ms Krettek, whose lab aims to bring “deep humanity to deep learning”. Even, possibly, a mutual vulnerability.”

Note, Neil deGrasse Tyson once remarked, “As long as we don’t program emotions into robots, there’s no reason to fear them taking over the world.”

 

  • Here, from Kira Systems, is a good primer on Contract Analysis AI. Contract Analysis Software: The Technology Fundamentals.

 

  • There’s more news about contracts re: “ABBYY®, a global provider of content intelligence services, today announced the launch of ABBYY Text Analytics for Contracts, a managed service that automatically discovers insights from contracts and leases to speed up risk mitigation, obligation analysis and content migration. With Text Analytics for Contracts, businesses can leverage the entire ABBYY technology portfolio to accelerate time-to-value and successfully implement their contract lifecycle management, robotic process automation and digital transformation strategies. The new scalable managed service uses AI to dramatically accelerate business decision-making through human-like understanding of contracts.”

 

  • Press release worth reading: Fastcase, … today announces the debut of its Artificial Intelligence Sandbox alongside several law firms, each known for their innovative and tech-forward approaches to knowledge and information management. … BakerHostetler, DLA Piper, Baker Donelson, and a host of other pioneering law firms are leveraging the AI Sandbox and participating in the developers group. Fastcase’s AI Sandbox is a customized first-of-its-kind platform that allows law firms to use artificial intelligence in a secure environment to crunch their own big data, compare it with public legal data or metadata from Fastcase, and analyze it using cognitive intelligence tools such as IBM Watson Analytics and Watson Developer Cloud.

– More details here: “Among the AI tools contained in this initial release, in addition to those from Watson, are indexing and visualization software from ElasticSearch; expert system platform Neota LogicContraxSuite, a machine learning tool for contract and document analytics from LexPredict; customized expert witness content from Courtroom Insight; and more. The platform will include legal data from Fastcase as well as docket data from Docket Alarm, which Fastcase acquired in January.”

 

  • From Crowell & Moring: “Crowell & Moring Launches Digital Transformation Practice. Team Delivers Regulatory and Business Solutions for Autonomous Vehicles, 3D Printing, Digital Health, and Other Technologies”

 

  • Norton Rose reports: “…(T)he Canadian government has begun a review of Canada’s Copyright Act with a view to keep the copyright framework current in light of digital technology. Written submissions are now being solicited from all Canadians on Canada’s Copyright Act, as the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (“Committee”) conducts its mandatory five-year review of the statute.”

And: “Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Global has signed up to Eagle Lab – a new law-tech incubator launched by Barclays and the Law Society. The aim of the lab is to help the UK be a leader in the field of law technology.”

 

  • Artificial Lawyer reports that, “Indian legal AI pioneer, MikeLegal, which provides legal research in areas such as IP, has now launched an NLP-driven trademark (TM) service, which offers search and an automated ‘TM watch’ capability.”

 

  • From Law.com: Reed Smith Enters the Legal Technology Market With GravityStack Subsidiary, “The firm’s new U.S. subsidiary will incubate and license legal technology, as well as offer tech counseling and managed services to law firm and legal department clients.”

 

  • When speaking about AI (e.g., yesterday), I usually start by urging folks not to get hung up on a precise definition of AI. In this piece from The ABA Journal, Jason Tashea discusses his confrontation with this ambiguity and how it will influence his reporting.

– There’s more about AI definitions in this piece from Thomson Reuters.

 

  • From Capitol Hill, specifically Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6): “The European Union’s executive branch, the European Commission, has announced that it will increase its investment in artificial intelligence (AI) research and development by €1.5 billion and called on member states to invest €20 billion as well.” “Our economic competitors in Europe and Asia are moving forward on AI, while we stand still. I sincerely hope that today’s announcement from the EU gets the attention of Washington and serves as a wake-up call.”

 

  • This essay by Mark A. Cohen discusses disruption in the legal industry. Among his observations: “Law has become a three-legged stool supported by legal, technological and business expertise. To date, no single provider has successfully integrated the three ingredients on a scalable basis. But the evidence suggests that’s about to change.” He says change won’t occur overnight, but “The Lawyer Levee is About to Break.”