• Here’s a very interesting article from Oxford’s Internet Institute and Faculty of Law. It’s more than six months old, but I just found it. Artificial Intelligence Crime: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Foreseeable Threats and Solutions. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and regulation seek to balance the benefits of innovation against any potential harms and disruption. However, one unintended consequence of the recent surge in AI research is the potential re-orientation of AI technologies to facilitate criminal acts, which we term AI-Crime (AIC).”

 

  • Baker McKenzie helped score a crucial win for Volt Bank, which has become the first Australian neobank to be granted a full banking license. “This is likely to drive materially improved banking services and further fintech innovation. It unlocks access to state-of-the-art software in the context of AI and data analytics in the banking space….” Story here.

 

  • AI patents: Who Profits From AI? It’s Getting Harder to Find Out. “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is making it increasingly difficult to obtain legal protections for inventions related to AI, a field that encompasses autonomous cars, virtual assistants and financial analyses, among countless other uses. The agency, seeing an influx of AI applications, is grappling with how to comply with a law that PTO Director Andrei Iancu has called ‘anything but clear’.” Story here.

 

  • This, from Bloomberg: Artificial Intelligence Creeps Into Big Law, Endangers Some Jobs. “Major law firms are preparing to incorporate AI at a speedier pace than ever before in 2019, as the anticipated industrialization of legal services picks up steam. Client pressures have been mounting on law firms—often slow technology adopters—to address concerns that old tech is keeping bills unnecessarily high. Clients are demanding that firms use AI-infused tools to speed work, lower costs, and provide better information.”

 

  • MyCase’s  postedI, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Lawyer Overlords. “Ready or not, the robot lawyers are coming. Or not. It really depends on who you ask.”

 

  • Here’s an innovative ALSP idea: What Happens When Legal Tech Meets Blockchain. “The result was a creation of an online platform that provides entrepreneurs with an access to a global network of ‘Legal Nodes‘– competent tech-savvy legal experts worldwide, from which businesses can “mine” relevant information to ease their journey through complex data sets of law, just like one would normally mine Bitcoin by connecting to thousands of nodes worldwide.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Kerrrrching..! DISCO Bags $83m Investment – Now Has $125m in Total – A World Record. Post here.

 

  • The Global Legal Hackathon Is One Month Away – Get Your Teams Ready! Post here.

 

  • Insurer ARAG Links With LawDroid In Legal Bot Project World First. Post here.

 

Law Firm Posts:

  • From Tim Watkins of Coffin Mew: Will AI replace lawyers? Assessing the potential of artificial intelligence in legal services. “To suggest that this symbolises the imminent end of human lawyers is perhaps leaping to a hasty conclusion. But it does raise a number of interesting questions. Are lawyers – or indeed any professional advisers and service providers – ultimately replaceable? And if so, how, where, and to what extent?” Post here.

 

 

  • This post is from Skadden’s John Adebiyi Pascal Bine Matthias Horbach Dmitri V. Kovalenko Jason Hewitt and Mikhail KoulikovForeign Investment Control Reforms in Europe. “Key sectors that will be subject to the framework are: critical infrastructure, critical technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, semiconductors, dual-use, cybersecurity, space, nuclear), critical inputs, sensitive information, media, land and real estate, water supply infrastructure, data processing and electoral infrastructure.”

 

Press Releases and Sponsored Content:

  • ContractPodAi launches Salesforce App as it continues its push outside the legal function. Release here.

 

  • Building a Brilliant Brief Library: Your How-To Guide. “In this article, we’ll cover the basics of building your own brief library, from tips on finding the best available documents to developing winning strategies to stay one step ahead of opposing counsel in litigation.” This piece is by Josh Blandi of UniCourt.

 

  • Tikit Carpe Diem introduces Intelligent Time. “(Which) interprets free form text and / or dictated notes and converts it (using Natural Language Processing), into structured and fully validated time entries. It turns unstructured data into structured data by converting attorney’s thoughts into fully formed time records.” Release here.

 

  • Litigation In The Age Of Big Data: How Everlaw Is Tackling The Most Complex Technical Issues In eDiscovery. “As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, lawyers and eDiscovery professionals are seeing their workloads and challenges expand.” Post here.
  • 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.
  • 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.”

The biggest story in AI this week is the launch in China of an AI (“Digital Human”) news reader/anchor person. It’s certainly not Uncle Walter, but at first glance it’s pretty convincing. “The Chinese AI anchor man looks very much like the average Chinese citizen, a typical Chinese guy with that oddly intellectual look. He looks reassuring, made for his market like most news readers’ images are supposed to be.” Coverage here, here, here and video here. “There’s fake news, and then there’s fake people doing the news.”

In related news, Microsoft has developed AI that goes beyond the now well-established systems that write news articles. “Condensing paragraphs into sentences isn’t easy for artificial intelligence (AI). That’s because it requires a semantic understanding of the text that’s beyond the capabilities of most off-the-shelf natural language processing models. But it’s not impossible, as researchers at Microsoft recently demonstrated.”

 

  • Read this post from Artificial Lawyer. It provides some excellent insights from the heads of legal departments in some major corporations as to where the industry is headed and why. Legal Is Not ‘Special’ – Key Message of TR Legal Tech Procurement Event.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer (AL) has begun to do product reviews. The first company to be reviewed is Kira Systems, and here is the link. It’s not actually a link to a review, but rather a call for users to review the product according to specified criteria which will then be reported. Cool.

 

More posts from Artificial Lawyer:

– BCLP Launches ML Early Dispute Evaluation Service. “Clear/Cut harnesses the firm’s award-winning in-house forensic technology capability.” More here.

– Big Data Startup Concirrus Wins Norton Rose InsurTech Prize. Details here.

– Using AI Contract Analysis to Prepare for Brexit – Seal Software. More of this sponsored post here.

 

  • Blank Rome publishedWill “Leaky” Machine Learning Usher in a New Wave of Lawsuits? in RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law. “…(I)t seems all but inevitable that some of those (AI) systems will create unintended and unforeseen consequences, including harm to individuals and society at large.”

 

  • Law.com posted this news from Byran Cave: New Data Analysis Service Could Help In-House Clients See the Future. “…Clear/Cut leverages predictive coding and machine learning to comb through massive amounts of data and pluck out key information for legal analysts, who use the data to recommend whether clients should settle or forge ahead with litigation.” More here.

 

 

  • From Laura H. Phillips of DrinkerThe FCC Wades into the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning Pool. ” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a Public Notice announcing a first ever FCC Forum focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This Forum will convene at FCC headquarters on November 30.”

 

  • This, from Jonathan BockmanRudy Y. Kim, and Anna Yuan of MoFo: Patenting Artificial Intelligence in the U.S. – Considerations for AI Companies. “…(C)ertain AI technologies can face increased scrutiny at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to whether the invention is directed to patent-eligible subject matter.”

 

  • James M. Beck of ReedSmith publishedThe Diagnostic Artificial Intelligence Speedbump Nobody’s Mentioning. This is a very interesting and thorough treatment of the FDA’s regulations and the need for more.

 

  • Canada’s Torys published: Software As Medical Devices And Digital Health In Canada: What’s Next? Link here.

 

  • From Pillsbury’s Ashley E. CowgillArtificial Intelligence: A Grayish Area for Insurance Coverage. Download here from The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law Vol. 2, No. 1.

 

  • Here’s an interesting post by Ian Connett of QuantumJuristA Future of J.D. Advantage Jobs? (“J.D. Advantage” jobs are those for which a law degree is strongly preferred, but not necessarily required.) As you might expect, the answer is “yes”, and the specific examples he presents are interesting.

 

  • “Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s on-demand cloud computing subsidiary, was partially HIPAA eligible — AWS customers could use Polly, SageMaker, Rekognition, and dozens of the platform’s other offerings to process health information. But Translate, Comprehend, and Transcribe remained notable holdouts — until now, that is. As of this week, all three comply with HIPAA.” Story from Venture Beat here.

 

  • Dentons has published this Market Insights volume titled: Digital Transformation and the Digital Consumer. There’s a chapter on AI and much of the content is AI-related. There’s a video excerpt here.

 

  • LeClairRyan has published Airplanes and Artificial Intelligence Parts I and II. “…(A)pplications for AI in aviation and its effect on the legal liability and regulation of those who use it.”

 

  • From Hogan Lovells, here’s a link to download Artificial Intelligence and your business: A guide for navigating the legal, policy, commercial, and strategic challenges ahead.

 

  • Milena Higgins of Black Hills is the guest on this episode of Legal Talk Network’s “Legal Toolkit”: Robot Takeover: How Automation Makes Law Practice Easier.

 

  • Here’s Part 4 of Mintz’ Strategies To Unlock AI’s Potential In Health Care, Part 4: How And When Will Congress Act?

 

  • At two events in the past 30 days I’ve been part of discussions about law firms acquiring tech companies. Here’s an example: Singapore law firm Rajah & Tann acquires e-discovery startup LegalComet.

 

  • “Nalytics, is working with Strathclyde University’s Law School post-graduate students on a new project dedicated to promoting digital transformation in legal education. By providing free access to the Nalytics search and discovery platform to students on the Diploma in Professional Legal Studies, the project aims to help students develop a greater understanding of legal technology and more importantly, its applications in tackling a range of big data problems.” Story here.

 

  • This article from S&P Global Platts (Commodity market AI applications are emerging along with new risks) cites partners at several prominent law firms among others. “Artificial intelligence and smart contract technology like blockchain are slowly being adopted by commodity markets, creating opportunities to streamline trading and other functions, but not without introducing challenges and risks experts said Thursday.”

 

  • Exterro has issued the results of another survey. (2018 In-house Legal Benchmarking Report. There’s a link here.) All that is presented regarding the methodology is “…with over 100 respondents (more than ever before), this year’s report surveys a wider distribution of companies, including more from organizations of fewer than 25,000 people than in the past.” So, I’m assuming there are 101 respondents, making the typical margin of error error about +/-10%. Given the wide range of company sizes (1 to 250,000+ employees) and the fact most fall into one size category (1,000-25,000 employees), I don’t see how there can be much useful information anywhere in the report. Law.com talks about it (without regard to the methodology) here.

 

  • Here’s another industry survey. (The Blickstein Group’s 10th Annual Law Department Operations Survey.) This one has 128 respondents this year, but reports data back to 2008 when they had only 34 respondents. This year’s stats are probably accurate +/-9% which means that many of the differences reported are actually in a statistical tie, and the prior year data with very small samples should be ignored. Above the Law includes a summary by Brad Blickstein here without comment on its methodology. When combined with the included content by vendors and law firms, I see this study as the equivalent of an interesting focus group — just don’t take the statistics seriously.

 

  • I find it interesting that this post from Kyocera BRANDVOICE in Forbes (Can The Right Office Equipment Improve Our Legal Culture?) has a section on AI. They include AI as “equipment-related”.

 

  • Here, from the New York Times DealBook is a thorough examination of the bias present in today’s artificial intelligence:  AI: The Commonality of A.I. and Diversity. (It’s written by Alina Tugend)

 

Blockchain

  • This, from ContractWorks: Are Your Contracts in Chaos? Get Organized with These 4 Tips.

 

 

Also from Artificial Lawyer:

Smart Contract Pioneer OpenLaw Goes Open Source. Story here.

  • Ron Friedmann has pulled together pieces from three WSJ articles to offer a bit of a plan for improving value to clients, and hence to the law firm. His thesis combines considerations of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Productivity, and Big Data.

 

  • This, from Eran Kahana of Stanford Law School: Artificial Intelligence and Computational Law: Democratizing Cybersecurity. “An effective solution to a new problem has to incorporate different thinking, an epistemic reconfiguration, if you will. It is a thinking that manifests in novel tools, combined with effective deterrence in the form of penalties for non-compliance. But going back to the different-thinking variable, I think that a good part of an effective solution is available in shifting focus from regulatory efforts to end-user empowerment, essentially enabling end-users to become smarter consumers in the Internet + ecosystem.”

 

  • Robert Bond and Hannah Crowther of Bristows postedEthics and Data Privacy. “The 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners has released a Declaration on Ethics and Protection in Artificial Intelligence. In it, the Conference endorsed several guiding principles as “core values” to protect human rights as the development of artificial intelligence continues apace. The Conference called for the establishment of international common governance principles on AI in line with these concepts. As an initial step toward that goal, the Conference announced a permanent working group on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence.” “Even if Scott McNealy was right in 1999 (when he reportedly said, “You have zero privacy anyway – Get over it.”), individuals deserve respect for their privacy. This respect does not always have to be imposed by law, but should be a matter of integrity and ethics.”

 

  • Richard Jeens and Natalie Osafo of Slaughter and May posted this via Artificial Lawyer: Using AI for Regulatory Investigations. “In this post, we consider and share our views on the opportunities, limitations and future uses of AI for investigations.” “…(AI) is not a panacea. At the moment, significant resource can be required to compensate for AI’s limitations, which are amplified by the unpredictable nature of investigations, and the evolving data protection position.”

 

  • This, from Mintz’ Rodney L. WhitlockStrategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, Part 4: How and When Will Congress Act? “Currently, there is no sense that Congress will actively engage in legislative oversight of AI in the immediate future – the lack of movement on the existing bills combined with the overall lack of more targeted legislation are evidence of this. However, we are able to identify potential circumstances that could spur the House and the Senate to get involved.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “Legal marketplace pioneer, Lexoo, will use some of its recent $4.4m funding to develop its own legal tech applications to support the lawyers who work through the platform and to provide a deeper infrastructure for them to use on client matters. Such tools, e.g. that can support corporate deal work, will also mean that individual lawyers, or lawyers based in smaller firms, will already have some tech tools on hand to leverage their skills and do more for the clients, and work more efficiently.”

 

  • And finally from Artificial Lawyer: “Pittsburgh-based tech startup Three10 Solutions has bagged a $250,000 angel investment to continue development of its AI patent concept search system, named Dorothy. It is also looking for design partners to join the project. Its central idea is that unlike some other systems, it uses NLP to do conceptual searches for similar products, rather than depending just on key words, which are rarely sufficient for a detailed analysis.”

 

  • I wasn’t aware of Australia’s Law in Order until today. Their website provides several useful pieces of content includingThe Importance of Having an eDiscovery Expert on Your Side. Of course, they are promotional, but interesting nonetheless.

 

  • From Legaltech newsArtificial Intelligence: Useful—But Risky, Deloitte Survey Says. “Four out of 10 executives are concerned about the legal and regulatory risks of artificial intelligence, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Lawyers shared with Legaltech News the concerns they’ve heard and gave suggestions to address those risks.”

 

Blockchain

  • From DentonsUK: Manufacturing The Future: Applying Blockchain To The Manufacturing Supply Chain.

 

  • From Howard KennedyBlockchain is not the answer to money laundering… yet. “There is no reason existing regulations should stifle the progress of blockchain in this area. If regulators can create shared platforms, then they could dramatically improve AML measures for financial services while reducing the cost of compliance. It may even result in an internationally recognised digital client-identity forum. But clearly there is work to be done.”

 

  • Korean, Singaporean Firms Form Consortium to Create a Global Healthy Blockchain Ecosystem. “Some of the biggest blockchain-focused companies, as well as one law firm, have formed a consortium to create a “healthy blockchain ecosystem” as well as develop several dApps that are strategically focused on South Korea and Singapore.” Details here.
  • From Above the LawHead-To-Head Showdown Between AI-Driven Legal Research Tools. It’s Casetext versus LexisNexis and there’s a clear winner, but I expect today’s winner will lose tomorrow as all of these applications are improving so quickly.

 

  • “Former FBI lawyer Lisa Osofksy today allayed lingering doubts about the future of the Serious Fraud Office as she delivered her first speech as director of the agency. Osofsky, who has dual US and British nationality, affirmed that she has the attorney-general’s support to maintain the independence and prominence of the SFO over her five-year term.” … “She also wants to enhance the agency’s use of technology to help crack data-heavy cases. Osofsky cited the example of deploying an artificial intelligence robot to help check for privileged material in the landmark Rolls Royce case back in 2016. This led to an 80% saving in the area it was used.” Partners from WilmerHale and White & Case comment in the article. More here.

 

  • Claim Technology, a LawTech start-up pioneering a digital Claims-as-a-Service platform, has integrated their solution with leading customer messaging platform, Intercom. Law firms who use Claim Technology’s chatbot, Robin, can now empower their customers to complete tasks, share media, and get real-time answers to their questions at the point of claim.” Post from Legal Futures.

 

  • Also from Legal FuturesSeries A Extraordinaire: Insight Venture Partners takes a $50m minority stake in Kira Systems. I have generally stopped posting about investments in legal AI because they have become so common, but I will post those that are unusually large or otherwise noteworthy. “Kira, which despite being bootstrapped until now has in the past three years grown from 15 to 115 employees and counts a majority of the global top 30 law firms as customers, signed the deal with Insight Venture last week in order to exponentially (a bit of hyperbole?) accelerate its growth within the legal sector and beyond.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: Kennedys Brings India Tech Team Inhouse, Launches ‘Kognitive Computing’. “The firm said that the new team is focused on ‘rapid prototyping, application development, text analytics, machine learning and blockchain‘.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: Meet Tolley.Ai The World’s First Tax Bot, And Help It To Learn. “The tax group within LexisNexis, known as Tolley, has created an NLP-driven, automated tax bot that can answer questions about accounting issues and learn from the feedback you give it. It may prove to be of use to both accountants and lawyers working in this field.” Lots of details here.

 

  • Colorado’s new consumer data protection law among the most demanding in the country. “The law establishes three key responsibilities for businesses and government entities that keep either paper or electronic documents containing Coloradans’ personal identifying information, the Colorado Office of the Attorney General says. It applies to all businesses, from one-person operations or multi-national corporations.” Details from the Denver Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • Pepper Hamilton’s Daniel Sieck postedBlockchain for the Energy Industry: Mid Market Trends – Investor Interest Is On The Rise. “While M&A deal flow remains relatively low in this sector, it is expected to increase, especially among corporate strategic acquirers seeking to obtain blockchain innovation and expertise rather than develop it in house.”
  • More from Mayer Brown’s Rebecca Eisner: Mayer Brown’s Tech Talks, Episode 1: Staying Ahead Of AI. The 24-minute lecture is aimed at “technology lawyers.” It starts with the basics of AI and gets to (the paltry) regulation of AI, AI IP, and specific legal applications. Good speaker with good material!

 

  • This article (What the ML Patent Application Boom Means for Tech) reports that in spite of a lack of precise numbers, it’s clear that there has been a substantial upswing in AI-related patents. “Lauren Hockett, … a partner in the San Diego office of intellectual property law firm Knobbe Martens, says … “My practice does involve a large number of machine learning and artificial intelligence patent applications, and that’s really blossomed over the past two to three years.” “Most of the applications I’ve prepared and filed in the machine learning and artificial intelligence space are relatively recent. Most of those are still waiting in line.” The patent backlog and reasons for it are discussed in-depth as are patent litigation (and the use of Machine Learning patents) as business tools/weapons.

 

  • This is an excellent post from ALM’s Erin Hichman and Patrick (still proud of that high school portrait) Fuller. AI: The Next Big Thing Is Already Here. It features “…five key takeaways to help keep your firm on top with technology.” “For law firm leaders, the question is not if they should invest in AI, but rather where should they start? Learn from early adopters both in and outside the legal industry to make smart AI investments.”

 

  • “Above the Law and Thomson Reuters launched Law2020, a four-part, multimedia exploration of how artificial intelligence and similar emerging technologies are reshaping the practice and profession of law.” “To accompany these articles, we have launched the Law2020 podcast, in which I interview distinguished legal and technology experts about AI’s effects on different fields and issues within the law. The episodes and experts are as follows:

1. Access to JusticeDaniel Linna, Professor of Law in Residence and the Director of LegalRnD – The Center for Legal Services Innovation at Michigan State University College of Law.

2. Legal EthicsMegan Zavieh, ethics and state bar defense lawyer.

3. Legal ResearchDon MacLeod, Manager of Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton and author of How To Find Out Anything and The Internet Guide for the Legal Researcher.

4. Legal AnalyticsAndy Martens, SVP & Global Head Legal Product and Editorial at Thomson Reuters.”

 

  • Shearman & Sterling has posted a link to “How can we ensure that big data does not make us prisoners of technology?” by Charles Randell, Chair of the FCA and Payment Systems Regulator. A brief summary is here.

 

  • Pillsbury’s Tim Wright wrote this piece for ComputerWeekly.com: AI: Black boxes and the boardroom. “Isaac Asimov, the famous science fiction writer, once laid down a series of rules to protect humanity from AI. Perhaps it is time businesses did the same. After all, we can’t know the future, but we can prepare for it. And with AI, the future is now.”

 

  • From the ABA Journal, Nicole Black of MyCase: Finding treasure with litigation data analytics software. “There is a treasure trove of litigation data that for years was virtually inaccessible. While court rulings and filings were available and individual documents could be accessed and viewed, the technology needed to search and analyze the data and provide useful, actionable information simply did not exist. In 2018, that’s no longer the case.”

Also from Nicole Black: The Duty of Legal Technology Competence: How To Keep Up and 3 Ways Law Firms Can Improve the Client Experience Using Technology.

 

  • Chatbots for law firms: “Tom Martin created LawDroid, a chatbot that drafts and files California incorporations over Facebook Messenger.” Details here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Legal AI company, LexPredict, has launched a new User Interface (UI) for its ContraxSuite NLP/ML platform to make it easier for a broader range of people, especially those who are not tech experts, to use the system. More here.

– Legal data collaboration company, HighQ, has just announced legal AI company, Kira Systems, as its launch partner for its new AI Hub platform, which allows supported third-party AI engines to be integrated into legal processes and workflows within HighQ. Details here.

Here’s their detailed summary of the first session of ILTACON 2018, 1st Legal AI Session Write Up, Looks Like ILTACON Loves AI.

 

Blockchain

  • “Chinese tech companies may outpace their foreign counterparts in developing blockchain technology with the help of government moves to foster intellectual property protections, IP attorneys told Bloomberg Law.” “Between 2008 and 2017, Chinese companies submitted 550 patent applications on blockchain technology around the world, surpassing the U.S. and South Korea to become the world’s largest applicant worldwide, according to a report by Chinese media site Sina.com.” Details here.
  • The big news yesterday was Thomson Reuters’ launch of “…Westlaw Edge, an updated, artificial intelligence-assisted legal research platform. The updates include new warnings for invalid or questionable law, litigation analytics, a tool to analyze statutory changes and an improved AI-enhanced search called WestSearch Plus.” Here’s their video promo piece, and here the press release. Kudos to Thomson Reuters for garnering so much coverage, such as here and here. This early review by Bob Ambrogi is especially interesting, as is this from Jean O’Grady.

At the same time, Artificial Lawyer has this coverage of Eikon Digest, Thomson Reuters’ “new algorithmic research service aimed at the financial sector, in a move that shows the increasing use of machine learning, NLP and related tech.”

 

  • Meanwhile, “LexisNexis® Legal & Professional today announced the launch of Lexis Analytics, a comprehensive suite of analytics tools that leverages advanced technology, vast stores of legal content and expert curation to give lawyers a decisive competitive advantage in the business and practice of law.” Here’s the press release.

 

  • From LegalWeek, here are Jeffrey Catanzaro’s thoughts about: What junior lawyers need to know about artificial intelligence. “The new lawyers of today are the managing partners and general counsel of tomorrow, and although some commentators may assert that the profession is disruption-free, an increasing body of evidence does suggest the contrary. As the American media mogul Ryan Kavanaugh once said: -The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don’t react to it decades later. You can’t fight innovation.'”

 

  • Tracy Molino of Dentons has these thoughts about: The practical uses of distributed ledger technology, beyond cryptocurrencies. She breaks down the applications by industry. “Dentons is proud to be the first Canadian law firm to join the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC).”

 

  • This piece from The Economist, Law firms climb aboard the AI wagon, doesn’t break any new ground, but provides an overview of law firm applications of AI and the possible ramifications thereof. “Will legal employment eventually shrink? The jury is still out. Some firms expect to employ fewer graduates. But others argue that cheaper services could encourage clients to consult their lawyers more. And although some tasks are automatable, many others rely on human judgment. AI might pinpoint atypical clauses in contracts, for example, but it cannot decide if the anomaly is a deal-breaker. In any event, lawyers should start to find their work more interesting.”

 

  • Here’s a new A2J tool! “An artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed for businesses is to help staff at food banks and MPs’ surgeries refer legal enquiries from members of the public to lawyers….” “What we will be offering is a tool to connect advice givers and lawyers, rather than a replacement for initiatives already taking place.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, “US law firm Fenwick & West has taken the unusual step of making a public announcement about the positive impact its use of legal AI technology, in this case mainly Kira Systems, is having on the firm, stating that use of automated review technology has cut the time needed for such work ‘by half’.

 

  • Press release: “Seal Software, the leading provider of content discovery and analytics solutions, today announced the acquisition of Apogee Legal, a global leader in advanced contract analytics for the enterprise, in a move that will bolster Seal’s award-winning suite of market leading Intelligent Content Analytics (ICA) AI solutions and its global management team.”

 

  • I’ve posted several times about the burgeoning field of AI-based sentiment analysis and it’s use in applications from police departments to job interviews to advertisers. Now there’s an app for that, so you can try it yourself. “The app uses the latest emotional artificial intelligence (Emotion AI) to read 43 facial muscles 14 times a second, using the front camera of a smartphone. The app gives you seven emotional states – fear, anger, disgust, happiness, contempt, sadness, and surprise. It works while you’re watching a video from a friend, recording your reaction at the same time using the front camera. The recipient and the sender both can see the emotion results in real-time, with the top two emotions given priority. These top two emotions are shows with percentages, indicating which emotion is felt the most by individuals concerned.”

 

  • And finally, here’s a weekend thought piece for you: The New Intelligence: Modern AI and the fundamental undoing of the scientific method. “The days of traditional, human-driven problem solving — developing a hypothesis, uncovering principles, and testing that hypothesis through deduction, logic, and experimentation — may be coming to an end. A confluence of factors (large data sets, step-change infrastructure, algorithms, and computational resources) are moving us toward an entirely new type of discovery, one that sits far beyond the constraints of human-like logic or decision-making: driven solely by AI, rooted in radical empiricism. The implications — from how we celebrate scientific discovery to assigning moral responsibility to those discoveries — are far-reaching.” It’s thought provoking, to say the least.