• 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.

  • 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.”

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: Thomson Reuters is again turning to AI tools, now with a contract remediation system to help companies review and repaper legal agreements ahead of Brexit. In this case it will be using AI company Logical Construct, which leverages a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques to achieve its extraction results.

 

  • From Patent Docs: FDA Permits Marketing of First AI-based Medical Device; Signals Fast Track Approach to Artificial Intelligence.

 

  • SINGAPORE (Reuters) – In the not too distant future, surveillance cameras sitting atop over 100,000 lampposts in Singapore could help authorities pick out and recognize faces in crowds across the island-state. Some top officials in Singapore played down the privacy concerns. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last week that the Smart Nation project was aimed at improving people’s lives and that he did not want it done in a way “which is overbearing, which is intrusive, which is unethical”.

 

  • Google and AI Ethics: “After it emerged last month that Google was working with the Defense Department on a project for analyzing drone footage using “artificial intelligence” techniques, Google’s employees were not happy.” “(M)ore than 3,000 of the employees signed a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai, demanding that the company scrap the deal.” “Google Cloud chief Diane Greene … told employees Google was ‘drafting a set of ethical principles to guide the company’s use of its technology and products.’” “…Greene promised Google wouldn’t sign up for any further work on ‘Maven’ or similar projects without having such principles in place, and she was sorry the Maven contract had been signed without these internal guidelines having been formulated.”

 

  • House of Representatives Hearing: GAME CHANGERS: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PART III, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY, Subcommittee on Information Technology, APRIL 18, 2018 2:00 PM, 2154 RAYBURN HOB.
  • In so many ways, technology is outpacing regulation, but this week’s questioning of Mark Zuckerberg has many wondering whether the US Congress is capable of intelligently crafting such regulations. They just don’t seem to understand. Also from those hearings, “Mark Zuckerberg said today (April 10) in his testimony before the US Congress that he could see AI taking a primary role in automatically detecting hate speech on Facebook in five to 10 years.”

 

  • From Norton RoseAI is your new document drafter. “Document automation will ultimately save time and costs for clients, allowing the attorneys to focus on more intricate tasks. Document automation is, however, more effective with high-volume, low-complexity documents as there are few efficiency gains where a user is required to complete a detailed 20 page questionnaire to generate a single, complex document. In these cases, it may still be better for the lawyer to draft the document from an existing precedent with old-fashioned drafting notes.”

 

  • From Shearman & Sterling: “Shearman & Sterling publishes its sixth annual Antitrust Annual Report today.” “The EC has been very vocal about its concerns regarding the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence to engage in anti-competitive practices. The report explores possible scenarios and how an investigation would be approached.”

 

  • This sounds like an interesting new product: “Lawyers store their clauses in a multitude of places—email, local folders, old agreements. Clause Companion™ is a clause library that allows for easy storage, retrieval, and distribution of content, from within Microsoft Word and the documents they’re working on.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “India-based CaseMine, … has now moved forward with a beta version of an English case law analytics system, which ‘enhances traditional legal research to move beyond mere keywords and retrieve relevant results using entire passages and briefs’, driven by the company’s NLP tech.”

 

  • “The Asser Institute in The Hague in collaboration with a number of partners will launch its first Winter Academy on Artificial Intelligence and International Law early 2019. Expert academic speakers will be offering perspectives on primarily legal but also ethical and technical aspects.” Details here.

 

  • Similar to using cameras for ‘sentiment analysis’, “Fidgetology™ rapidly quantifies body language – to assess mental health, or to estimate enjoyment of ads or other media. Brain Power developed Fidgetology in collaboration with Amazon Web Services using the company’s newest cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and computer visions tools….” Story here.

 

  • Here’s a good example of using AI to stay a step ahead of malware threats. “SE Labs Test Shows CylancePROTECT Identifies and Blocks Threats Years Before Malware Appears in the Wild”
  • Eversheds Sutherland has issued a legal alert, “Legal Alert: Insurance Topics We Will Be Watching in 2018.” Among the targets, regulators “…focusing heavily on potential risks related to accelerated underwriting and the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in insurance, including trying to determine how these issues fit into existing regulatory structures.”

 

  • It’s not quite CES, but the National Retail Federation’s annual trade show in New York this week was a conference about shopping that “looked more like an expo for tech,” “crowded with alert systems primed to recognize heavy-spending customers, so-called smart shelves fitted with real-time inventory trackers and robots for every step of the supply chain.” The conference “featured … discussions of artificial intelligence, big data and automation filled stages and meeting booths modeled after fitting rooms.”

 

  • We’re just over two weeks into 2018, and I’ve already posted about three upcoming events focusing on AI. The latest AI Forum will be in Montreal, and is presented by “Element AI” and “C2 Montréal.” The rather vague description of the three-day event is, “The Artificial Intelligence Forum will look at the vast potential of AI while exploring the possibilities it harbors for the future. This year’s conferences and panels will cater to company executives and leaders who want to leverage artificial intelligence as a business solution, those who want to better manage AI’s impact on their existing resources, as well as those who strive to dig deeper into their understanding of this new technology.”

 

  • And another AI-focused webinar: “The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series, has announced today that Larissa Park, Partner, DLA Piper will speak at the Knowledge Congress’ webcast entitled: “Artificial Intelligence and The Patent Law: Promises and Perils Live Webcast.” This event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (ET).

 

  • Leading AI vendors like Neota Logic will be presenting at CLOC’s inaugural European conference next week. That’s one I wish I could attend!

 

  • Roy Russell, CEO of Ascertus Limited, highlights the top three technology trends in the legal sector in 2018: 1) “shift from optimistic to pessimistic security,” 2) “‘me too’ AI products will become prevalent and software vendors will rush to embed AI within their applications” and 3) “with the GDPR countdown truly in motion, law firms will adopt more advanced approaches to data security.” Details here.

 

  • This post from Gowling presents an overview of the French data protection rules and how they will be changed by the coming GDPR. (There’s a link to the free PDF of the article.)

 

  • Time and again I have argued that laws and regulations need to catch up to AI tech. Here’s a countering position by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue who, on January 10, 2018, warned that “techlash” is a threat to prosperity in 2018. Thoughtful moderation in the laws and regulations are certainly needed, but Donohue goes much too far in his resistance.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer reports that Casetext will soon launch of two enhancements to its NLP litigation analysis platform. 1) Black Letter Law enables users to quickly identify axiomatic statements of law. 2) The Holdings feature is the largest searchable collection of concise case summaries ever assembled. Much more detail here.

 

  • Cool infographic of Six Ways AI Can Help Lawyers here.

 

  • Here’s some AI that I, personally, am not crazy about: “Smart technology pioneer FliteTrak … is in advanced talks with European partners for the roll-out of its ViatorAero intelligent remote monitoring technology for passenger seating on major airlines, … the first working technology to monitor individual seats for such variables as temperature, movement, seat belt closure and mobile phone activation….” I do not want you to know that as we taxied to the gate, I prematurely unbuckled my seat belt and turned on my iPhone. Three cheers to Southwest for not caring!!

Y’all come! I’m be speaking on my home turf, the southeast, at LMA luncheons in Richmond (today), Nashville (Thursday) and Atlanta (Friday) this week. As always, I’ll present the latest in AI generally, and especially as related to the legal industry.

 

  • AI is not just for huge, IT-savvy entities anymore. Many are now providing “Artificial Intelligence as a Service” (AIaaS). This makes entry affordable for just about anyone, including law firms outside the Big Law ranks.

 

  • But back in the world of the huge, PwC, EY and Deloitte are making serious use of AI in ways relevant to law. These include: natural language processing (NLP), anomaly detection and report writing. All “better, faster, cheaper.” Speaking of EY, here’s more from Artificial Lawyer about their AI strategy.

 

  • Seal Software is grabbing a large slice of the healthcare world’s need for contract AI through a strategic partnership with TractManager Inc. (MediTract). “One quarter of all US hospitals use Meditract for compliant contract management.”

 

  • ALM reports that “Large law firms should learn from the growth of alternative legal service providers, according to a new survey by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium.” (This story requires subscription.)

 

  • Speaking of subscriptions, why in the world would Holland & Knight limit demonstration of their AI expertise with a story like this (“AI in Discovery: The Future Is Now”) by putting it behind a subscription barrier?

 

 

  • Artificial Lawyer reports that “Global law firm Allen & Overy’s online subscription business, aosphere, has unveiled a new range of legal and RegTech apps built using the platform of expert systems pioneer, Neota Logic.”

 

  • Here’s a clever marketing ploy: promote the new generation of AI-enabled phones, not as “smart phones,” but as “intelligent phones.”

 

  • There have been several stories in the last few days about AI systems, including necessary data, getting compact enough to put on a mobile device without direct/continuous Internet access. Here’s one such report. And another.