• Must Read: LawGeex is/are back with the 2018 edition of their LegalTech Buyer’s Guide. As promised, it provides: “130+ top technology solutions, definitive step-by-step guide on buying legal tech, first-person accounts from law departments, in-depth analysis of leading players in 16 categories of legal tech, and jargon-free explanation of legal “buzzwords.” Of course my favorite section is “AI: From Buzzword to Bulwark.”

 

  • From AustraliasianLawyer.com: “Several law firms are working with Tel Aviv-based legal tech venture LitiGate to further develop and test a litigation platform that uses artificial intelligence to automate legal research and argument assessment in relation to High Court applications. Taylor Wessing, Miscon de Reya, and BakerMcKenzie are working with the tech firm which aims to revolutionize legal services. Ben Allgrove, Baker McKenzie’s Global R&D Partner, says investing in new technology is paramount. “Technology and AI are transforming the delivery of legal services and our partnership with LitiGate is a great opportunity for us to support them develop cutting edge legal tech solutions, and ultimately shape the future of law. This collaboration is a core part of our innovation strategy and we look forward to embarking on this journey with LitiGate.”

 

 

  • Legal chatbot will tell you whether new EU data laws apply to your South African business: “Norton Rose Fulbright has launched a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that responds on the new European Union data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).” Story here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, “Pan-African law firm, Bowmans, has chosen Kira Systems for AI-driven review work in M&A, private equity and compliance matters.”

 

  •  Also from Artificial Lawyer, news of another player in the contract review field. “A new legal AI-driven contract review company, Heretik, which operates primarily through the well-known Relativity ediscovery platform, could well be the shape of things to come.”

 

  • Press release: “Swedish corporate law firm Setterwalls has selected Luminance’s artificial intelligence platform to improve the efficiency of its due diligence process in M&A transactions.”

 

  • Check out ‘Legal Robot‘, According to Inc.com, it’s “an AI-powered “legal advisor” that helps both lawyers and consumers build contracts. Built to overcome the difficulty of understanding legal language, the app uses deep learning and natural language processing to create models of contracts for various scenarios and uses. It can then translate the terminology into layman’s terms, compare documents to create a language benchmark for consistency, and ensure compliance. The app aims to help businesses identify risks and pinpoint their specific blind spots in creating contracts, and its ability to learn and transform its understanding boosts its likelihood of doing that.”

 

  • Amazon develops a new health team for its Alexa division. “Causing stocks to plunge across the pharmaceutical industry, to working with existing healthcare providers in a number of initiatives, the e-commerce giant is set to explore the potential of its voice-recognition technology further through its new health and wellness team.” Details here.

 

  •  This from SPACENEWS and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Artificial intelligence is changing everything, ‘We need a different mentality.’ “NGA’s answer is what the agency calls its “triple A” strategy: automation, augmentation, AI. “We intend to apply triple A by the end of this year to every image we ingest,” said Poole. It will be a massive undertaking. Just over the past year, NGA ingested more than 12 million images and generated more than 50 million indexed observations.”

 

 

  • Corporations are embracing AI. MIT’s Sloan Management Review reports that a recent survey of C-level decision makers at “nearly 60” (OK, not a great sample) Fortune 1000 or industry-leading companies, including American Express, Capital One, Ford Motors, Goldman Sachs, MetLife, Morgan Stanley, and Verizon, found that “an overwhelming 97.2% of executives report that their companies are investing in building or launching big data and AI initiatives.” If they’re that serious about AI, I imagine they would expect their law firms to at least be conversant in AI and its legal ramifications.

 

  • A2J: As part of a new class at SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas, law students have created legal apps to help the clients of civil legal-aid providers. NEOTA Logic is being used to develop the apps. This story makes it clear that there are serious obstacles in getting from the concept to actual benefits to the end users, but it seems like a great learning experience — welcome to the real world.

 

  • AI and the EU, from Norton Rose Fulbright: “In a research paper published in Switzerland, it is argued that AI that enjoys legal personality under a member state’s national law can invoke freedom of establishment to have its personality recognised in other member states. A member state would also be prohibited from enacting legislation that curbs AI. This would essentially come down to ‘free movement of algorithms’. If one of the 28 EU member states does in fact grant some form of legal personality to AI, the potential effects will be vast as each of the other 27 would be obliged to recognise such legal personality, regardless of what their own domestic laws state.” “While no EU country currently recognises legal personality of robots, the European Parliament in 2016 issued an official request for the Commission to submit to the European Parliament an official proposal for civil law rules on robotics. The Commission has not yet submitted any proposal to Parliament. These developments indicate that the EU is starting to think about how to treat robots. While the immediate future of legal recognition of AI in the EU is unclear, it is certain that robots will not rust in peace.”

 

  • Deloitte’s Artificial Intelligence Center of Expertise has crafted these top ten lessons for successfully embracing AI within a company. They are consistent with what I have been recommending to law firms.

 

  • DLA Piper has joined several other firms reported here in offering a guide for GDPR preparation. Also from DLA, this guide to “blockchain: background, challenges and legal issues.”

 

  • It has been a while since I’ve posted about the determination of Russia and China to lead in the international AI race. So as not to lose track of this important trend, there’s this about China’s focus on AI research and this from Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Bay City Capital managing director David Beier on the US government’s ‘disconcerting nonchalance’.

 

  • Here’s a fun post from Verizon. (I’m surprised I’ve only mention them once before.) They list nine AI developments and rate each according to its place on a “novelty” <–> “utility” scale and in terms of its’ “Terminator” score.

  • There’s AI-related work afoot in the US Congress:

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, met to discuss advancements in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, “to discuss the new and emerging role of AI in the nation’s growing digital environment.” Among the issues discussed were: threats to jobs, workforce diversity, bias, weapons, anticompetitive business, consumer safety, the ‘black box’ nature of AI (lack of transparency), lack of applicable laws and regulations, and developments in other nations (especially China). Details here.

A new bill (pdf) drafted by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) (‘‘Fundamentally Understanding the Usability and Realistic Evolution of Artificial Intelligence Act of 2017’’ or the ‘‘FUTURE of AI Act of 2017’’) asks the Department of Commerce to establish a committee on artificial intelligence to advise the federal government on how AI should be implemented and regulated. The bill includes five definitions of AI. Discussion here, and here’s the bill. Congressmen Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), John Delaney (D–MD) and Pete Olson (R–TX) introduced a companion bill in the House.

 

  • According to Bob Ambrogi, for 2017, “The Legal Technology Word Of The Year Is …” (I disagree a bit, as you might expect.)

 

  • Artificial Lawyer reports that, “UK law firm, TLT, has … entered into a strategic, multi-year partnership with Pittsburgh-based legal AI company LegalSifter, which includes a minority equity share in the US business.”

 

  • Norton Rose Fulbright today announced the launch of “Parker”, the first Australian law firm chatbot to respond on privacy law, powered by artificial intelligence.

 

  • “A Working List of Things Accounting Firms Will Be Fretting About in 2018.” I expect pretty much the same for law firms.

 

  • Here’s Major, Lindsey & Africa’s “2018 Industry Outlook.” Among the predictions, generally “uneven footing,” and “(g)reat opportunities … for those who are willing to adapt to the evolving needs of the profession and the changing conditions of the marketplace.” Most interesting: “(w)hile ominous predictions hint at AI ultimately replacing lawyers, this is far from reality. Instead, AI combined with personnel will make way for a supercharged lawyer.”

 

  • More prognostications (nothing earth shattering): “5 Artificial Intelligence Predictions For 2018.”

 

  • This report looks a bit further down the road: “Gartner Says By 2020, Artificial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Eliminates.”
  • From Law.com, an article by Danny Tobey, a Vinson & Elkins partner, titled, “AI is Here, Is Your Company Ready? (Hint: No).” First, a bit of hype:”The scale and scope of artificial intelligence is well-described. Merrill Lynch predicts an “annual creative disruption impact” of $14 to $33 trillion by 2025. Accenture estimates AI could double annual economic growth for 12 developed nations by 2035. Stephen Hawking predicts ‘the rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.'” Then the article gets into a solid description of several of the law-related consequences of AI, for which we are generally ill-prepared, or not prepared at all.

 

  •  Artificial Lawyer reports that IBM’s Cognitive Legal AI group and blockchain pioneer Integra Ledger have … launched the World NDA Project, which seeks to revolutionise contract management and analysis by combining AI and blockchain technology.

 

  • Here’s a ranking of the 100 most promising private artificial intelligence companies in the world.

 

  • One of the obstacles facing AI on several fronts is our seeming inability to understand how its decisions are made (as is obvious with rules-based systems). Such explanations are very important with AI systems making military decisions and when legal disputes involve actions taken by or caused by AI. This article from the NYT explains the problem in some depth and details research underway to try to move beyond AI as a black box.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer reports that legal tech start-up PartnerVine has launched an automated legal contract product for corporations, in conjunction with Big Four firm, PwC.

 

  • (Password Required) This is a good summary of a recent Legal Marketing Association “Twitter Chat” about AI.

 

  • This white paper presents the thoughts of Bas Boris Visser, Clifford Chance partner, about “Artificial Intelligence and the Future for Legal Services.” It is largely focused on international law.

 

  • This piece: “Will Regulating Artificial Intelligence Lead to a Brave New World or the End of It?” is a good example of why one must take care when surfing the Web for articles on AI; some oversimplify and/or get their facts wrong.

 

  • This article reports that Hillary Clinton says we need to do more to get ready for the large scale implementation of AI: “We are totally unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.”

 

  • The Irish Times reports that “artificial intelligence is set to rewrite rules for legal profession.” The article quotes Dan Fox, founder of ALSP Johnson Hana International, as saying, “It is an industry that is in desperate need of disruption. It is very traditional, extremely inflexible and ridiculously expensive….” The article goes on to quote several other authorities as it explains how AI is likely to supplement lawyers rather than replace them.

 

  • In this short piece, Adriaan Louw and Patrick Bracher of Norton Rose Fulbright describe a recent AI versus lawyer competition, and suggest that lawyers need not fear AI, and that “(T)hose who fear the disruption of AI in their career should consider becoming a preaching dentist.”

  • And here, several Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers weigh in on “Future of Transport: Electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles.”

 

  • Osborne Clarke is a member of the consortium working on the ADAS&ME project – an EU digital transport initiative set up by the European Commission. (ADAS&ME stands for “Adaptive Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) to support incapacitated drivers Mitigate Effectively risks through tailor-made Human Machine Interface (HMI) under automation”.)

 

  • Press Release: “Digital Economy Technology Service for Lawyers” is a research service offered by Wintergreen Research.  It is reported to be “a way for lawyers to get quick and accurate insight into technology that relates to their caseload.”