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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Law firm posts (blockchain included):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Press Releases and sponsored content:

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

 

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

 

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

 

BLOCKCHAIN:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

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

 

Posts by Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Press Releases and sponsored posts:

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Blockchain

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

First, a bit of real news:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Artificial Intelligence in 2018:

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Artificial Intelligence Forecasts:

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Blockchain in 2018:

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

 

Blockchain Forecasts:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • TechTarget interviewed several IT professionals as the basis for this postTechnology trends 2019: Expect AI, blockchain uncertainty.

This is shaping up to be a slow week in legal AI, so this post will be almost entirely devoted to giving you a taste of what’s going on in the wider AI world.

  • Here are Five of the scariest predictions about artificial intelligence.

 

  • And in a kinda similar vein, here’s Debunking 8 Myths About AI in the Workplace.

 

  • AI is moving into HR in several ways. A few are discussed hereThe 4 trends changing recruitment, and the opportunities that they provide for background screening.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence: A net positive for banks. “The steady increase of AI in banking, however, will likely have both positive and negative impacts on the banking industry.” Details here.

 

  • AI is improving Business Intelligence (BI) by helping us ask better questions. “For example, AI is starting to allow BI technology to:
    • Tell you what question you should have asked, instead of just answering the one you did.
    • Provide relevant, interesting, additional insights about the question you did ask.
    • Identify anomalies in the data that might be actionable and proactively alert a business person that action may need to be taken—even if they’ve never asked a question about that dataset in the past.”

More here.

 

  • Using artificial intelligence, researchers are teaching a computer to read the Vatican’s secret archives. Coverage here and here.

 

 

  • And speaking of healthcare, here’s Expert Insights: The Future of Drug Discovery Looks to be in the Hands of Artificial Intelligence.

 

 

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu is using AI to drive ad sales and it appears to be paying off. “Company reported a record $3.93 billion in quarterly revenue as net income soared 45%.” Details from the WSJ here.

 

  • As we become more used to talking to computers and other devices, chatbots are poised to take over B2C and even B2B customer service (and your website). Here’s Why AI is The Next Revolution In Customer Service.

 

  • The other world powers are involved, so it’s no surprise that: India considering military usage of Artificial Intelligence. for Defence told the Lok Sabha that the ministry has initiated the process of preparing Indian defence forces in their use of and leveraging India’s capabilities in sectors.”

 

 

  • Here’s an interesting blockchain story from the WSJ: Nestlé Blockchain Test Traces Ingredients From Suppliers to the Mouths of Babes.

 

  • From the Australian edition of the Daily Mail (of course), here’s Inside a sex robot factory: The frighteningly realistic ‘breed’ of AI-equipped androids – and why the popular ‘female’ has a Scottish accent. It’s pretty much safe for work. There’s a male version in the works.

 

And here are just a couple of bits re the legal world.

 

  • From Cooley: “The European Commission recently announced that Croatia has become the last Member State to sign the Declaration of Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence. As discussed in our recent blog, the Declaration commits all Member States to cooperate on an EU wide AI strategy. The EC’s strategy is part of a wider programme to develop digital skills and to invest heavily in research and innovation. Part of that strategy will involve coordinating funding across Europe to create synergies. The EC has recognized that AI is an area where you must invest to see results and has proposed a budget of €2.5 billion to assist with the adoption of AI across Europe.”

 

  • From Above the Law: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Legal Research. Quotes include, “It’s not technology for the sake of technology.” and “It might be more fun to use cutting-edge technology to solve a problem, but sometimes we might use older technology, depending on the issue.” “The goal is always solving the problem and helping the customer.”

 

  • It’s legal, but this is from Wired Magazine: Despite Pledging Openness, Companies Rush to Patent AI Tech.

 

  • “Clifford Chance (CC) has launched a new training contract focused on legal technology, as the firm looks to nurture up-and-coming talent with an aptitude for areas such as fintech, coding and artificial intelligence. The pilot scheme, called IGNITE, will start in autumn 2021…. The positions, which will be open to law and non-law students, will sit alongside CC’s existing training contracts, and include traditional seat rotations. At the end of the contract, successful trainees will have the opportunity to join one of CC’s key practice areas: capital markets, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, finance, real estate and tax.” More here.

 

  • From Law.com: Law Firms Need Artificial Intelligence to Stay in the Game, “The Legal Department Is Savvier and Has More Options In the Form of ASPs and Legal Technology. It’s Time for Law Firms to Embrace Change. AI Is a Key Ingredient In Doing So.”

 

 

  • Facial recognition AI has been in the news and on my mind a lot lately. Of course, there are legal implications, but regardless of that aspect, these developments are a big deal of which you should be aware.

– Traveling this 4th of July? Orlando’s airport has rolled out facial recognition for all departing passengers in an attempt to speed up lines (e.g., no need to show your passport at the gate). It takes two seconds and is 99%+ accurate. (Passengers can opt out.) This story from CBS News discusses the privacy implications.

– Could this get a bit out of control? Here’s a case study: “(a)cross China, a network of 176 million surveillance cameras, expected to grow to 626 million by 2020, keeps watch on the country’s over 1.3 billion citizens.” (That’s a camera for every two people.) And, the intent is total surveillance, including inside people’s homes. “According to the official Legal Daily newspaper, the 13th Five Year Plan requires 100 percent surveillance and facial recognition coverage and total unification of its existing databases across the country. By 2020, China will have completed its nationwide facial recognition and surveillance network, achieving near-total surveillance of urban residents, including in their homes via smart TVs and smartphones.” “Soon, police and other officials will be able to monitor people’s activities in their own homes, wherever there is an internet-connected camera.”

Are they effective? Last year, “(i)t took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology.” That story here. And the case of the stolen potato here.

– “We live in a surveillance society: A U.S. citizen is reportedly captured on CCTV around 75 times per day. And that figure is even higher elsewhere in the world. Your average Brit is likely to be caught on surveillance cameras up to 300 times in the same period.” This post describes how those images can be used to spot (and even predict) crime.

This post (This Japanese AI security camera shows the future of surveillance will be automated) shows AI technology being developed in Japan to spot shoplifters and discusses the concerns about such technologies.

Facebook and others (such as Adobe) are using such recognition technologies to disrupt terrorist networks and mitigate the spread of fake news. “(T)he biggest companies extensively rely on artificial intelligence (AI). Facebook’s uses of AI include image matching. This prevents users from uploading a photo or video that matches another photo or video that has previously been identified as terrorist. Similarly, YouTube reported that 98% of the videos that it removes for violent extremism are also flagged by machine learning algorithms.”

Amazon employees (like Google’s before them) are protesting their company’s selling of such technologies to the government. Amazon workers don’t want their tech used by ICE.

Many (including me) consider this a much more benevolent identity technology: Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips into themselves – here’s why.

 

 

  • “Mishcon de Reya has joined the ranks of law firms with high-level in-house data science capability, hiring UCL computer scientist Alastair Moore as head of analytics and machine learning.

 

  • From O’MelvenyFTC Seeking Input on Topics to be Explored at Public Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Topics include: “(t)he consumer welfare implications associated with the use of algorithmic decision tools, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.”

 

  • Here, from Digital Journal, is a discussion of the general ways law firms are using AI: Q&A: How technology is shaking up legal firms.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, Wolters Kluwer Joins Global Legal Blockchain Consortium. “The GLBC is a global network of key stakeholders in the legal industry, working toward rules for the standardisation, governance, and application of blockchain and related technologies in the global legal system. Its mission is ‘enhance the security, privacy, productivity, and interoperability of the legal technology ecosystem’.”

– More from Artificial Lawyer about Blockchain hereEY + Microsoft Enter the Blockchain IP + Royalties Sector. “Big Four firm EY and Microsoft have launched a blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management, joining a growing group of legal tech start-ups – which are operating at a much smaller scale – that have also developed similar blockchain-based IP solutions.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: Global AI Governance Group: ‘AI Decisions Must Track Back to Someone’. “A newly launched AI Global Governance commission (AIGG), tasked with forming links with politicians and governments around the world to help develop and harmonise rules on the use of AI, has suggested that at least one key regulation should be that any decisions made by an AI system ‘must be tracked back to a person or an organisation’.”

This Artificial Lawyer interview with Kira’s Noah Waisberg is more than just an overview of Kira’s rapid growth; it has good insights into doc review generally.

 

  • Here’s a somewhat entertaining look at how law firms are engaging AI vendors. Buying AI for Law Firms: Like a Trip to the Auto Show.

 

  • From Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. via JDSupraShould Law Firms Embrace Artificial Intelligence and R&D Labs? “Change is difficult, especially in the legal market. Yet a firm’s willingness to think differently reflects its ability to adapt, to ensure sustainability for itself, and to help solve that industrywide puzzle.”

 

  • This article from the NYT (Is There a Smarter Path to Artificial Intelligence? Some Experts Hope So) may sound negative as to Machine Learning being over-hyped, but it positively presents other types of AI. It’s a good read.

 

  • Also somewhat negative is this post from MIT about the AI threat: “AI programs capable of perceiving the real world, interacting with it, and learning about it might eventually become far better at reasoning and even communicating. ‘If you solve manipulation in its fullest,’ Abbeel says, ‘you’ll probably have built something that’s pretty close to full, human-level intelligence’.”
  • These thoughts by Paul Rawlinson, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie and sobering and realistic. Will lawyers become extinct in the age of automation? His observations include, “…(T)he market will kill those who don’t adapt. They are the ones who should be scared of the machines. For them, the robots are coming. The really wise lawyers, they know it’s not one versus the other. For those who can find ways to use AI to augment, not replace, judgement and empathy, I believe the future is very bright indeed.”

 

  • The Legal AI Forum has commissioned a survey (Artificial intelligence and the future of law) of “200 professionals within the legal sector” and presented the results in this report. Results like the chart below suggest their interviewees may be on the leading edge of things. More coverage of this very optimistic report here.

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “Global law firm Linklaters has partnered with the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, (ISDA) to build a platform that automates significant parts of derivatives documentation and also helps to negotiate initial margin (IM) issues.”

 

  • AI in healthcareNew data sources pose ethical conundrum for AI. “Technologists developing AI tools for healthcare must “completely re-engineer” their data flows around de-identified data to avoid regulatory hurdles, Stanley Crosley, an attorney who chairs the data privacy and health information governance team at Drinker Biddle, said.”

 

  • More from SOLI2018 here, including, “That includes embracing artificial intelligence rather than being fearful of it. Robots will not take your job,” said Shawnna Hoffman, global cognitive legal co-leader at IBM. “Robots will take away the things that annoy you, like processing invoices.”

 

  • If you’re at all interested in the legal (especially liability) implications of autonomous vehicles, read this post from Artificial lawyer.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “Luminance, is branching out into the regulatory world in order to expand its offering by covering areas such as Brexit impact on contracts and GDPR compliance. … the company’s initial strategy of focusing only on M&A due diligence is well and truly over, with a mission now to capture a greater share of the NLP-driven doc review market across different practice areas.”

 

  • Here are 14 Ways Law Firms Are On-Point With Their Tech Game.  Good examples.

 

From Law firms:

Clifford ChanceClifford Chance establishes Best Delivery and Innovation Hub for Asia Pacific in Singapore

Finnegan (podcast): Susan Tull on Patenting the Future of Medicine. “Artificial intelligence, or AI, is rapidly transforming the world of medicine. AI computers are diagnosing medical conditions at a rate equal to or better than humans, all while developing their own code and algorithms to do so. With the rise of AI, there are new issues of patentability, inventorship, and ownership that must be addressed.”

Hogan Lovells (white paper): ADG Insights: Artificial Intelligence. “…(T)he top legal and political issues affecting the aerospace, defense, and government services (ADG) industry.”

Littler (survey of 1,111 in-house counsel, human resources professionals and C-suite executives): The Littler® Annual Employer Survey, 2018. “Recruiting and hiring is the most common use of advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence, adopted by 49 percent of survey respondents.”

 

  • Thomas B. Edsall contributed to the NYT this opinion piece about the impacts of AI and other major economic changes (e.g., getting Trump elected). Industrial Revolutions Are Political Wrecking Balls. Sobering.

 

  • And now, some unsettling news about increased use of AI by Facebook and the Russian military.

 

  • Finally for this week, here’s a thought piece for your weekend by Anthony Giddens, former director of the London School of Economics and member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. A Magna Carta for the digital age. Among his recommendations:

The main elements of that charter are that AI should:

Be developed for the common good.

Operate on principles of intelligibility and fairness: users must be able to easily understand the terms under which their personal data will be used.

Respect rights to privacy.

Be grounded in far-reaching changes to education. Teaching needs reform to utilize digital resources, and students must learn not only digital skills but also how to develop a critical perspective online.

Never be given the autonomous power to hurt, destroy or deceive human beings.

  • From Osborne Clarke: “From a venture capital perspective, London was Europe’s premier destination for technology investment last year, with research figures showing that London attracted more funding than Paris, Berlin and the next seven cities combined.  Whilst Fintech continued to be a particularly attractive target for funds in 2017, the standout growth area over the last year has been artificial intelligence, with many VC investors pinning their capital to it as the next big thing by placing significantly more capital in AI businesses in 2017 than ever before.”

 

  • Press release: “LegalMation® was named by the National Law Journal today in its inaugural “Legal A.I. Leaders” list. Published as part of the Law.com network, the “Legal A.I. Leaders” list identifies and highlights the most innovative companies applying artificial intelligence in the legal industry.Developed by award-winning litigation experts, LegalMation® is the only legal A.I. solution that produces actual first drafts of key litigation documents—a fully automated process that takes 60-120 seconds. With no installation required or any functions to learn, LegalMation® identifies key claims and allegations of complaints and then produces high-quality first drafts of answers and initial written discovery. This results in substantial cost savings of up to several thousands of dollars per matter.”

 

  • Hogan Lovells has issued this guide to AI and space: “In this guide, we highlight the key challenges and commercial opportunities for AI and advanced machine-learning, with particular focus on space based business considerations. We also touch on AI in the areas of space, drones, and terrestrial convergence, particularly communications and imaging platforms or applications.”

 

  • Allen & Overy has issued this rather detailed discussion of “Using artificial intelligence to fight financial crime – a legal risk perspective.”

 

  • Foley Hoag announced its representation of “machine learning startup Indico in its $4 million equity seed financing …. Indico helps users benefit from the dramatic advantages of artificial intelligence and machine learning at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional techniques.”

 

  • I mentioned yesterday that it would be impractical for me to cover all of the product announcements and upgrades from Legaltech18, but I have to mention the release of Neota Logic 9 for a couple of reasons. 1. Much of what is being labeled “AI” is just Big Data, close but not exactly Artificial Intelligence per se. Neota Logic was one of the first in the legal space to have its tech underpinnings firmly in actual AI systems. 2. With this release, Neota is no longer the rather esoteric product (or was it a service?) that lawyers and legal business people may have had trouble figuring out how to use. With this release Neota is clearly positioned to directly address process improvement needs in both the business and practice of law.

 

  • Finally from Legaltech, this summary of a panel imagining what work in a law firm might look like in 2048. (I suggest that these predictions are all reasonable, but more likely to be in place in 10 years, not 30.) The session was called, “A Day in the Life of a Futurist Jurist Empowered by Artificial Intelligence: An Ethical Dilemma,” but from the summary, I don’t see the “ethical dilemma.”

 

  • Moving beyond legal, just imagine AI with a quantum computing platform. Among this article’s remarkable observations: “Quantum computers and AI also share another trait: exponential growth. Processors for quantum devices are measured in qubits, with today’s most advanced ones coming in at around 50 qubits. At this size they’re the equivalent to a supercomputer. At just 60 qubits, it would exceed the power of every supercomputer on the planet combined, and then some.”

 

  • Every few weeks I try to provide a fresh introduction to AI for those new to the topic. Here I go again: first, from Wired, this good history and overview; then from the NYT, this very accessible explanation, based on comparisons between AI and human intelligence; and from the University of Cambridge, this thought piece about the likely societal impacts of AI. And finally for the newbies, here are 10 (not 9) fun facts about AI.
  • This discussion of “Cyber security and AI predictions 2018” from Information Age is very relevant to law firms. It discusses the many motivations, vectors and targets involved. AI is mentioned as a necessary defense mechanism (as well as potential miscreant).

 

  • If you’re looking for a very brief intro to AI and its application to legal work, you can’t do much better than this short piece from Thomson Reuters. And here’s a VERY similar piece from Above the Law.

 

 

 

 

  • Governments involved in AI:

US (from Sheppard Mullin): Seeking foreign investors for your tech startup? Congress says, “not so fast.”

France to vet takeovers of firms in data and artificial intelligence.

– “Europe plans to spend €1 billion on supercomputers as it looks to keep pace with the US and China.” “…to develop technologies such as artificial intelligence and build the future’s everyday applications in areas like health, security or engineering.”

 

  • From CES:

– I love this: a security camera that, to protect your privacy, looks away when you get home.

– The NYT has dubbed this year’s event, “The Year of AI.” And The Economist says, Artificial intelligence dominated the Consumer Electronics Show.”

– This article discusses the ways tech being presented at CES may impact the insurance industry. “2018 is another year for further disruption in the insurance industry. It seems that most personal consumer tech can become an InsurTech that can change how we purchase and use insurance going forward.”

– AIcorrect Translator from Babel Technology in Beijing is getting attention. “It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish, major languages like English are further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.”

 

  • 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.”
  • This article from the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology (Regulating Artificial Intelligence Systems: Risks, Challenges, Competencies, and Strategies by Matthew U. Scherer of Littler Mendelson), is a bit long and complex, but it is the most thorough treatment of the issue (regulating AI) I have seen.

 

  • In Darwin, Australia, Ailira (Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant) is the latest development in A2J providers. “It can help clients with consumer legal advice from wills to business structuring and asset protection, as well as tax professionals for tax law research. With a few clicks of a button, a client can enter their details and will then be asked a few simple questions by Ailira, before the robot generates a fully certified will.” Cool.

 

  • Canada’s Stikeman Elliott has engaged iManage for work product management.

 

  • “As if the mere phrase “killer robots” weren’t scary enough, AI researchers and policy advocates have put together this 7-minute video that combines present-tense AI and drone technologies with future-tense nightmares.”

 

  • From the NYT, “5 Technologies that will Rock your World,” and they’re all AI-related.

 

  • Here’s a thorough update on AI surveillance systems ending with the admonition, “the use of AI systems in criminal justice calls for scrutiny to ensure legal safeguards, transparency and procedural rights.”