• 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.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) is in full swing in Vegas, and my feeds are swamped with press releases and news coverage of the myriad AI-enabled products (like this one about a laptop with AI built in). I won’t even attempt any coverage here. If you’d like to catch up and have a few hours to spare, search for “CES 2019 Artificial Intelligence”. That said, this coverage of the keynote by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is quite interesting.

Now, the news:

  • Check out this very interesting post from Judge Penalizes Lawyers For Not Using Artificial Intelligence.”It may not be the most significant opinion, but it may be a sign of things to come.”
  • Bob also posted this interview with Judicata Founder Itai Gurari who “believes he has built a better legal research platform. A lawyer and computer scientist, his approach to designing a legal research engine was to first “map the legal genome” — that is, map the law with extreme accuracy and granularity. The result is a research engine that returns the best results the fastest….”
  • This story (Young lawyers “fearful of innovation resistance) from Legal Futures is based on a survey by the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA). I could not find the survey methodology, but there were 180 respondents.
  • “Chicago law firm Corboy & Demetrio said on Tuesday it filed a lawsuit against electric carmaker Tesla Inc alleging that its 2014 Model S sedan had a defective battery pack that caused the death of an 18-year old passenger in an accident last year.” Story here.
  • From Lawyers Weekly comes this storyHow to fight push back when accessing big data. “…Jay Carle … and Kathleen McConnell… of Seyfarth Shaw shared the benefits of using big data and analytics to both a firm and a client’s advantage.”
  • Mark Medice posted this interesting thought piece: Why a Digital Strategy is Important for Your Firm – Priorities for 2019. Good stuff.
  • Philip Scorgie, technical advisor for AdvoLogix made this post (Late for the Sky: Legal Tech and the Cloud) on ALPMA’s A Survival Guide for Legal Practice Managers.
  • “Forbes publishes 300 stories a day, and is developing AI software that writes first drafts of articles.” Story here.

 

Law Firm AI Posts:

  • Andrew J. Sherman of Seyfarth Shaw postedNow Is The Time To Figure Out The Ethical Rights Of Robots In The Workplace.
  • Peter Vogel of Foley & Lardner wrote this postGood News About The Future Of Humans With AI.
  • From the very prolific Giangiacomo Olivi of Dentons comes this postSmart farming: the rise of AgriTech and its legal issues.
  • From Epstein Becker: Employment Law This Week: January 7th, 2019: A Look Back and the Year Ahead. “In 2018, many employers put the potential of artificial intelligence (“AI”) into practice. AI is being adopted at a rapid pace across the country, and the changing landscape is creating complex concerns around workforce management.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Legal AI Litigation Co. LegalMation Partners With Ogletree Deakins + Interview with Patrick DiDomenico, CKO. Post here.
  • The Innovation Paradox: Lawyers Want Innovation, But Fear Market Change. Post here.
  • Elevate Buys Halebury Lawyers on Demand Service, Plus Interview With Denise Nurse. Post here. More coverage here.
  • Welcome to GROWL – The Global Rise of Women in LegalTech Initiative. Post here.
  • Smart Contracts: The Big Questions – Charles Kerrigan, CMS. Post here.
  • MDR LAB Legal Tech Incubator Opens for 2019, Partners with Microsoft + AWS. Post here.
  • Kennedys KLAIM Automation Platform Goes Global, Now in US, Oz + More. Post here.

 

News Releases and Sponsored Posts:

  • Pillsbury sign up for OpenText Magellan AI system. Release here. And a different version here.
  • iManage postedShort-termist approach to AI tech buying will give way to strategic and rational adoption in 2019.
  • Also from iManage, this post from Legal Support NetworkiManage – Unravelling the Labyrinth of AI Myths: AI does not learn by itself.
  • Exterro’s Winter 2019 Product Release Delivers Significant Innovations in the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Integration with Microsoft Office 365. Release here.
  • Claim Technology announce collaboration with Plexus Law, offering innovative outsourced claims solutions. Release here.
  • This is from HighQ: Leveraging technology as a driver for improved client experience.
  • And from Sysero, this piece: A New Way to Deliver Legal Service: The Scandinavian Approach.
  • Here in Nashville: Cicayda Announces Partnership with NAEGELI Deposition & Trial to Combine its eDiscovery Software and Professional Services with NAEGELI’s Court Reporting and Trial Support Services. Release here.

 

BLOCKCHAIN:

  • From Argentina: NEM Foundation to Develop Blockchain-Powered Copyright System for Journalists. Post here.
  • How cool is this?! The First Program To Train High School Girls With Blockchain Skills.
  • Here’s an interesting background piece: A No-BS Guide to the Blockchain as a Service Space Part I.
  • From Deal Street Asia we have this post: From AI to blockchain, Indian law firms add new practice areas to stay ahead of peers.
  • Press releaseOntology blockchain to create private smart contracts through collab with TEEX.

 

Law Firm Blockchain Posts:

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Blockchain

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

 

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

 

  • West Virginia Secretary of State Reports Successful Blockchain Voting in 2018 Midterm Elections. “…(I)n the 2018 midterm elections, 144 military personnel stationed overseas from 24 counties were able to cast their ballots on a mobile, blockchain-based platform called Voatz….” More here.
  • Congrats to Artificial Lawyer for turning two today (that’s about 100 in AI years!). From AL today:

Case Crunch Team Splits Up, CourtQuant is Born. “Simply put, it looks at old cases and predicts how new cases will likely perform based on models developed from patterns in the old cases.” Details here.

This sponsored content from Leverton describes their product, “an AI-powered data extraction platform, that applies deep learning/machine learning technology to extract and structure data from real estate leases, financial, insurance, and more corporate documents in 30 languages.”

Solomonic is described here. It’s a “new legal tech company provides lawyers with the ability to make data-led predictions on commercial and tax-related disputes by tapping previous case information to give a steer on possible outcomes for a new, similar case.”

 

  • For those new to legal AI, this post from Law.com is a good, brief introduction to what law firms are up to. Looking Beyond Document Review, Legal Is Branching Out With Artificial Intelligence.

 

  • The subject of this press release doesn’t sound like AI per se, but it’s Big Data (for a law firm). “EffortlessLegal LLC, a Chicago-based tech company bringing advanced automation and machine-learning products to the legal space, introduced today the launch of EffortlessIntake, a cloud-based product designed to automate a law firm’s intake process.”

 

  • Citing Allen & Overy as an example, this post from HBR (A 5-Part Process for Using Technology to Improve Your Talent Management) presents several useful prerequisites for successful adoption of data-driven tech in talent management.

 

  • Here’s a very useful guide to “litigation analytics”, including five types of these analyses and overviews of the leading vendors in the space. “The recent maturation of the foundational technologies needed to support machine learning have made advanced data analytics and sophisticated language processing possible on a scale never before seen. Using these tools, massive amounts of data can be sifted through, organized and analyzed in mere seconds.”

– On a related note, “Litigation outcome prediction has taken a further step into the mainstream with a partnership between a major litigation law firm and a start-up that presents lawyers with data on how judges have ruled in the past. Solomonic, which specialises in data science and litigation analytics, is scheduled for commercial launch in the autumn.” (Also, see post above re Solomonic.)

 

  • Wolters Kluwer’s Dean Sonderegger prepared this post discussing where legal technologies stands on the diffusion/adoption curve. Spoiler alert: he thinks we’re pretty far along.

 

  • Here’s the next installment of Thomas Fox’s AI, Compliance & the Value of Collaboration: Part III — AI Driving Compliance Process. “It is through this business process improvement that AI will help to drive greater business efficiency and, at the end of the day, greater corporate profitability.”

 

  • New York Law School “will launch its Business of Law Institute in fall 2018.” Courses and programs will include “Upper-level seminars on Compliance and Bank Regulatory Matters, Smart Contracting and Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity and Risk Management taught by outside experts in these fields.” More discussion here.

 

  • This half hour from Law Practice Advisory Podcast (Artificial Intelligence: Just Plain Smart Marketing) is largely speculative regarding legal marketing.

 

  • From K&L Gates’ Jonathan LawrenceUK Law Commission: Smart Contract Research. “The aim is for smart contracts to be relied upon even in the absence of trust between the parties concerned. This is because they facilitate a complete symmetry of information, and a completely transparent process.”

 

  • Valerie Kenyon of Hogan Lovells posted this piece, The connected home: From smart fish tanks to connected kitchen appliances, product companies must navigate GDPR and Product Liability Directive compliance, cyber risk, and other IoT challenges. 

 

  • Foley’s Peter Vogel posted this very brief post to their “Internet, IT & E-discovery” blog. Do you like the idea that Facebook is increasing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

 

  • Here’s a wake-up call re China’s AI ambitions. China’s AI focus will leave US in the dust, says top university professor.

 

Blockchain

  • BigLaw firms are working together to influence how blockchain technology will operate in the future. This post describes several such groups.

 

  • Singapore Airlines has launched a Blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet developed in collaboration with Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village.