• From Above the Law, Patrick Fuller’s thoughts on law firms’ obstacles to adoption of AI-based technologies. “The biggest obstacles for getting firms to adopt AI tend to be combinations of different factors — most notable are attorney compensation structure, the matter’s fee arrangement, and the practice area as well.” More of Patrick’s thoughts and findings of the recent ALM survey here. And since it’s Friday, here’s what I assume is his high school yearbook headshot.


  • Interesting thoughts regarding the use of blockchain for betting and the obstacles to its regulation here. Crypto Prediction Market on Blockchain Raises Regulatory Concerns. “(A) contract listed on the site may be worth watching. It asks, ‘Will the Forecast Foundation face an enforcement action from the SEC or CFTC before Dec. 21, 2018 for hosting unregulated derivatives markets?'”


  • Here’s more about Blockchain from K&L Gates: Blockchain Energizer – Volume 32. They review two developments: “The Arizona Corporation Commission Opens the First Blockchain-focused Utility Regulatory Docket,” and “Energy Web Foundation and LO3 Energy Partner to Standardize Data on Tobalaba.”


  • A legal conference with it’s own AI-powered chatbotAPAC regional legal tech conference LexTech launches AI assistant. “Called, LEXi, the Artificial Intelligence chatbot was developed by Malaysia’s CanChat and will focus on addressing enquiries of LexTech delegates in real-time via Facebook Messenger….”


  • From Law360The Future Of Authenticating Audio And Video Evidence. “Audio and, to a much greater extent, video are the preeminent forms of probative evidence (both inside and outside the courtroom). Attorneys must at least begin to think about a hypothetical future in which audio or video recordings cannot be taken for granted. The recent emergence of artificial intelligence-based technology has prompted serious concerns about the…” (That’s as far as I could get without a LexisNexis account.  🙁


  • This half-hour video from the ABA’s Law Technology Today (Big Results with Big Data) pretty much delivers on this promise: “In this video, you will hear from the Chief Knowledge and Client Value Officer at Shearman & Sterling on how they are leveraging big data and litigation analytics to build a stronger case strategy for better management of client expectations. You will also get the inside scoop from a Product Developer at Thomson Reuters to see how they are doing big data differently to improve your practice.”


  • Squire Patton Boggs partner Huu Nguyen authored this pieceArtificial Intelligence Law is Here, Part One, “Law is being developed now, in order to set the rules of the road for the usage of AI. And we as lawyers should recognize it as a specific discipline.” “I don’t think lawyers will lose their jobs in droves to robots. But, nonetheless, the practice of law will change.” This first part is a bit of a teaser mainly providing background info and concluding with, “(t)une in for part two of this series, in which I will discuss robot speech issues, AI bias and transparency, regulatory guidance on use of robo-advisors by the SEC, proposed AI laws before Congress and more.”


  • Here comes another blockchain consortium, featuring law firms and tech firms. BakerHostetler, LexPredict and Others Partner to Develop Blockchain ‘Middle Layer’. “Agreements Network is slated to serve as an arena for lawyers and others to build technologies using blockchain for ends like contracts, asset management and evidence storage.”


  • I don’t believe it’s too much of a stretch to include news about the Big Four accounting firms’ relentless march into the legal space in a blog about legal AI. So here goes: Deloitte to Join Big 4 Legal Race in Singapore With Foreign Law Firm Launch.
  • Easily the most reported AI story in the past few days has been: UK & France sign major deal for AI & Cyber Security cooperation. “The plan will see the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, The Alan Turing Institute, partner with French counterpart DATAIA on research and funding initiatives.” Coverage here, here and here.

This post from Artificial Lawyer takes an in-depth look at the British Government’s support of legal tech per se.

– Another perspective on the UK’s attitudes and uses of tech in law is presented in this post: “Imagine Y Combinator of the tech world fame, but inside a law firm with open access to the partners, associates, technology infrastructure, and staff.” “…(S)ince the passage of the 2007 Legal Services Act, which allows non-attorney ownership of law firms (also known as an ABS structure) there has been an explosion in innovative business models combining great lawyers, business professionals, and technologists (think Riverview Law). UK Biglaw also seems to get that times are changing.”


  • But, while the UK and France are planning to become more competitive in AI, here, from CB Insights are the nine companies who have been acquiring AI startups:


  • Also from Europe: “Researchers from the European University Institute have developed a tool designed to use artificial intelligence to scan companies’ privacy policies to identify violations of data protection laws….”


  • Singapore’s government is also committed to investment in AI, in this case, specifically legal AI. “The city-state’s government has established programs to advance innovation in the legal profession. Can Hong Kong, Asia’s other financial center, catch up?”


  • Here, from Thomson Reuters, are more thoughts about use of AI in smaller firms. “So, what can a small law firm attorney do to gain the insights of large law firms and more experienced attorneys? The answer is artificial intelligence.” Much of this post is taken from their eBook, “Not All Legal AI Is Created Equal.


  • One of the ways AI is expected to become available to smaller organizations is ‘AI as a service’ (AIaaS). This area is expecting rapid growthWorldwide Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS) Market 2018-2023: A $10.88 Billion Opportunity – ResearchAndMarkets.com.


  • Gowling has come up with an interesting way to get its employees comfortable with blockchain. “International law firm Gowling WLG has introduced a new blockchain-based peer-to-peer recognition scheme for 1,178 UK employees working at its London and Birmingham offices. The Gowling WLG Reward Token scheme (GRT), launched on 2 July 2018, was designed internally to educate employees about blockchain technology and help staff to earn and share rewards.” More here.


  • This (Vera Cherepanova: AI doesn’t solve ethical dilemmas, it exposes them) is an interesting read and unusual perspective about AI and ethics, focused on compliance applications and implications.


  • Here’s more coverage of China becoming a ‘surveillance state’. “In some cities, cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted. Billboard-sized displays show the faces of jaywalkers and list the names of people who can’t pay their debts. Facial recognition scanners guard the entrances to housing complexes. Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States. Such efforts supplement other systems that track internet use and communications, hotel stays, train and plane trips and even car travel in some places.” The specific examples are fascinating.
  • From Jones DayMajor Patent Offices Meet to Discuss Adoption of AI Tools.


  • In this post, Jones Day suggests that Trump may impose tariffs on AI: “President Trump is reportedly considering another round of Section 232 duties of potentially up to 25 percent on automobile and auto parts imports. … Additionally, the administration has suggested that it is considering whether to initiate Section 232 cases on other industries, including semiconductors and artificial intelligence.”

This opinion piece from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that China may resist. Here’s how a trade war over tariffs between America and China could play out.



  • From Fisher PhillipsRobots, Automation and A.I., Oh My – California Proposes to Establish “Commission on the Future of Work”


  • JDJournal posted this discussion of AI as a threat to legal jobs. “Perhaps the biggest challenge for law firms will be adapting to a new business model that embraces and incorporates AI. The hope  is that an increase in capabilities by a law firm will result in an increased ability to take on additional legal projects.”


  • Peter Darling, AI consultant to the legal industry has some interesting thoughts in this provocatively titled post: Start Learning to Trust Artificial Intelligence; You’ll Make More Money. “…(O)ne of the most important levers firm management can move to increase profitability is to make these processes more accurate, more efficient, faster and above all, less dependent on human beings. This saves the firm money and time and, ultimately, helps the bottom line. Artificial intelligence is ideal for automating a lot of these processes.”



  • JP Morgan is unleashing artificial intelligence on a business that moves $5 trillion for corporations every day. (It’s the treasury services division.) Details in this post.

And JP Morgan’s treasury management services unit “…is reportedly testing an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bot to support corporate clients and anticipate their needs. The publication said such a bot would be a first for the corporate payments industry.” Story here.


  • I post about investments in legal AI every now and then, but I skip about 20 such stories for every one I post. This one seems particularly interesting: Seal Software unveils global partnership with DocuSign, announces $30 million in growth capital from Toba.


  • This teaser includes the link to a deep dive report by Deloitte titled: Machines with purpose. From theory to practice: Artificial Intelligence in professional services. The report is a review of where we are, the story of how we got here, and suggestions for selecting and implementing AI solutions. Oh, and they make the business case for doing so. Good stuff.


  • From the Law Society Gazette: “Britain has an opportunity to be a global leader in new technologies transforming legal business and access to justice – but should beware of complaceny, the minister for legal services said last night. ‘There is a lawtech revolution happening all over the world and I want to make sure the UK not only keeps pace with it but leads it,’ Lord Keen of Elie (Richard Keen QC) told an event to launch the latest ‘lawtech incubator’. However Keen warned ‘We cannot afford to be complacent’, pointing to competing initiatives in Canada and Singapore.”


  • This editorial from The Irish Times suggests that AI in legal may take a while, but “better faster cheaper” (my words) will come. Making a case for artificial intelligence in the legal profession.


  • Blockchain News:

– Cloudsight adds Bitcoin Lightning payment to allow instant AI-to-AI transactions. Story from VentureBeat here.

From Bloomberg LawBlockchain Patent Holders Look to Dodge Trolls, Lawsuits. “A surging number of blockchain experiments and related patent applications across various industries present ripe opportunities for patent assertion entities or trolls, as they’re often known, who could hamper innovation if not properly contained, patent attorneys say.”


  • Here’s more on MIT’s recent breakthrough on reading brainwaves. How to control robots with brainwaves and hand gestures. “Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory system enables people to correct robot mistakes on multiple-choice tasks.”


  • This is a cool infographic presentation about using AI in a small business. It includes sample vendors. Many of these applications are relevant for law firms. 12 Actionable Tips on How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence in a Small Business.


  • Because it’s Friday, here’s the link to a very good intro to AI from the Discovery Channel, it’s clear, pretty comprehensive, and very up-to-date. Here’s a review from c|net.
  • 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 Artificial Lawyer: Thomson Reuters is again turning to AI tools, now with a contract remediation system to help companies review and repaper legal agreements ahead of Brexit. In this case it will be using AI company Logical Construct, which leverages a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques to achieve its extraction results.


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


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


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


  • House of Representatives Hearing: GAME CHANGERS: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PART III, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY, Subcommittee on Information Technology, APRIL 18, 2018 2:00 PM, 2154 RAYBURN HOB.
  • This post by Roy Storm via Law.com is an excellent recap of where we are and where we are headed with AI in the practice of law. I’d say it’s a “must read” for practicing lawyers, especially young associates.

  • This is the first time I’ve ever posted a link to a complete issue of a journal, buy hey, it’s Friday, and I believe you should take a few minutes to scan through the current issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. It’s a “Special Issue on Evolving Legal Markets and Technology: The Future of Law Practice.” As does the Law.com story posted above, one of the articles references Lola v Skadden (620 F. App’x 37, 45 (2d Cir. 2015)):

“In (which), the Second Circuit held that contract attorneys performing discovery document review may not be engaging in the practice of law,” at least in North Carolina. The court held that “an individual who, in the course of reviewing discovery documents, undertakes tasks that could otherwise be performed entirely by a machine cannot be said to engage in the practice of law.” If courts hold that AI constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, legislatures may liberalize laws to specifically exclude such products as the practice of law.” (I added the bolding.)


  • Thanks to Artificial Lawyer for this coverage of the legal AI on other side of the globe:


  • Back in the USA, “…lawmakers voiced their concerns about shrinking government R&D funds Wednesday in the second of three House Oversight IT subcommittee hearings on government’s role in developing and implementing artificial intelligence.”
  • Here’s an interesting post from Goulston & Storrs about Amazon’s entry into the grocery market via AmazonGo, Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh. (Alexa is now being sold at Whole Foods.)


  • Want to freak out some of the luddites in your firm? Show them this article and suggest that your firm do the same so your receptionists can be especially warm to your best clients. To paraphrase the article, OCBC Bank in Singapore is using facial recognition technology to identify facial features in real-time, and thus recognise their Premier Banking customers as they approach the lounge in the branch without needing to stop to look at the camera, enabling the branch staff to provide a more personalised experience.


  • Sticking with the somewhat creepy side of AI, Google has developed an enhancement to several popular apps (e.g., Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Slack) called “Smart Replies” that learns how you write and will craft replies on your behalf designed to sound like you. It also considers your location, daily schedule and other information to which you’ve given it access. Then you review the message before it’s sent — so far at least.



  • This 38-page report from CBInsights does a solid job of describing the current state of AI and where its headed in 2018. It includes a lot of interesting data. Legal-wise it includes a heat map showing AI in legal as opposed to many other industries, and uses legal data (e.g., patent filings and equity deals) to measure AI activity internationally. The regulation of AI in healthcare is discussed. A handful of Alternative Legal Service Providers are listed. Here’s the Table of Contents:

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, with AI, it’s all about the data: clean, connected, current, comprehensive. Once you select a use for AI, your data is your crucial next step.


How much data? I haven’t checked this stat from “Information To Insights: Why Business Needs Artificial Intelligence,” but I wouldn’t be surprised: “If you gathered all of the data created in just one day and burned it onto DVDs, you could stack those disks on top of each other and reach the moon — twice.”


  • MUST READ: Bob Ambrogi’s ten recommendations to address the A2J crisis (and generally get lawyers up to speed re tech). Really — read this.


  • There’s more and more coming out of this week’s Legaltech. For instance:

From law.com: “(AI is)_the defining buzzword of this year’s conference, but the legal profession is still parsing what it means and how it will affect what lawyers do. Here are three takeaways:

1. AI excels at discreet tasks. And it’s only as good as your data.

2. The legal technology industry is still trying to build lawyer trust.

3. AI will put pressure on law firms. But not in the way you think.

– There have been a host of AI-related product announcements. Here, from Caroline Hill, editor in chief of Legal IT Insider, is a good summary. (I won’t even try to cover them all.)

– Here’s an interesting interview by Bob Ambrogi of Bahar Ansari, founder and CEO of Case.one (“case one”), about their pricing model and how to facilitate client relationship management via AI. There’s an Alexa interface! (12 minutes)


  • Fraud prevention: Nuance announced that its voice biometrics solution has hit a milestone for adoption of its authentication and fraud-prevention platform … with over 300 million consumers making more than five billion successful voice authentication(s)….” Users include, “The Australian Taxation Office, ICICI Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, TalkTalk, and Vodafone Turkey….”


  • From Allen & Overy: “In an age of artificial intelligence and robotics and where electric cars are now a reality, restrictive covenants in employment contracts are essential armour for any employer.” Details and how to manage the risk here.


  • I have reported several times on Bird & Bird’s interest and involvement in AI. Now, “Bird & Bird has chosen Luminance’s artificial intelligence platform to assist with its contract review for M&A due diligence. The announcement of the deal follows a successful trial of the technology across the firm’s London and Stockholm offices.”


  • From The Christian Science Monitor, here’s a good summary of where we stand re “Artificial intelligence plays budding role in courtroom bail decisions.”


Gordon Healiss, of leading transcription company Accuro, describes how modern transcription services work and what features of the service to look out for;

Norma Laming, who works in local government, describes the key features of voice recognition; and

Greig Duncan of leading document assembly company HotDocs describes automated document assembly and how this is reaching into artificial intelligence.


  • eDiscovery was the first widespread application of AI in the legal space, but according to this release from McDermott, there are still improvements to be made: “International law firm McDermott Will & Emery announced today it is enhancing its eDiscovery service, combining the most advanced artificial intelligence-driven technology with one of the most experienced eDiscovery legal teams in the world.” Their offering is “powered by NexLP’s Story Engine. This AI-driven platform helps legal professionals uncover the most important documents faster than traditional Technology Assisted Review solutions while leveraging a unique continuous active learning workflow to achieve an even faster, more efficient data classification process.”


  • More on healthcare regulations from Jones Day: “Artificial Intelligence and Health Care—Key Regulatory Considerations for U.S. Operations.”


  • I never know on which continent Luminance’s will land its next client. From Artificial Lawyer, “Legal AI Co. Luminance Opens in Singapore; Bags Bird & Bird.”


  • From Reed Smith: “Four months until the GDPR: Which EU countries have already implemented local GDPR laws? Is there anything relevant in these laws?”


  • Regarding our inability to explain how AI reaches any given decision, I recently posted the wonderfully title article, “Don’t Make AI Artificially Stupid in the Name of Transparency.” Along those lines, this from Quartz: ““Human-constructed models aim at reducing the variables to a set small enough for our intellects to understand,” “Machine learning models can construct models that work — for example, they accurately predict the probability of medical conditions — but that cannot be reduced enough for humans to understand or to explain them.”


  • This story has been widely reported: “A group of quantitative hedge fund traders long dreamed of bringing their artificial intelligence strategies to all. And now they have with the first exchange-traded fund to combine the worlds of AI and blockchain. The fund tracks the Innovation Labs Blockchain Innovators Index. The gauge, which was created by Innovation Labs Ltd., uses “natural language processing” to scan news sources in order to determine sentiment and spot keywords so it can create a portfolio of as many as 60 stocks.”
  • This is a very thoughtful and balanced piece by Scott D. Bailey, of Squire Patton Boggs re the implementation of AI in law firms.



  • From Artificial Lawyer, this is the history of one of the players in the AI contracts world, Eigen Technologies.


  • ICYMI –> A good summary of several of the programs at last week’s AI-focused College of Law Practice Management Futures Conference.

And from Kira, here are “7 Articles to Help You Understand How AI Can Transform Your Legal Practice.”


  • Another good example of Osborne Clarke demonstrating its AI expertise: “Can copyright survive artificial intelligence?”


  • The Guardian warns that AI regulation is needed, especially regarding health care.


  • Retail/consumer-facing companies are a great source of AI best practices. Coca-Cola, for instance. Greg Chambers, global director of digital innovation has said “AI is the foundation for everything we do. We create intelligent experiences. AI is the kernel that powers that experience.” (It’s relevant even if you firm doesn’t have Coke’s 105 million Facebook fans and 35 million Twitter followers.)


  • AI-related financing/investments:

India-based AXISCADES will set up its North American headquarters in Indiana, investing $10 million and creating 500 engineering jobs by 2023. The “innovation centre will focus on new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and is expected to create a total of 2000 jobs for American workers by 2021.

Singapore is set to invest even more – over and above S$150 million – into AI under its Infocomm and Media Industry Transformation Map.

Ernst & Young announced yesterday a new lease agreement for 600,000 square feet at One Manhattan West, the 67-story, 2.1-million square foot office tower under construction on Manhattan’s west side. The office will focus on areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics process automation, blockchain, data analytics, digital, customer experience and cyber security.

Startups are said to have reached “unicorn” status when they have achieved $1 billion-plus in financing. Hong Kong AI company SenseTime Group has blown past that milestone at $1.5 billion, and they’re getting ready for their next round of financing by the end of the year. “The company has filed approximately 500 patents for its AI research that is applied for facial recognition, identity verification and smart city systems.”


  • Yesterday I posted that China is determined to lead the world in AI military within the next decade or so. Alphabet Exec Chairman Eric Schmidt and former US Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work agree that this is likely. “Our Artificial Intelligence ‘Sputnik Moment’ Is Now”


  • Stephen Hawking is again warning about AI: “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether,” as it will “improve and replicate itself” until it becomes a “new form of life that outperforms humans.”

But at least in the near term, Rob Kapito co-founder and president of asset management giant BlackRock believes “artificial intelligence will never fully replace humans in the investment world.” He expects collaboration/augmentation.


  • It’s Friday, so here’s a very good thought piece from my favorite publication, Scientific American. The Falling Walls Conference is an annual, global gathering of forward thinking individuals from 80 countries organized by the Falling Walls Foundation. Each year, on November 9—the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall—20 of the world’s leading scientists are invited to Berlin to present their current breakthrough research. The aim of the conference is to address two questions: Which will be the next walls to fall? And how will that change our lives? The author of this essay is speaking at this year’s Falling Walls gathering. The Past, Present and Future of Artificial Intelligence.


  • According to Artificial Lawyer, there’s yet another new player in the smart contracts space: Ireland-based Confideal.


  • This is a short but interesting discussion of “robo-justice,” the use of AI in administering the law and A2J.


  • Still more on facial recognition. It seems to be coming to police dash cams and body cams. Seems to me that every new application has the potential to generate legal work (often IP, litigation and transactions). And for the technically inclined, here’s an overview of how facial recognition works.




  • Speaking of “government,” this 7-minute interview of Michaela Ross of Bloomberg provides an update on US government regulation of drones and autonomous vehicles. We seem to be on a fast track to self-driving passenger vehicles (not necessarily commercial vehicles) nationwide. And this post warns that excessive regulation may “stifle innovation.”


  • The Partnership on AI was founded in 2016 to promote the belief that AI technologies hold great promise for raising the quality of people’s lives, the Partnership on AI and its members aim to recommend best practices and conduct and publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics, fairness and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability and robustness of the technology. Founding members include Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google/DeepMind, IBM and Microsoft. Accenture recently signed up through its #AI4Good initiative. I wonder if this might be an opportunity for a law firm; they would certainly be in the company of thought leaders.



  • And if you happen to be an AI specialist, holy cow! According to yesterday’s NYT, “typical A.I. specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock….” Here’s one such job posting.


  • Meanwhile, a survey of 260 large organizations that operate globally, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Teradata, reports that among those global players “80 per cent of enterprises are investing today in AI,” and “one in three … believe their company will need to invest more over the next 36 months to keep pace with competitors.” “The industries where respondents expect to see the most impact from AI are IT, technology and telecoms (59%), business and professional services (43%) [law firms?], and customer services and financial services were tied for third (32%).



  • Not exactly Artificial Intelligence, but AI fear monger (too harsh?) Elon Musk has announced that Tesla’s Model 3 will automatically know where to take you without you asking. It will connect to your calendar. When a Twitter user suggested it would be relatively simple to sync your calendar to the car’s Autopilot system, Musk added: “Yeah, don’t exactly need to be Sherlock Holmes.”


  • The College of Law Practice Management’s 2017 Futures Conference is sold out, but you can follow on Twitter at #CoLPM.


  • Scientific American, Time and now The New Yorker (see above) have recently had AI covers. The New Yorker has a long article titled “Welcoming Our New Robot Overlords.” It’s about robots, automation and jobs. In almost ten thousand words manages to mention AI per se only twice.