• The EY/Riverview deal continues to reverberate throughout the legal industry, and it seems EY isn’t going to gently move things along. According to LegalFutures this morning: “Riverview Law is set for a huge global expansion over the next five years once EY completes its acquisition, the partner who is to head the new business has said. Chris Price, EY global head of alliances – tax, told Legal Futures that the plan was to increase staff numbers from 100 to 3,000.”

And from Accountancy Daily, “EY is to plough an additional $1bn (£784m) into new technology solutions, client services, innovation and the firm’s ‘ecosystem’ over the next two financial years.” “Additionally, Nicola Morini Bianzino has joined as EY global chief client technology officer (CCTO) and Steve George as EY global chief information officer (CIO). They join Barbara O’Neill, EY global chief information & security officer (CISO).”


  • Artificial Lawyer has launched their AL 100 Legal Tech Directory to meet this need: “People want to have some idea of what all these companies (providers of ‘progressive legal tech’) are offering, who they are and who runs the company, how do they price their software, what security standards do they meet, what markets do they operate in, and what makes their application special? In short, people want some detail.” I won’t try to offer a complete description. Check this out!


  • Here’s a real world example of AI at use in litigation: Legal Week Innovation Awards 2018 – AI Innovation: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. “Not only was the outcome a success, it also saved the client a considerable sum of money on a traditional document review (estimated to be about two-and-a-half times more expensive).”


  • From Finnegan‘s Susan Y. Tull and Paula E. Miller in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law. Patenting Artificial Intelligence: Issues of Obviousness, Inventorship, and Patent Eligibility.


  • Artificial intelligence in the legal industry: AI’s broader role in law – Part 2. “This is the second article in a three part series looking at artificial intelligence’s growing presence in the legal industry. Here, Information Age looks at AI’s broader role within the law firm, with specific case studies from Perkins Coie and Hogan Lovells.” Like Part One, worth your time.


  • Not AI per se, but “Californian law firm, Keesal, Young & Logan (KYL), and legal tech company, Mitratech, have together announced today the formation of a ‘TAP Workflow Automation partnership’ that is aimed at helping clients improve their legal processes.” More from Artificial Lawyer here.


  • From Drinker Biddle: President Trump Signs New National Security Legislation Governing Foreign Investments in the United States: How the New Law May Affect You. The post includes: “‘Critical technology’ includes any technology subject to U.S. export control lists (i.e., the U.S. Munitions List and Commerce Control List) as well as yet-to-be-defined “emerging and foundational technologies.” These “emerging and foundational technologies” will be defined by U.S. export control authorities and may include certain new technologies that are not currently subject to significant export controls, such as Artificial Intelligence, some forms of quantum computing and advanced materials, as well as more traditional technologies deemed fundamental to the U.S. industrial base, such as chemicals, energy, metallurgy and transportation.”



  • From K&L GatesBlockchain Energizer – Volume 33. “Four New York Utilities Will Collaborate to Develop “Transformative” Use Cases for ‘Shared Blockchain Infrastructure.'”


  • “The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is claiming the world’s first bond transaction delivered solely using blockchain, having been charged with the honour by the World Bank.” “The “$AUD Kangaroo bond”, Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument (bond-i), which uses a private Ethereum blockchain, has been developed alongside the Northern Trust, QBE, and Treasury Corporation of Victoria.” More here.


  • “The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has, in collaboration with 11 financial regulators and related organisations including America’s Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, created a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which will support a ‘global sandbox’ to test out new technology such as AI and blockchain.” More here from Artificial Lawyer.


  • Blockchain and AI “could underpin” future law firms. “A future where law firms are ‘distributed entities’ based on blockchain and smart contracts, and lawyers will add value by being “stronger” trusted advisers assisted by artificial intelligence, has been mapped out by futurologists. The paper was co-authored by leading UK legal academic Professor John Flood, currently working at Griffith University in Australia, and his colleague at the Law Futures Centre there, Lachlan Robb.” “Lawyers’ main activity could still be as a ‘trusted adviser’, but with enhanced value, they argued. This time, the lawyer will not only be imbued with the expertise gained from experience and knowledge – but also augmented with the power of machine learning. Our traditional conception of the lawyer does not disappear but reappears in a stronger form.”
  • LexisNexis’ Lex Machina “announced a major new expansion that provides analysis of insurance litigation.” Details from Artificial Lawyer here.


  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “Canada-based legal AI pioneer, Kira Systems, has completed its SOC2 Type II reporting certification to help remove any fears customers may have over data security.”


  • This piece from The National Law Review reminds lawyers that it is their duty to keep up with technologies such as AI. “Comment 3 to the ABA Model Rule 5.3 was amended in 2012 to take into account situations where it is necessary for attorneys to rely on vendors. “When using such services outside the firm, a lawyer must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the services are provided in a manner that is compatible with the lawyer’s professional obligations.”


  • From Hydraulics & Pneumatics (my first from that publication!): How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Construction. “Artificial intelligence is expected to alter business models in the construction industry in areas including logistics, customer relationship management, support, workflow automation, and finance. Even more, artificial intelligence can help in recreating realistic situations for training, reducing injuries and costly mistakes and making operations more efficient. This can enable operators to better use existing labor resources, helping with the skilled labor shortage in construction.” The article explains current constraints to adoption.


  • Don’t forget to swallow your AI: This swallowable chip uses glowing bacteria to spot hidden illnesses. “Researchers at MIT have been working on a chip that could one day be offered to patients with suspected gastrointestinal bleeds instead of an endoscopy. The researchers have created a prototype of the chip that can be swallowed like a pill, sampling a patient’s gastrointestinal environment for signs of bleeding as it travels through their digestive system.”


  • Trump’s trade war with China has AI implicationsTrump focuses on technology exports, foreign investments in ongoing trade war. “Already threatened by escalating U.S. taxes on its goods, China is about to find it much harder to invest in U.S. companies or to buy American technology in such cutting-edge areas as robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.”



  • From Waller: “When it comes to digital coins or tokens, it’s best to approach with caution, ask plenty of questions and conduct extensive research before making an investment, warns the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”).”


  • And now, blockchain-based insurance against security failures of smart contracts: Ethereum-Powered Insurer Nexus Is Winning Over Blockchain Skeptics. “With Nexus, Karp is trying to revive mutual insurance, a model that dates back to the 17th century and, many argue, aligned the interests of participants better than today’s profit-maximizing insurance firms. Nexus is one of a handful of blockchain startups, at various stages of development, aiming to use the technology for this purpose.” Much more here.
  • A2J?This ‘Serial Entrepreneur’ Thinks Finding a Lawyer Can Be as Easy as Hailing an Uber. “For $20, Kevin Gillespie’s ‘Text A Lawyer’ service lets consumers send a legal question to a pool of lawyers to pick up for a response.” “…(W)hich will solely focus on landlord/tenant issues in Oregon and Washington during its beta launch. He said the platform is also trying to get ‘up and running for immigration issues,’ and plans to cover other areas like employment, traffic, cannabis, and civil rights.”


  • More about AI for smaller firms or corporate legal departments (SMEs):

– Baidu no-code EasyDL tool could democratize AI for small businesses, bridge talent gap. “Baidu announced the launch of Baidu Brain 3.0, a central platform that helps enterprises more quickly and easily adopt artificial intelligence (AI) solutions—with or without programming talent. Baidu Brain provides 110 AI technologies, including face recognition, natural language understanding, and video understanding—all of which are available via open APIs or SDKs, according to a press release. Businesses can also use the platform’s no-code tool called EasyDL to build custom machine learning models without the need for programming skills….” Details here.

From WoltersKluwerThe role of AI in your small legal department.

2018 Is The Year Of Artificial Intelligence Transformation From RPA To SMEs. “Xineoh … says it has developed a platform for predicting customer behaviour with AI ‘which allows businesses to out-predict their competition thus allowing them to maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction’.” “It’s a bold claim and one laser-focused on SMEs. Its so-called bespoke AI solutions on Xineoh’s platform can be implemented rapidly without the cost, complexity and consulting required by other methods.” More here.


  • It seems the ACC is getting involved in blockchain’s use in law. This is a solid discussion of smart contracts. Smart Contracts: The Shared Ledger That’s Set in Stone.


  • And speaking of blockchain, this post about Series LLCs brings up some interesting points about the relationship between smart contracts, blockchain and lawyers. Here’s the sort of things discussed:

“This ability to learn and react diminishes the need for regular human management. Contracts written onto a blockchain could allow artificial intelligences to auto-resolve disputes, easing the litigation burden on courts when computers start doing business with other computers. The ability to safely share information on a blockchain will also lighten the burden of business management, able to quickly access relevant data from business and industry partners as well as different hubs of the same company. In the future, the computers may even run businesses themselves with auto-learning algorithms.”

“The biggest challenge to LLCs looking to join the blockchain revolution of the future will be finding programmers talented enough to code smart contract management programs, and the careful drafting of the “contract” in computer code languages. It also provides a challenge to lawyers: If initial contracts are written by coders, and subsequent contracts are written by the technology itself, where do lawyers fit in?”


  • This is an interesting discussion of how Malta is becoming seriously friendly to blockchain — it’s not just a marketing gimmick. Among Blockchain-Friendly Jurisdictions, Malta Stands Out.


  • Here’s more about Norton Rose’s chatbot ‘Parker’. Chatbot aids firms’ privacy compliance by finding client exposures within data breach laws. “The launch of the bot continues the steady incursion of artificial-intelligence-powered software into the Canadian legal market. Parker, a computer program that simulates human conversation, will guide clients in determining their exposure and obligations under new data breach laws and new regulations that will come into effect on Nov. 1 under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).”


AndLogan Breed, a partner with Hogan Lovells’ Antitrust practice, sits down with Daniela Combe, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at IBM. They talk about the explosion of data, the emergence of AI and cognitive computing – and the evolving relationship between in-house and outside counsel. Listen to the audio here.”


  • From Artificial Lawyer, an interesting post about firms engaging multiple AI solutions and needing to integrate them and link databases. ‘More Law Firms Turning to More Than One AI Solution’ – HighQ


  • From Clifford ChanceClifford Chance launches two new innovation units: the next stage of the firm’s Best Delivery and Innovation strategy
  • From Hogan Lovells‘ Lloyd Parker:  “According to a survey of over 200 brand owners, AI will revolutionise trademark prosecution and enforcement over the next five years.”


  • From Hogan Lovells and the University of Birmingham, here’s a discussion of Artificial Intelligence – time to get regulating?


  • It seems to be Hogan Lovells day. From the DC officeIn fraud and corruption investigations, artificial intelligence and data analytics save time and reduce client costs. “Peter Spivack, a partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., explains how the process of gathering, sorting, and evaluating enormous volumes of data has changed, and why skilled human intelligence is likely to remain a required component of an accurate analysis.”


  • More on AI regulation as in this video, “Ben Allgrove of Baker McKenzie says a ‘state of flux’ exists over how the applications of artificial intelligence should be regulated as the true capabilities of the technology have not been ascertained.”


  • Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law launches new “tech lab” to teach students, alumns, and lawyers about blockchain and artificial intelligence. “Beginning this school year, the center — dubbed the C|M|LAW Tech Lab — will launch the only law-school based interdisciplinary Cybersecurity and Data Privacy certificate, and a new C|M|LAW Tech certificate.” Details here.


  • More blockchain news: “Australian law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has teamed up with ConsenSys start up, OpenLaw, to achieve a breakthrough that aims to unlock the potential of the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts in the settlement of real estate and property transactions.”


  • Blockchain in court: “A court in China’s Hangzhou city has ruled that evidence authenticated with blockchain technology can be presented in legal disputes.”

“The court thinks it should maintain an open and neutral stance on using blockchain to analyze individual cases. We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable. … In this case, the usage of a third-party blockchain platform that is reliable without conflict of interests provides the legal ground for proving the intellectual infringement.”


  • A Blockchain law firmProminent Blockchain Attorney Joshua Ashley Klayman Launches Blockchain- and Digital Token-Focused Law Firm & Blockchain Strategy Consulting and Advisory Firm. “… a well known name in the digital token sale / blockchain industry, has departed Morrison & Foerster LLP to launch her own boutique law firm (Klayman LLC) targeting the industry she has been intimately engaged with for the past few years.


  • A2J: This is a sobering look at some of the instances where AI has failed to deliver on its Access to Justice promise/potential. “‘AI not delivering for poorest’ says technology reality check.”


  • There’s lots of good content from Artificial Lawyer today:

– FirstLaw Society Call For Evidence: Algorithms + Justice.

– And, “(t)op Irish law firm McCann FitzGerald, has launched a Credit Reporting Compliance App, using the expert system platform of Neota Logic.”

This is a particularly interesting development: “HighQ, the legal data collaboration platform, has signed a partnership deal with the global referral group, TerraLex. The referral group’s management team will also directly recommend the use of the collaboration platform to its 155 member firms and their 19,000 lawyers around the planet. I.e. there will be both a central hub use of HighQ to share data through TerraLex’s organisational structure, plus an effort to encourage the individual firms to also jump onto the platform.”

Finally, “(i)n an important step that will greatly support the development of global standards for smart contracts, global tech giant IBM has decided to join the Accord Project consortium.” This entire post is very much worth reading.


  • This story has received a LOT of coverage in the past couple of days. I suppose, in part, because it’s so easy to write click-bait headlines for it. Here’s a tame one: HAL-like robot to help astronaut in space odyssey. More coverage of the spherical AI bot named Cimon here.


  • Here’s some real futurist, almost sci-fi technology that’s probably coming in the next few years — “quantum computing.” (Want a deeper dive? Several good references are provided at the end.)


  • Since it’s Friday, and it has been a while since I’ve posted about AI’s existential and other threats to mankind (and rebuttals thereto), so here’s:

– Expressing apprehension that disruptive technology would hasten extinction of humankind, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus on Thursday warned companies against excessive use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Technology will expedite our extinction on planet Earth.”

– “Artificial intelligence is coming for the service economy, according to Allstate Corp. Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson. ‘It’s going to rip through this economy like a tsunami.'”

  • Kudos to Suffolk University’s law school and to Jordan Furlong for his contribution to today’s launch of Suffolk University Law School’s Legal Innovation & Technology Certificate Program. “There are six courses in the program, each delivered by an experienced legal practitioner or industry analyst who delivers ten full hours of information, instruction, and insight into the course’s subject matter.” One of the first two courses is Jordan’s 21st Century Legal Services,“You’ll learn critical market insights and strategic and tactical recommendations for operating a law firm or legal services business. The coursework will focus on the current upheaval in the market and how to compete successfully in the new legal services landscape to come.”


  • I’ve been encouraging law firms to start using chatbots on their websites and other client interface situations. Norton Rose has launched one called “Parker” to assist “people who have questions about the European Union data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”


  • There has been a decent amount of discussion lately about lawyers in the age of AI perhaps needing to become much more technical, even to the point of even learning to write programming code. Here’s an interesting post by Sooraj Shah that discusses how far down this path lawyers need to go. He uses the Big Four as something of a touchstone.


  • Here’s an interesting podcast from ALM: Lawyers, Fear Not the Smart Contract. Contributors include: assistant clinical professor of law at Cardozo Law School, and co-founder of the Open Law smart contracts project; CEO of Monax; co-founder of blockchain company Kadena and the lead architect of its Pact smart contracts language; and a transactional attorney from Loeb & Loeb.


  • University of Florida Levin College of Law publishes Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog. Today’s post by D. Daniel Sokol, Professor of Law is, “Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of AI” featuring Avi Goldfarb and Ajay Agrawal.


  • Firms using AI solutions:

– “To streamline its due diligence processes, Maddocks has signed on to deploy the Luminance AI platform.”

Brodies too: “Brodies deploys artificial intelligence technology from Luminance.”

  • From The Hill: “A growing number of Democratic lawmakers and civil libertarians are voicing concerns about Amazon’s facial recognition software (Rekognition), worrying that it could be misused. They fear that without proper oversight the technology could hurt minority or poor communities and allow police to ramp up surveillance.”
  • Better, faster, cheaper: from Artificial Lawyer, “The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced a partnership with US-based legal data company, OpenText, to make use of its Axcelerate AI-driven doc review tool.The SFO said in a statement that ‘by automating document analysis, AI technology allows the SFO to investigate more quickly, reduce costs and achieve a lower error rate than through the work of human lawyers alone’.” More here from the Law Society Gazette.


  • Smart Contracts: More about the Accord Project: “Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy (A&O), and Slaughter & May joined the Accord Project, which already has some of biggest law firms in the world as members. The project is pushing for the adoption of an open source technical and legal protocol that will accept any blockchain or distributed ledger technology – a so-called ‘blockchain agnostic’ standard.”


  • From Reed SmithUK government publishes the Digital Charter and reaffirms creation of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.


  • From Knobbe Martens: “According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration press release, Viz. AI Contact application was granted De Novo premarket review to Viz.AI’s LVO Stroke Platform. According to PR Newswire, Viz.AI’s LVO Stroke Platform is the “first artificial intelligence triage software” and its approval begins “a new era of intelligent stroke care begins as regulatory approval.”



  • According to American BankerBank of America, Harvard form group to promote responsible AI. “(Cathy) Bessant, the bank’s chief operations and technology officer, wanted to bring in an academic perspective and she wanted to create a neutral place where experts from different sectors and rival companies could discuss AI and craft good policies.”


  • Horizon Robotics has debuted a new HD smart camera that boasts serious artificial intelligence capabilities and can identify faces with an accuracy of up to 99.7 percent, the company claims.


  • Ever wonder whether the text you’ve used to promote your product or service is perfectly aligned with your brand strategy? Well, “Qordoba, … today announced a revolutionary new capability for scoring emotional tone in product and marketing content.” “Qordoba’s content scoring is based on Affect Detection, a computer science discipline that applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand the primary emotion conveyed by written text. …, to identify the emotion associated with a specific combination of words, allowing developers and product teams to create more effective user interfaces (UI).”


  • Interesting, from Science Magazine: Could artificial intelligence get depressed and have hallucinations? “As artificial intelligence (AI) allows machines to become more like humans, will they experience similar psychological quirks such as hallucinations or depression? And might this be a good thing?”
  • From Artificial Lawyer: “Ashurst has become the latest major law firm to join smart contract consortium, the Accord Project, which is seeking to build industry standards for this new form of self-executing contracting. Tae Royle, head of digital legal services at Ashurst, said: ‘Smart contracts are already being used to manage hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency and digital assets globally. But we lack common standards and frameworks for ensuring legal enforceability of smart contracts.’” The article includes discussion of the need for global regulation and an up-to-date list of the consortium participants.


  • Here’s an interesting discussion of the legal risks inherent in insurance companies using chatbots to deal with customers.


  • From The Economist, this discussion of the legal risks associated with implementation of various forms of AI in the workplace. If you have an Employment Law practice, your attorneys should be up-to-speed on these issues.


  • Speaking of keeping your firm’s practices engaged in AI, investment in AI and AI-related M&A continue to be very robust globally. As is about typical, I noticed three substantial deals just this morning: a $35 million round, “Digital Air Strike announced it has acquired the privately held A.I. chat technology business of Eldercare Technology Inc. (d.b.a. Path Chat),” and “Thales Launches Its Offer on All Gemalto Shares.”

Here’s a report on the overall forecast for the global AI software market through 2022.


  • From Norton Rose: “Better, faster, stronger: revamping the M&A due diligence process with Artificial Intelligence platforms.”


  • “Global law firm Hogan Lovells today publishes Life Sciences and Health Care Horizons, a forward looking report that identifies current and evolving trends that are shaping the future of the industry.” Of course, AI is included. “


  • Recent advances in AI have depended on three underlying advances: 1) more sophisticated analytic algorithms, 2) availability of Big (and Bigger) Data sets, and 3) increased processing power. The latter is about to make another big step forward as, “Nvidia has unveiled several updates to its deep-learning computing platform, including an absurdly powerful GPU and supercomputer.” It will have the processing power of 2000 MacBook Pros. And, “… the company has doubled the memory capability of its Tesla V100 GPU, which the company claims delivers the performance of up to 100 CPUs in one graphics processor. This isn’t the GPU in your gaming PC — it powers artificial intelligence research and deep machine learning.” Details here.


  • Well-informed citizens should have a general idea of how AI is being used by the military, so here are a couple of updates:

“DARPA to use artificial intelligence to help commanders in ‘gray zone’ conflicts.” ‘Gray zones’ being “… those in which state and non-state competition becomes conflict but remains below the level of conventional warfare. Experts have pointed to Russia’s use of hybrid threats in Ukraine and other areas, along with China’s aggression in the South China Sea as examples.” “The ultimate goal of the program is to provide theater-level operations and planning staffs with robust analytics and decision-support tools that reduce ambiguity of adversarial actors and their objectives.”

– From The Hill, here’s, “Artificial intelligence is rapidly transforming the art of war,” a good overview of three uses of AI in war, including use of AI to win over the hearts and minds of the people (i.e., propaganda).


  • Finally, I expect George Orwell would have found Big Brother’s activities in China too far fetched to make credible fiction. Most recently, “China is using AI and facial recognition to fine jaywalkers via text.” Details here.
  • Young lawyers are getting good exposure to AI tools and techniques via hackathons as illustrated by this press release from Premonition AI: “The Cognitive Legal Challenge is a critical element of the Global Legal Hackathon, that took place this past weekend Feb. 23 to 25 in 40+ cities in 6 continents with a projected attendance of over 10,000. Via the Cognitive Legal Challenge, lawyers crowd-sourced the creation of new legal AI applications capable of reasoning through use of IBM’s Watson Knowledge Studio and Premonition AI, the world’s largest litigation database.”


  • From Smithsonian, this is an interesting discussion of the possibility of bias in AI when predicting crime.



  • Speaking of contracts, this press release from Thomson Reuters represents quite an endorsement of eBrevia. “Thomson Reuters has teamed up with eBrevia, a leading machine-learning contract analytics platform, to help enterprises tackle large and complex contract remediation projects involving commercial contracts.”


  • There has certainly been a lot of discussion lately about the impact of the GDPR on AI, but not much about AI and HIPAA. This is a good discussion of that topic from Davis Wright’s Rebecca L. Williams. (This is part one of two.)


  • The World Legal AI Summit in Barcelona this June should be informative — or a boondoggle. Make of it what you will.


  • Just for fun, Apple spared no expense producing this new ad (or is it a music video?) promoting the HomePod. (Directed by Spike Jones, starring English performer FKA twigs, music by Anderson .Paak.)


  • The big accounting firms are generally faster than law firms to embrace new technologies, including AI, in their legal practices, so announcements like this by PwC should concern law firms.


  • From Quinn Emanuel, “International Arbitration and Artificial Intelligence: Time to Tango?” “Could the future of IA lie in AI? In this short post, I sketch possible ways in which AI-infused tools could help the international arbitration community provide greater value to stakeholders.” Several reasonable scenarios are put forth, but there’s a catch if the author is correct when he writes, “AI decisions must be explainable and cannot operate as a ‘black box’.”


  • From Norton Rose, this summary of the ethical and legal issues involving AI.


  • In this post, Freshfields explains how they leveraged AI tools from LEVERTON to facilitate a big real estate deal.


  • Here, from Artificial Lawyer and Seal Software is an explanation of the workings of Smart Contracts, and perhaps the next step in the evolution of contracts, “Intelligent Contracts.” (Smart Contracts 3.0?)


  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “… Integra Ledger, has … announced the release of an Integra Wallet, which the company says is the first blockchain wallet developed specifically for the use of the global legal industry.”


  • From Asia, some disturbing thoughts about AI and the lack of US leadership, “President Donald Trump’s isolationist instincts mean the U.S., a traditional cheerleader for global cooperation, is making almost no effort to lead international efforts to think through AI’s future. Instead, AI’s global standards increasingly look set to be written behind closed doors in Silicon Valley and Beijing, leaving everyone else outside in the cold…. (S)o far neither the G-20 nor any other major international body has grappled with the problems raised by AI….”



  • More AI on the road, this time in Japan: “…starting next month, Nissan is trialing a fully driverless taxi service in Japan. Called Easy Ride, the service is essentially an AI-controlled version of a ride-hailing app like Uber.”


  • This story arrived in my inbox while I was making a luncheon presentation to a law firm in Toronto. It reports that, “much of the foundational research into artificial intelligence originated in Canada, but we’ll have to work to stay a leader in the field.” It suggests ways to capitalize on that early lead.



  • From Artificial Lawyer: As Legal Hackathons get underway they need focus to really make a difference. So, from Gillian Hadfield, Professor of Law and Economics at USC, these 10 A2J problems in need of solutions.


  • As in cycling where the lead rider makes most of the decisions in a peloton and fights the largest share of wind resistance, so with platoons of long distance trucks. (What does that have to do with AI? I’m getting there.)

From Artificial Lawyer: “In Berlin, legal tech pioneer, Clause, successfully demonstrated a ‘live smart legal contract’ using IoT data … which handled logistics payments for a group of transport vehicles in real time as the audience watched. The amount due was based on the time each truck led the platoon. Payments were then made based on this data, which was executed via a smart contract.


Recent studies on the threats posed by AI:

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Center: “(R)eplacing human intelligence with machines could fundamentally change the nature of work, resulting in mass job losses and increasing income inequality. Algorithm-based decision-making by companies could also perpetuate human bias and result in discriminatory outcomes, as they already have in some cases. The significant expansion of data collected and analysed may also result in increasing the power of companies with ownership over this data and threaten our right to privacy.“


This report, covered by several international media outlets, The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation, with authors from Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute; Cambridge University’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk; OpenAI; the Electronic Frontier Foundation; the Center for a New American Security; and other organizations, “sounds an alarm about the potential malicious use of AI by rogue states, criminals and terrorists. Forecasting rapid growth in cyber-crime and the misuse of drones during the next decade – as well as an unprecedented rise in the use of ‘bots’ to manipulate everything from elections to the news agenda and social media – the report is a clarion call for governments and corporations worldwide to address the clear and present danger inherent in the myriad applications of AI. The report – also recommends interventions to mitigate the threats posed by the malicious use of AI.”