• 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.

In just two weeks, Legalweek 2019 will kickoff in NYC with all-day workshops on Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. I wish I could attend those, but I’ll be participating in the Competitive Intelligence Workshop down the hall.

  • Check out this post by Mark Dibble of HighQ: How to Unlock a Firm’s Data Potential. Drawing on Andrew Baker of HBR Consulting’s idea of “Dark Data“, he does a good job of illustrating how firms miss many opportunities to leverage the data they already have.

 

  • And also check out this insightful post from Joanna Goodman: Two tribes go to war. “I recently watched Mary Poppins Returns and found the same lawyer stereotype. The first indication that Mary Poppins’ help is needed is when two lawyers knock on the door to give the Banks family an immovable loan repayment deadline. These fictional lawyers are inflexible until they ultimately realise that they are on the losing side – when they change their tune. This 2018 movie depiction is almost an allegory for legal AI and innovation, with lawyers and commentators gradually changing sides, so that eventually they all claim the ‘correct’ prediction.”

 

  • An issue with AI has long been the “black box” nature of its decisions. This is especially problematic when it comes to assigning liability in court. According to this article, Google is making some progress in this regard: Google Brain Built a Translator so it Can Explain Itself.

 

  • Here’s a good explanation of how chatbots can be used in law firms, from A2J to corporate clients: Chat show: How chatbots can grow your business.

 

  • Michael Heric and Neal Goldman of Bain & Company postedCorporate Legal Eagles Start to Embrace Artificial Intelligence. “Legal groups committed to accelerating their digital journey need to find a practical path that balances opportunities with the realities of the organization’s current digital maturity, investment budgets and the cultural transformation required.”

 

  • Ari Kaplan interviewed Suffolk Law’s Gabe Teninbaum for this post: Reimagining Innovation In Legal Education. “…(B)eing capable with technology is now a core responsibility for all practicing lawyers.”

 

  • A2J: Here’s a bit of the history about how Legal You is being used within the law firm Navigating The Courts: Legal You.

 

  • From Today’s Conveyancer we haveArtificial Intelligence Within The Legal Sector. It’s a summary of the SRA (Solicitors Regulatory Authority) report on Technology and Legal ServicesReport here.

 

  • Pepperdine Law’s Dean Paul Caron posted: How Law Schools Are Using Virtual Reality In The Classroom. “The University of Kansas School of Law, like a growing number of law schools across the nation, is starting to teach its students cutting-edge quantitative subjects such as data analysis and artificial intelligence.”

 

  • This post is from ComputerWeeklyArtificial intelligence qualification helps law firm implement AI-powered business systems. “International law firm Taylor Wessing is implementing artificial intelligence (AI) across the organisation and wants to ensure staff have the necessary skills to make the most of the technology.”

 

  • AI Litigation Analytics: A Fad Or The Future? A dive into . Article here.

 

  • (These) findings come from a survey conducted in the ABA’s 2018 Legal Technology Survey Report, with 900 respondents from across the nation and at firms of various sizes”: ABA Survey: Only 10 Percent of Law Firms Are Currently Using AI. (Take these results with a large grain of salt as the answers depend on how the respondents interpreted AI; if one rightly includes eDiscovery as AI, these numbers grossly understate actual use.)

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Singapore to Launch Automated Litigation Work Platform For Prosecutors, Set to Embrace AI. Post here.

 

  • Linklaters + Deloitte Join £0.5m FinTech Financial Inclusion Project. Post here.

 

  • Anatomy of the LawGeex Rebrand, From Legal AI to Lawstars! Post here.

 

  • Autto: Pioneering Legal Workflow Automation – A Video Explainer. Post here.

 

  • Atrium: ‘Using Tech to Amplify the Talent of Lawyers, to Help the Clients’. Post here.

 

Law Firm Posts:

 

  • This, from Squire Patton Boggs’ Francesco Liberatore and Barry A. Pupkin: AI’s Impact on Antitrust and Competition Law Issues.

 

  • Gibson Dunn posted this piece: The Impact of the New USPTO Eligibility Guidelines on Artificial Intelligence-related Inventions.

 

  • From Crowell & Moring: Crowell & Moring Releases 2019 Litigation Forecast: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know for the Coming Year. “The Forecast takes a deep dive into how technology is increasingly having a profound impact on the practice of law, and in particular on litigation case strategy.” Post here.

 

  • STA Law Firm posted: Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare Sector In UAE. Post here.

 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases and Sponsored Posts:

  • ADP, Toronto startup bring employment law insights to HR with AI-powered tool. Post here.

 

BLOCKCHAIN

  • This, from MIT Technology Review: Hate lawyers? Can’t afford one? Blockchain smart contracts are here to help. “…(T)he two biggest players in the market—Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom—are experimenting with blockchain smart contracts. In theory, they could help automate a vital part of the process and make some legal services easier and cheaper to use for everyone.”

 

  • Coindesk publishes a lot in this space, this post for instance: Lawyers Rush In: New UNH Blockchain Program Nabs Big-Name Speakers.

 

Who is Supporting And Who is Opposing Blockchain?

  • Against: China will now officially try to extend its Great Firewall to blockchains. “The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will require any “entities or nodes” that provide “blockchain information services” to collect users’ real names and national ID or telephone numbers, and allow government officials to access that data. It will ban companies from using blockchain technology to “produce, duplicate, publish, or disseminate” any content that Chinese law prohibits. Last year, internet users evaded censors by recording the content of two banned articles on the Ethereum blockchain.” Article here.

 

  • Supporting: Douglas County, Washington: After the bitcoin bust and a local bankruptcy, Douglas County doubles down on blockchain. Post hereWashington’s Douglas County is Looking to Build a Blockchain Innovation Campus. Post here and here.

 

  • Supporting: Blockchain Research Now Granted Tax Credit in South Korea. Details here.

 

  • Supporting: Canada: Government of Canada welcomes DENSO Corporation’s Innovation Lab to Montréal, Quebec. Story here. (It’s really AI, but this seemed like a good place to put it.)

 

  • Supporting: Washoe County, Nevada: From Artificial LawyerUS State Officially Starts Using Blockchain for Marriage Certificates.
  • Here’s a good summary of tools from This Tech Can Turn the Tables in Litigation. “If you can eliminate some of the chance from litigation, if you can bring a higher level of certainty to litigation, why wouldn’t you? Indeed, you might even ask yourself, ‘Is it malpractice not to use analytics?‘”

 

  • Also from Bob: LawNext Episode 21: Blockchain, Smart Contracts and the Future of Law, with Casey Kuhlman of Monax. It’s a 45-minute interview sponsored by MyCase.

 

  • In this short post (Blockchain: Resources To Get On Top Of This Technology), Olga V. Mack offers several good tips for learning about blockchain. “What follows is a compilation of resources in no particular order that I and many other professionals have found useful.”

 

  • This, from EY: Companies ready for leases standard, but only with help, finds EY 2018 Lease Accounting Change Survey. “Automation is a long-term goal, with artificial intelligence (AI) playing an important role. More than 80% of companies are working toward designing a long-term automated solution, with only 5% saying they will use a manual, spreadsheet-based approach long term. Interestingly, more than half (51%) who are implementing automation say the solution includes using AI to identify and abstract lease data.”

 

  • The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) publishedShould we create a certification for AI ethics? “Matthew Stender, a Berlin-based tech ethicist and researcher: ‘…(C)ertainly in the U.S. — regulators’ hands were tied by trade secret laws and the ‘speech is code’ model. ‘For me, the idea of voluntary technical standards provide an interesting alternative to national legislation,” he said.'”

 

  • From Littler: Thought Leaders Predict AI’s Impact on the Workforce. “The consensus of Roundtable participants is that while automation is likely to displace workers in many occupations, it also will spur enormous demand for workers in both existing fields and in new occupations that technological change will generate.” The seven-page report is here.

 

  • Lord Chief backs “smartphone justice” but not so keen on AI. “There is no reason why our online courts and justice systems cannot deliver effective and accessible justice direct to the citizen. Both the Lord Chancellor and I (Lord Chief Justice Burnett) are in agreement on this.” “AI, however, is one area where, while much has been done, we are in the foothills, rather than the uplands, of understanding how and where it can properly be utilised.” More here.

 

  • From Emilie Ducorps-Prouvost of Soulier AvocatsLabor Law And The Challenges Of Artificial Intelligence: 3rd Part Of A Trilogy. “Labor and employment law should be used as a legal tool to steer the obvious changes brought by AI in the workplace.” The article and links to first two parts here.

 

  • Detroit Legal News published: Artificial intelligence in health care: What you need to know. The article includes specific applications and general discussion. And: “It’s all about the data“. “There’s no question that AI can process and analyze information at a rate far beyond any human capacity, but human intellect still remains a key component-not just in further training the algorithm or interpreting the information that’s presented, but in making the connections as how to best use that information in the future.”

 

  • Giangiacomo Olivi of Dentons postedArtificial Intelligence meets AdTech: digital disruption, data privacy and future perspectives. “AI will boost AdTech one-step further and introduce scenarios that will challenge current legal and industry standards, while requesting new and more dynamic approaches to online advertising. So, how is this going to happen and at what future perspectives should we expect?”

 

  • Here’s an interesting essay from How AI and analytics made the billable hour redundant. “If predictive analytics and AI kill off the billable hour for good, they may also prove to be the saviour of a profession that has been under pressure to change for years.”

 

  • Cadwalader postedLabCFTC Explains Functionality And Risks Of Smart Contract Technology, but did not include a link to the report, which I found here. It’s a pretty deep dive (32 pages).

 

  • Tiffany Quach and Stéphanie Martinier of Proskauer postedIs Blockchain Technology Compatible With GDPR? French Data Protection Regulator Provides Guidance. “To address tensions between blockchain technology and the GDPR, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), the French data protection regulator, published an initial report analyzing certain fundamental questions regarding the interaction between blockchain technology and the GDPR’s requirements (the “Report”). The Report was the first guidance issued by a European data protection regulator on this topic.”
  • Some recent posts report some variation of: “Legal Industry in Last Place in AI, Machine Learning Adoption, According to RELX Survey“. I can’t find the study’s detailed results or methodology, but from what I see best case accuracy is +/-8%, so all 6 industries are probably in a statistical tie. Here’s an example of such reporting. Let the reader beware.

 

  • Yanbin Xu of Finnegan postedStrategies For Blockchain Patent Applications. (I’d say more, but the article is only available in Chinese.)

 

  • Yalonda T. Howze of Mintz posted (in English!): Strategies To Unlock AI’s Potential In Health Care, Part 5: Product Liability Prevention For AI Product Designers—And Their Lawyers. “From my experience in working with outside counsel, in-house counsel, designers and engineers, it has become apparent that safer product design and the minimization of product liability exposure in the AI space requires a collaborative, systematic and iterative protocol. Ultimately, this approach helps to better protect the user, the brand, and the company.”

 

  • Yesterday I had a post from Wales, so today, here’s one from Scotland: In 2050: Education – Equipping Our Learners For The Future, from Neil Maclean of Shepherd and Wedderburn. “As part of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s 250th anniversary, we commissioned the Fraser of Allander Institute to undertake a research project to identify how Scotland might best position itself for the future. The initial scene-setter report can be found here.”

 

  • This is a very deep dive by Fichte & Co.: Demystifying the Financial Regulatory Landscape in the UAE. “The areas that Fintech Hive encourages include big data analytics & protective modeling, robo advisors, biometric & digital identification, the blockchain, P2P & crowdfunding, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence & machine learning, InsurTech, Islamic fintech and RegTech.”

 

  • Meanwhile in India: Redesign ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) For The Contemporary World. “PwC and Deloitte are respectively the sixth and seventh largest legal services providers in the world. Accounting firms have an edge in using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The committee’s proposal to allow MDPs will enable audit firms to provide integrated services. Safeguards are necessary to maintain independence.”

 

  • Marine Giral and Herbert Smith’s Shaun McVicar penned: The blockchain revolution and what it means for pharma. “With the development of data driven artificial intelligence, increasingly complex decision could be automated, and implemented without delay. Blockchain transactions are immutable, which makes it virtually impossible to alter or selectively report clinical trial results and could ensure greater transparency and trust in reported outcomes.” There’s quite a lot about blockchain in the article.

 

  • Orrick’s Daniel Nathan and Jorge Pesok postedA Foreboding View of Smart Contract Developer Liability. “On October 16, 2018, Commissioner Brian Quintenz of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission explained his belief that smart contract developers can be held liable for aiding and abetting CFTC rule violations if it was reasonably foreseeable that U.S. persons could use the smart contract they created to violate CFTC rules.” ” In his speech, Commissioner Quintenz provided valuable insight into how one regulator is thinking about applying existing laws to this new market.”

 

  • From the ‘Who’d a Thunk It’ department, Bob Ambrogi went to Moscow and discovered legal tech startups! Dispatch From Russia: Legal Tech Startups Emerge, But Adoption Lags. “Cyrillic doesn’t do AI any favors.” That’s just one footnote to Bob’s very interesting story here.

 

  • For this small, informal survey from the UK, “Jomati interviewed 29 innovation heads from 24 practices and ‘explored the innovation and legal tech strategies of dozens more law firms’.” “While some pioneering law firms had decided firmly, for instance, on adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology, others were waiting until its cost advantages over outsourcing were more certain before taking the plunge.”

 

  • The Baker McKenzie report Ghosts in the Machine: Revisited I reported last week is getting quite a few mentions in legal and financial publications. Here’s an example. And here.

 

 

  • A couple of months ago, Artificial Lawyer covered the blockchain-based contract software by Chainlink. Now even the MIT Technology Review is taking notice: Blockchain smart contracts are finally good for something in the real world. “A startup says it has tackled a long-standing problem that has kept smart contracts from responding to actual events.” “Using cryptography, the Chainlink service provides proof on the blockchain that the data is in fact the information it committed to delivering. Customers can pay for different levels of decentralization, and the nodes can make money in return for submitting data. Nazarov says the combination of Chainlink’s software with the Town Crier hardware system is the first ‘provably secure, decentralized oracle network.'” Story here.

 

  • This is pretty cool: “The Open Data Institute (ODI), co-founded by the inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is to launch two of the first ever government-backed Data Trusts in the world, with the purpose of training AI systems underpinned by a specific legal structure.” “Data Trusts, which are legally constructed entities, are seen as the answer and help form a regulated bridge between the collected data and the AI companies (or other tech companies such as smart contract developers), while retaining public trust.” More from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • Also from the UK  via Computer WeeklyPutting the UK at the forefront of ethics and innovation in AI and data. “Stellar British firms are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help defend against cyber attacks and law firms are adopting the technology to help lawyers do legal searches and draft documentation. But we know the huge rise in the use of data-driven technology must be backed up by a strong ethical framework so it delivers the best for people.” This piece is by Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (aka, “Culture Secretary”).

 

  • Several firms have posted in the past couple of weeks about moves by various US Government agencies and departments to regulate or at least study AI and related topics. Here’s a sampling:

From GoodwinU.S. Government to Define ‘Emerging Technologies’, impacting CFIUS and Export Controls.

From Sheppard MullinThe Little Regulation That Will Make a Big Change in How You Do Business: Department of Commerce to Establish New Export Controls on Emerging Technologies.

–  From DechertNew Government Regulation of Emerging Technology.

From SkaddenUS Department of Commerce Solicits Comments Regarding Emerging Technologies That Are Essential to US National Security.

From LathamDeep Dive on Deep Learning: FTC Considers Artificial Intelligence.

From DLA PiperA New Chapter in Stress Testing. “While noting that emerging artificial intelligence technologies offer many actual and potential beneficial applications for banking, Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard said that financial services ‘firms should be continually vigilant for new issues in the rapidly evolving area of AI.'”

From Davis PolkNewsflash: FTC Hearings 5, 6 and 7 on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.

From Holland & KnightFTC Kicks Off New Consumer Protection Hearings: Focuses On The Use Of Big Data And Artificial Intelligence.

– From Squire Patton BoggsDigital Health Update: Recent FDA Cyber Initiatives.

From CadwaladerFDIC Chair McWilliams Urges More Collaboration On FinTech.

 

  • Here’s Bob Ambroji’s take on The Pew Charitable Trusts’ entry into A2J: A Potentially Major Lifeline For Low-Income Legal Tech And A2J. Bob discusses how Pew will attack several specific A2J obstacles. “Pew’s express commitment to increase access to free online legal tools and to develop new platforms to help people interact with the courts is a lifeline the justice system badly needs.”

 

  • Marks&Clerk’s Graham McGlashan posted: UK: Intellectual Property’s Vital Role In Healthcare’s AI-Driven Future. “…(A)geing populations and complicated comorbidities continue to put pressure on healthcare budgets, … the potential rewards for those devising the innovations that overcome those challenges can be significant and protecting innovation in this space with intellectual property (IP) will be vital.”

 

  • This piece from Legal Futures (High Court judge: ethical and legal framework for AI “imperative”) discusses several views concerning AI regulation in the UK, one reason for which being, “…the impact of humans getting things wrong was ‘unlikely to be catastrophic’, while AI failures could have a much bigger impact.”

 

  • Former FTC commissioner and now partner at Covington, Terrell McSweeny postedCompetitive Edge: Antitrust enforcers need reinforcements to keep pace with algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. “The Federal Trade Commission should consider creating an independent and fully staffed office for the chief technologist or even a Bureau of Technology to enhance its required technological expertise and support its competition mission.”

 

  • Here’s a post from the ACC with recommendations from Stephanie Corey for in-house teams; these are also relevant to law firms: 5 Steps to Metrics: Building a Data-Driven Legal Department. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew!” she warns. “Start small, because going through all these steps is hard and it takes time.” She adds, “A few meaningful metrics is better than 25 metrics that are used for nothing. Change them if they need to change, and stop if they’re not being used. Metrics should evolve with your changing department, and at the end of the day will show all the great progress you and your team have made.”

 

  • Speaking of in-house legal departments, Altman Weil’s 2018 Chief Legal Officer Survey has been released. (Link to download here.) To me, the most interesting thing about it is that though “data” is mentioned dozens of times, “blockchain” and “artificial intelligence” never appear. Not once.

 

  • In this post from Above the Law, Thomson Reuters’ Joe Borstein interviews LegalMation founder James Lee. It’s a deep dive into the product’s genesis, and also discusses applications. “…LegalMation uses machine learning to automatically draft responsive litigation documents such as answers, responses, and interrogatories (which would take hours for a junior associate). For example, within moments of uploading your opposition’s complaint, you will have a competent draft response, which goes so far as to pull out key quotations from the complaint and question their basis in fact….”

 

  • In this post from Information Age (The legal implications of ‘creative’, artificial intelligent robots), Bertrand Liard of White & Case, “discusses artificial intelligence in the context of copyright, patents and existing IP rights.”

 

  • As I have reported several times in the past, “… the GLBC (was formed) to help in developing standards and policies that govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law.” According to this release from K&L Gates, they’ve signed up too.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: Clause Joins Kaleido, the Platform that Makes Private Blockchains ‘Easy’. “…(I)f your firm has people who can get their heads around the mass of jargon and understand some of the technical aspects, then perhaps this could really speed things up and get people over the line into real, working uses of the tech, rather than just pilots.”

The biggest story in AI this week is the launch in China of an AI (“Digital Human”) news reader/anchor person. It’s certainly not Uncle Walter, but at first glance it’s pretty convincing. “The Chinese AI anchor man looks very much like the average Chinese citizen, a typical Chinese guy with that oddly intellectual look. He looks reassuring, made for his market like most news readers’ images are supposed to be.” Coverage here, here, here and video here. “There’s fake news, and then there’s fake people doing the news.”

In related news, Microsoft has developed AI that goes beyond the now well-established systems that write news articles. “Condensing paragraphs into sentences isn’t easy for artificial intelligence (AI). That’s because it requires a semantic understanding of the text that’s beyond the capabilities of most off-the-shelf natural language processing models. But it’s not impossible, as researchers at Microsoft recently demonstrated.”

 

  • Read this post from Artificial Lawyer. It provides some excellent insights from the heads of legal departments in some major corporations as to where the industry is headed and why. Legal Is Not ‘Special’ – Key Message of TR Legal Tech Procurement Event.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer (AL) has begun to do product reviews. The first company to be reviewed is Kira Systems, and here is the link. It’s not actually a link to a review, but rather a call for users to review the product according to specified criteria which will then be reported. Cool.

 

More posts from Artificial Lawyer:

– BCLP Launches ML Early Dispute Evaluation Service. “Clear/Cut harnesses the firm’s award-winning in-house forensic technology capability.” More here.

– Big Data Startup Concirrus Wins Norton Rose InsurTech Prize. Details here.

– Using AI Contract Analysis to Prepare for Brexit – Seal Software. More of this sponsored post here.

 

  • Blank Rome publishedWill “Leaky” Machine Learning Usher in a New Wave of Lawsuits? in RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law. “…(I)t seems all but inevitable that some of those (AI) systems will create unintended and unforeseen consequences, including harm to individuals and society at large.”

 

  • Law.com posted this news from Byran Cave: New Data Analysis Service Could Help In-House Clients See the Future. “…Clear/Cut leverages predictive coding and machine learning to comb through massive amounts of data and pluck out key information for legal analysts, who use the data to recommend whether clients should settle or forge ahead with litigation.” More here.

 

 

  • From Laura H. Phillips of DrinkerThe FCC Wades into the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning Pool. ” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a Public Notice announcing a first ever FCC Forum focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This Forum will convene at FCC headquarters on November 30.”

 

  • This, from Jonathan BockmanRudy Y. Kim, and Anna Yuan of MoFo: Patenting Artificial Intelligence in the U.S. – Considerations for AI Companies. “…(C)ertain AI technologies can face increased scrutiny at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to whether the invention is directed to patent-eligible subject matter.”

 

  • James M. Beck of ReedSmith publishedThe Diagnostic Artificial Intelligence Speedbump Nobody’s Mentioning. This is a very interesting and thorough treatment of the FDA’s regulations and the need for more.

 

  • Canada’s Torys published: Software As Medical Devices And Digital Health In Canada: What’s Next? Link here.

 

  • From Pillsbury’s Ashley E. CowgillArtificial Intelligence: A Grayish Area for Insurance Coverage. Download here from The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law Vol. 2, No. 1.

 

  • Here’s an interesting post by Ian Connett of QuantumJuristA Future of J.D. Advantage Jobs? (“J.D. Advantage” jobs are those for which a law degree is strongly preferred, but not necessarily required.) As you might expect, the answer is “yes”, and the specific examples he presents are interesting.

 

  • “Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s on-demand cloud computing subsidiary, was partially HIPAA eligible — AWS customers could use Polly, SageMaker, Rekognition, and dozens of the platform’s other offerings to process health information. But Translate, Comprehend, and Transcribe remained notable holdouts — until now, that is. As of this week, all three comply with HIPAA.” Story from Venture Beat here.

 

  • Dentons has published this Market Insights volume titled: Digital Transformation and the Digital Consumer. There’s a chapter on AI and much of the content is AI-related. There’s a video excerpt here.

 

  • LeClairRyan has published Airplanes and Artificial Intelligence Parts I and II. “…(A)pplications for AI in aviation and its effect on the legal liability and regulation of those who use it.”

 

  • From Hogan Lovells, here’s a link to download Artificial Intelligence and your business: A guide for navigating the legal, policy, commercial, and strategic challenges ahead.

 

  • Milena Higgins of Black Hills is the guest on this episode of Legal Talk Network’s “Legal Toolkit”: Robot Takeover: How Automation Makes Law Practice Easier.

 

  • Here’s Part 4 of Mintz’ Strategies To Unlock AI’s Potential In Health Care, Part 4: How And When Will Congress Act?

 

  • At two events in the past 30 days I’ve been part of discussions about law firms acquiring tech companies. Here’s an example: Singapore law firm Rajah & Tann acquires e-discovery startup LegalComet.

 

  • “Nalytics, is working with Strathclyde University’s Law School post-graduate students on a new project dedicated to promoting digital transformation in legal education. By providing free access to the Nalytics search and discovery platform to students on the Diploma in Professional Legal Studies, the project aims to help students develop a greater understanding of legal technology and more importantly, its applications in tackling a range of big data problems.” Story here.

 

  • This article from S&P Global Platts (Commodity market AI applications are emerging along with new risks) cites partners at several prominent law firms among others. “Artificial intelligence and smart contract technology like blockchain are slowly being adopted by commodity markets, creating opportunities to streamline trading and other functions, but not without introducing challenges and risks experts said Thursday.”

 

  • Exterro has issued the results of another survey. (2018 In-house Legal Benchmarking Report. There’s a link here.) All that is presented regarding the methodology is “…with over 100 respondents (more than ever before), this year’s report surveys a wider distribution of companies, including more from organizations of fewer than 25,000 people than in the past.” So, I’m assuming there are 101 respondents, making the typical margin of error error about +/-10%. Given the wide range of company sizes (1 to 250,000+ employees) and the fact most fall into one size category (1,000-25,000 employees), I don’t see how there can be much useful information anywhere in the report. Law.com talks about it (without regard to the methodology) here.

 

  • Here’s another industry survey. (The Blickstein Group’s 10th Annual Law Department Operations Survey.) This one has 128 respondents this year, but reports data back to 2008 when they had only 34 respondents. This year’s stats are probably accurate +/-9% which means that many of the differences reported are actually in a statistical tie, and the prior year data with very small samples should be ignored. Above the Law includes a summary by Brad Blickstein here without comment on its methodology. When combined with the included content by vendors and law firms, I see this study as the equivalent of an interesting focus group — just don’t take the statistics seriously.

 

  • I find it interesting that this post from Kyocera BRANDVOICE in Forbes (Can The Right Office Equipment Improve Our Legal Culture?) has a section on AI. They include AI as “equipment-related”.

 

  • Here, from the New York Times DealBook is a thorough examination of the bias present in today’s artificial intelligence:  AI: The Commonality of A.I. and Diversity. (It’s written by Alina Tugend)

 

Blockchain

  • This, from ContractWorks: Are Your Contracts in Chaos? Get Organized with These 4 Tips.

 

 

Also from Artificial Lawyer:

Smart Contract Pioneer OpenLaw Goes Open Source. Story here.

  • Ron Friedmann has pulled together pieces from three WSJ articles to offer a bit of a plan for improving value to clients, and hence to the law firm. His thesis combines considerations of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Productivity, and Big Data.

 

  • This, from Eran Kahana of Stanford Law School: Artificial Intelligence and Computational Law: Democratizing Cybersecurity. “An effective solution to a new problem has to incorporate different thinking, an epistemic reconfiguration, if you will. It is a thinking that manifests in novel tools, combined with effective deterrence in the form of penalties for non-compliance. But going back to the different-thinking variable, I think that a good part of an effective solution is available in shifting focus from regulatory efforts to end-user empowerment, essentially enabling end-users to become smarter consumers in the Internet + ecosystem.”

 

  • Robert Bond and Hannah Crowther of Bristows postedEthics and Data Privacy. “The 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners has released a Declaration on Ethics and Protection in Artificial Intelligence. In it, the Conference endorsed several guiding principles as “core values” to protect human rights as the development of artificial intelligence continues apace. The Conference called for the establishment of international common governance principles on AI in line with these concepts. As an initial step toward that goal, the Conference announced a permanent working group on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence.” “Even if Scott McNealy was right in 1999 (when he reportedly said, “You have zero privacy anyway – Get over it.”), individuals deserve respect for their privacy. This respect does not always have to be imposed by law, but should be a matter of integrity and ethics.”

 

  • Richard Jeens and Natalie Osafo of Slaughter and May posted this via Artificial Lawyer: Using AI for Regulatory Investigations. “In this post, we consider and share our views on the opportunities, limitations and future uses of AI for investigations.” “…(AI) is not a panacea. At the moment, significant resource can be required to compensate for AI’s limitations, which are amplified by the unpredictable nature of investigations, and the evolving data protection position.”

 

  • This, from Mintz’ Rodney L. WhitlockStrategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, Part 4: How and When Will Congress Act? “Currently, there is no sense that Congress will actively engage in legislative oversight of AI in the immediate future – the lack of movement on the existing bills combined with the overall lack of more targeted legislation are evidence of this. However, we are able to identify potential circumstances that could spur the House and the Senate to get involved.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “Legal marketplace pioneer, Lexoo, will use some of its recent $4.4m funding to develop its own legal tech applications to support the lawyers who work through the platform and to provide a deeper infrastructure for them to use on client matters. Such tools, e.g. that can support corporate deal work, will also mean that individual lawyers, or lawyers based in smaller firms, will already have some tech tools on hand to leverage their skills and do more for the clients, and work more efficiently.”

 

  • And finally from Artificial Lawyer: “Pittsburgh-based tech startup Three10 Solutions has bagged a $250,000 angel investment to continue development of its AI patent concept search system, named Dorothy. It is also looking for design partners to join the project. Its central idea is that unlike some other systems, it uses NLP to do conceptual searches for similar products, rather than depending just on key words, which are rarely sufficient for a detailed analysis.”

 

  • I wasn’t aware of Australia’s Law in Order until today. Their website provides several useful pieces of content includingThe Importance of Having an eDiscovery Expert on Your Side. Of course, they are promotional, but interesting nonetheless.

 

  • From Legaltech newsArtificial Intelligence: Useful—But Risky, Deloitte Survey Says. “Four out of 10 executives are concerned about the legal and regulatory risks of artificial intelligence, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Lawyers shared with Legaltech News the concerns they’ve heard and gave suggestions to address those risks.”

 

Blockchain

  • From DentonsUK: Manufacturing The Future: Applying Blockchain To The Manufacturing Supply Chain.

 

  • From Howard KennedyBlockchain is not the answer to money laundering… yet. “There is no reason existing regulations should stifle the progress of blockchain in this area. If regulators can create shared platforms, then they could dramatically improve AML measures for financial services while reducing the cost of compliance. It may even result in an internationally recognised digital client-identity forum. But clearly there is work to be done.”

 

  • Korean, Singaporean Firms Form Consortium to Create a Global Healthy Blockchain Ecosystem. “Some of the biggest blockchain-focused companies, as well as one law firm, have formed a consortium to create a “healthy blockchain ecosystem” as well as develop several dApps that are strategically focused on South Korea and Singapore.” Details here.

It has been almost a week since my last post. The College of Law Practice Management‘s Futures Conference was awesome, but my absence means I’m going to have to break the latest news into two posts, with the second to follow Wednesday.

 

 

  • Above the Law, in partnership with RSM, has produced an eBook, Using Data Analytics to Combat Fraud. Here’s how to download your copy.

 

  • In this post from Information Age (Applying AI and ‘new maths’ to solve complex real-world challenges), James Loxam of Luminance discusses the challenges around the application of AI with special emphasis on Cybersecurity. “What we’re now seeing is the emergence of AI-powered technology which is reading and understanding contracts and documents in the same way a human can. Machine learning algorithms are giving the technology the ability to learn and teach itself from the data it is shown, without needing explicit programming. The technology is only as good as the human operating it, but it is fair to suggest that the human is no longer as good at their job without the technology.”

 

  • LexisNexis has released the results of a new survey: Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype. Register for the report download here. The methodology description is sparse and not very clear, but I believe they conducted 30 in-depth interviews with in-house counsel and 110 responded to an online survey. Assuming no non-response bias (always a big assumption), the overall findings are probably accurate within about +/- 10 percentage points. (E.g., “37% of GCs do not know what technology their law firm is using” should be read as “between 27 and 47% …”) The breakdowns into respondent categories should be ignored.

There is some interesting third-party data reported. For instance, “Crunchbase estimates that over $1.5B has been invested by venture capitalists into legal start up. This number excludes private equity investments nor does it look at the money spent by law firms and larger corporates operating in this space.”

 

  • “Artificial Intelligence software provider, Neota Logic and leading law firm, McCann FitzGerald have announced a partnership with University of Limerick to deliver the first-ever third-level legal tech course from spring 2019. In what is a first for the legal industry and legal education in Ireland, students will have the opportunity to learn how to design, build and test digital legal solutions using the Neota Logic System, a no-code development platform for the automation of professional services.” Details here.

 

  • Press releaseUS service makes data available on 100,000 lawyers’ litigation history. “Bloomberg Law’s enhanced Litigation Analytics tool now enables users to search, review, and analyze company representation information for more than 100,000 attorneys at over 775 law firms.”

 

  • “(T)he French data protection authority, the CNIL, the European Data Protection Supervisor and Italian DPA, the Garante, co-authored a new declaration on ethics and data protection in artificial intelligence. Along with the declaration’s six principles, the ICDPPC, ‘in order to further elaborate guidance to accompany the principles,’ will establish “a permanent working group addressing the challenges of artificial intelligence development,” an ICDPPC release states.” Much more from The International Association of Privacy Professionals (iapp) here.

 

  • From DLA Piper‘s Ileana M. Blanco: Artificial Intelligence: from diagnostic programs to sex robots – unresolved liability questions. “No lawsuits involving AI have been found to date. It is foreseeable that traditional defenses – such as that there was no safer alternative design or that the product was “unavoidably unsafe” – may be available to potential defendants. This area of law remains unsettled – definitely one to monitor in the coming months and years.”

 

  • Here’s a post from Norton Rose announcing yet another enhancement to their chatbot, Parker. “Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has launched a new chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that has been trained to respond to queries in relation to emerging regulatory developments in the insurance sector. The chatbot is the latest iteration of the firm’s NRF Parker chatbot and will operate under the name of ‘Parker Insurance’. It is intended to help clients navigate new laws and regulations relevant to the insurance sector. Parker will continue to evolve and learn in order to develop its knowledge of the sector.”

 

 

  • This 40+ page white paper from Deutsche Bank (Regulation driving banking transformation) is an excellent case study of how today’s tech can transform an industry (banking being the industry in this example). There are chapters on Cloud, AI and Blockchain; and discussion of the state of regulation of each. “(T)the financial services industry will be transformed by technology. The extent to which this will happen, and the extent to which all participants experience the benefits, will depend on a wide range of factors. Regulation is almost certainly one of the most important.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • UK Well-Positioned To Compete with AI Superpowers US + China – Report. Story here.
  • SimpleLegal Launches ‘Auto Correct’ Billing App to Fix Dodgy Invoices. Details here.
  • Bloomberg Law to Offer Lawyer-Client Representation Analysis. Post here.
  • The Third Wave of AI, Big Data and the Dodo. More here.

 

Blockchain

  • Hunton Andrews Kurth posted this in-depth look at French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”)’s initial assessment of the compatibility of blockchain technology with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). “In its assessment, the CNIL first examined the role of the actors in a blockchain network as a data controller or data processor. The CNIL then issued recommendations to minimize privacy risks to individuals (data subjects) when their personal data is processed using blockchain technology. In addition, the CNIL examined solutions to enable data subjects to exercise their data protection rights. Lastly, the CNIL discussed the security requirements that apply to blockchain.”

 

  • This post by Ron Friedmann presents John Alber’s interesting analogy between evolutionary biology and Blockchain. I found the closing paragraph especially useful: “How we record, transact and enforce agreements has been a constant almost since the inception of the common law. Yet we let the digital age be born and grow to maturity without ever considering that perhaps our paper‐bound and extraordinarily inefficient service model for managing agreements might need changing. It took computer scientists to reimagine how to make agreements concerning digital assets. With the digital age exploding around us, what else about the law needs reimagining? Everything? Where do we begin? What do we have to learn to continue to stay relevant? And does KM need reimagining too? Is it also a relic from another age?”

 

  • I can’t wait to see a demo of this. Neota Partners With Legal Consultants for AI-Based Billing Tool. “Neota Logic and legal pricing consultants Burcher Jennings and Validatum teamed up to launch Virtual Pricing Director, a collaboration years in the making.”

 

  • Here’s more news from Neota Logic: Legal tech education: Neota partners with three new universities. “Neota Logic will today (19 October) announce three new education partnerships, with The University of Limerick, Ulster University and London South Bank University, which has launched a new law and technology option for students. Over the course of a semester, students at these schools will learn how to design, build and test digital legal solutions that solve a specific access to justice problem.”

 

  • Slaughter and May expands scope of its technology entrepreneurs programme. “The first two cohorts of the programme, originally named Fintech Fast Forward, focussed on UK-based start-up and high growth companies operating in the fintech sector, including paymentstech, insurtech, regtech, data analytics and AI. Under its new name, Fast Forward, the programme will be expanded to cover young companies operating in a diverse range of emerging technology sectors including IOT, cryptography, cyber, robotics, machine learning and DLT, as well as fintech.” More here.

 

  • Corrs postedAlong for the Ride: Considering the Legal and Practical Consequences of Self-Driving Vehicles. “If you’re over seven years of age – and have completed an online registration process – you can be part of Australia’s first Automated Vehicle Trial, by taking a ride on the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC) Intellibus, a fully automated, electric shuttle bus launched on public roads with the support of the WA State Government and the City of South Perth.”

 

  • Gavelytics Partners with CourtCall, Expanding Judicial Analytics to New States, Markets. “Remote court appearance provider CourtCall will offer a ‘simplified version’ of Gavelytics judicial analysis as it expands to Florida, Texas and California.” Details here.

 

  • From LittlerWhat Construction Attorneys Need To Know About AI. (Subscription required.)

 

  • This post isn’t as “legal” as the title might suggest, but it’s an interesting consideration. Artificial intelligence — Who is responsible for the outcomes?

 

  • Thomson Hine postedDepartment of the Treasury Releases Interim Rules Expanding Scope of CFIUS and Creating Pilot Program for Certain Transactions. “While the text of ECRA does not define the term “emerging and foundational technologies,” the following industry sectors could be included: artificial intelligence….”

 

  • Neil Rose postedNew tech demands code of “cyber ethics” for lawyers.

 

  • More from the Mintz seriesStrategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, Part 2: FDA’s Approach to Protecting Patients & Promoting Innovation. “Artificial intelligence—AI—is the future of everything. But when patient health is on the line, can we trust algorithms to make decisions instead of patients or their health care providers? This post, the second in our blog series about AI in health care, explores FDA’s proposed regulatory model that is supposed to be better suited for AI (and similar technologies) while still protecting patients.”

 

  • This from HR Daily Advisor: “Like it or not, it’s time to prepare your employees for the fourth industrial revolution, where automated technologies and artificial intelligence are becoming mainstream. Below is more information about what you can do to accomplish this as an L&D professional.”

 

  • From WombleA.I. in the TCPA Crosshairs: TCPA Class Action Challenges Hotel’s Use of IVY Concierge Artificial Intelligence SMS Platform.

 

  • This from the International Association of Privacy Professionals: Perspective: Should robots have rights? “(California) Bill 1001 implicates a hitherto-abstract, philosophical debate about when a simulation of intelligence crosses the line into sentience and becomes a true artificial intelligence.”

 

  • This 5-minute podcast is from Shook Hardy: Can Robots Be Sued? Q&A With Cory Fisher.

 

  • Fully digital conclusion of contracts via Alexa becomes possible for clients of insurtech firm Deutsche Familienversicherung. “Customers can now not only receive advice from Alexa, but can also simultaneously conclude an insurance contract within only a few seconds.” Story here.

 

  • At least in the UK: “There may need to be some coverage disputes before professional indemnity (PI) insurers work out how to deal with bad advice given by artificial intelligence (AI) systems used by lawyers, a leading City firm has warned. It said the widespread use of technology that utilised AI ‘contributes to additional complexity and uncertainty for insureds and insurers when assessing risk and apportioning liability’. More here.

 

  • From Legal Futures: Law firms look to leverage data in battle with new providers. “Law firms big and small are increasingly viewing artificial intelligence (AI) software and particularly the exploitation of data as integral to business health, a survey has found. The annual law firm benchmarking survey by accountancy and consultancy firm Crowe, also found a growing fear of non-lawyer legal services providers, especially among City firms.” I could not find the survey methodology, so let the reader beware.

 

  • “Above the Law and Thomson Reuters present Big Data and the Litigation Analytics Revolution, the fourth and final installment of our Law2020 series, a multimedia exploration of how artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies are reshaping the practice and profession of law.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:
    • “Global legal tech company, Thomson Reuters (TR), has partnered with contracting automation platform Synergist.io, in a move that will see the Germany-based startup integrate with the well-known Contract Express document automation system.” Story here.
    • We Are All Lawyers Now – The Rise of the Legalish. Interesting perspective here.
    • Language and Machine Learning – A Lawyer’s Guide. Post by Johannes Stiehler, CTO, of text analytics company Ayfie
    • More A2J news! California Starts Special Task Force on A2J Tech, Legal AI Founder Joins.

 

Blockchain

  • China’s Internet Censor Releases Draft Regulation for Blockchain Startups. ” The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) published a draft policy on Friday, called “The Regulation for Managing Blockchain Information Services” and is now looking for public feedback before it will take effect.” Story here.

 

 

  • What Carl Sagan has to do with regulating blockchain smart contracts. “If policymakers seem flummoxed by the rise of cryptocurrencies, wait until they get to smart contracts. Just ask Brian Quintenz, commissioner for the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. At a conference in Dubai this week, Quintenz expressed a sense of awe at the vast unknown that blockchain-based computer programs have created for his agency. “Post here.

 

  • Blockchain developments in Nashville:
    • “Stakeholders in the creation, growth and connectedness of blockchain- or distributed ledger-enabled jobs and wealth creation in Tennessee gathered twice within the past 24 hours with representatives of Tennessee Economic and Community Development (ECD) to explore the technology’s status, the state’s competitive assets and its potential strategic options.” “A nonprofit organization is to be formed to support the collaborative’s aims, according to Waller Lansden attorney Kristen Johns, who is the prime mover in this emerging initiative. Waller cosponsored the event with Brooklyn-based Consensys, a distributed-ledger-oriented tech company.” More here.
    • And check out Tokenize Tennessee here.