• 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.
  • If even you’re casually interested in AI, check out this list of the biggest AI milestones achieved in 2018. E.g., from Microsoft: “Hitting human parity in a machine translation task is a dream that all of us have had. We just didn’t realize we’d be able to hit it so soon.”

 

  • And this isn’t specifically legal-related, but it’s interesting: CES 2019 Trends To Watch – 5 Predictions Everyone Should Read.

 

  • Even if you’re not particularly interested in China or the US-China AI rivalry, this article is a good look at cutting edge innovation in AI. AI Domination: The Zero-Sum Game Between The U.S. and China.

 

  • In this post from Legal IT Insider, “12 IT leaders tell us about their achievements, challenges and priorities for the year ahead.” There was quite a bit of AI in 2018 and in their forecasts. For instance, from Clive Knott of Howard Kennedy, “Our most significant development has been the first real use of AI technology in the business, which has significantly reduced the time taken to analyse source documents and produce specific reports.

 

  • And here’s LegalWeek with seven of the same: Cutting through the hype: predictions for innovation in law in 2019. “The Big Four broke cover and started to talk more openly about their ambitions in the legal sector.”

 

  • From MyShingle.com, here are some interesting thoughts re the Tax Implications of Productizing Legal Services. “…(W)hen lawyers convert traditional legal services into hard-copy books or digital products or apps or chatbots because many states subject digital products and/or a software-as-a-service  (e.g., assessment tools like this product ) to state sales taxes.”

 

  • Here’s a good explanation of what’s going on (and coming ) in use of crypto-technologies in real estateBlockchain’s real estate break.

 

  • In this interesting post, “Gopi K, SVP at Infosys, explores the future of blockchain in 2019.” He presents his four areas of expected greatest growth and explains the state of regulatory affairs in several key countries. This post is very relevant to law.

 

Law Firm Posts/Content

  • “OpenText™ announced that leading international law firm Pillsbury … will be the first law firm to deploy OpenText Magellan, OpenText’s AI-enabled analytics platform.” More here.

 

  • From “…Dentons TMT Bites, the newsletter of Dentons’ Italian Intellectual Property & Technology group. This month we will deal with Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) from IP to privacy and contracts.” Ten December posts are included here, along with a 1-minute video intro.

 

  • Also from Dentons (Saverio Cavalcanti and Giangiacomo Olivi), “With this article, we will address some legal issues arising from contracts featuring AI-based services/products.” It’s a pretty deep dive.

 

 

 

  • From Shearman & Sterling, here’s the longest title of a post I have seen in a while: District Of New Jersey Denies Motion To Dismiss Class Action Against Blockchain-Based Company, Finding That Plaintiff Adequately Pled Defendants’ Initial Coin Offering Constituted The Offer And Sale Of Unregistered Securities.
  • It seems the FCC plans to have a rather light touch when it comes to regulating AI. “FCC chair Ajit Pai signaled that when it comes to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the FCC was smart enough to exercise regulatory humility, particularly given that the technology could revolutionize communications, but registered concern about AI potentially perpetuating biases in decision-making.” More here.

 

  • Here’s more coverage of LexisNexis’ new Context tool: New Data Analytics Tool Knows Every Federal Judge’s Favorite Cases. “This kind of data—for every federal judge and for 100 different types of motions—is now available to litigators at the click of a mouse through a launch on Thursday of LexisNexis Context, the result of the legal giant’s purchase of Ravel Law in mid-2017. Context will be available as an added purchase in the Lexis Advance suite.” Bob Ambrogi’s take is here.

 

  • Hogan Lovells has been tracing the California Consumer Privacy Act, and here‘s their latest post (with links to their others): California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – The Impact of the CCPA on Data-Driven Marketing and Business Models. “The breadth of personal information covered by the CCPA, going beyond what is typically covered by U.S. privacy laws, will complicate compliance and business operations.”

 

  • 2019 may be the year for something GDPR-ish in the US: Federal Data Privacy Legislation Is Likely Next Year, Tech Lawyers Say. “Why now? More companies appear to be growing concerned with the idea of having a jumble of federal and state data privacy and cybersecurity laws, especially with the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 in June of this year. However, the California law will not fully take effect until 2020. There are also several different laws governing data privacy by sectors, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and The Fair Credit Reporting Act.” Much more from LAW.com here.

 

  • From AshurstA more reasonable approach to internal investigations. “Even investigations by authorities (known as ‘dawn raids’) are primarily carried out using e-discovery today. The authorities first request access to all the company’s servers, demand the surrender of digital storage media and, if applicable, request access to any cloud infrastructure. These can accurately be referred to as ‘e-raids’.”

 

  • Starting Today, Columbia’s Professor Daniel Guetta Uses Evisort to Teach Text Mining in New Artificial Intelligence MBA Course. “Columbia Business School data scientist Professor Daniel Guetta, Director of the Business Analytics Initiative at Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering, has published a case study about Evisort, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced document management and data analytics solution for contracts developed by Harvard Law and MIT researchers” Story here.

 

  • It has been too long since I have written, “it’s all about the data“, so here’s a reminder from Pepper Hamilton’s Joseph C. Guagliardo: “What’s critical to a lot of these machine learning and AI devices is the information that’s given to the algorithms to make them smarter and train them ….” “It’s not just about the algorithms, it’s about the data that’s feeding them.”

 

  • Here’s Sheppard Mullins’ Reid WhittenJ. Scott MaberryCurtis Dombek and Lisa Mays‘ take on the new US tech export controls: The Little Regulation That Will Make a Big Change in How You Do Business: Department of Commerce to Establish New Export Controls on Emerging Technologies. (<– That’s just the title, not the whole article.) “Affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance.”

 

  • This, from MoFo: Counsel’s Guide to AI in the Board Room. “…(D)irectors and their counsel should look to take advantage of the best  technology and information available to them in order to drive shareholder value. In times of change, remember to stick to the fundamentals and help boards, as their counsel, make fully informed, good-faith decisions.”

 

  • From SeyfarthWave Of The Future: The Effect Of AI And Robotics On Commercial Real Estate. Several specific applications are discussed in some depth.

 

  • And Littler posted this podcastEmbrace or Rage Against the Machine? The HR Costs and Benefits of Automation. “The use of automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics to make or provide products and services is no longer uncommon. But what about the use of these tools in making hiring and other employment decisions?”

 

  • This, from MadgwicksDudley KnellerLegal frontiers: From AI to ethics. “Positive results have already been achieved by algorithms within a confined remit but ongoing supervision of data handling practices as well as the application of AI technology is required.”

 

  • There’s an interesting bit of research coming from Oxford University. “…(T)o look at using artificial intelligence to increase processing times, improve customer engagement and unlock new potential in accountancy, legal and insurance services.” “Unlocking the Potential of AI for English Law (Oxford) will look at existing challenges to implementing AI in legal services and how to unlock its potential for good. The project will bring academics, lawyers, businesses and programmers together to develop the skills, training and codes of practice to deliver these benefits. The team will gather best practices across the world, outline data challenges, identify where and how AI can legitimately resolve disputes and map the frontier of AI in legal reasoning.” More here and here.

 

  • This, from Legal Futures: “… Lord Chancellor (David Gauke) yesterday hailed the impact of alternative business structures in driving competition and fostering innovation in the legal market. (And) also praised the way that law firms are embracing technology to maintain the UK’s international position.” “We have also seen PwC’s UK legal practice reach a headcount of 320 and generate revenue of £60m. That puts it just outside the UK’s top 50 law firms in its own right.”

 

  • Oh Lordy. It’s only the first business day of December and the onslaught of 2019 AI prognostications has already begun. To say you time, I’ll try to bunch them, and only include those I find really interesting. Such as:

– Recruitment trends in tech for 2019: Machine learning, AI and predictive analytics. There’s some interesting stuff re HR here.

– If you’re at all interested in Marketing, I expect you’ll find these interesting: Annual Predictions For Marketers: From AI To Politics To Augmented Intelligence To Orchestration.

These seem well-reasoned: 5 Important Artificial Intelligence Predictions (For 2019) Everyone Should Read. :…(W)hen it comes to doctors and lawyers, AI service providers have made concerted effort to present their technology as something which can work alongside human professionals, assisting them with repetitive tasks while leaving the “final say” to them.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

– Clause Creates Smart Contract Template For IoT Devices. Post here.

– ‘Lawyers, Be Truly Curious About Legal Tech’ – Kerry Westland, Addleshaw Goddard. Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • Amazon’s AWS has launched a new service that “is going to make it much easier for you to use the two most popular blockchain frameworks, said AWS CEO Andy Jassy. He noted that companies tend to use Hyperledger Fabric when they know the number of members in their blockchain network and want robust private operations and capabilities. AWS promises that the service will scale to thousands of applications and will allow users to run millions of transactions (though the company didn’t say with what kind of latency).” Coverage here, here, here and here.

 

  • Blockchain Smart Contracts Subject to Financial Laws, Says CFTC Primer. “One of the top U.S. financial regulators, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has released its second guide to understanding smart contracts, with a reminder that the technology is covered under financial rules.” Details here.

 

  • Ohio ‘rolls out the red carpet’ for blockchain businesses by accepting bitcoin this tax season. “As of Monday, Ohio became the first state where business can pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. (Ohio’s state treasurer Josh Mandel) said the decision was twofold: It increases “options and ease” for taxpayers, and it opens the door to software engineers and tech start-ups.” Coverage from CNBC here.
  • From Above the LawHead-To-Head Showdown Between AI-Driven Legal Research Tools. It’s Casetext versus LexisNexis and there’s a clear winner, but I expect today’s winner will lose tomorrow as all of these applications are improving so quickly.

 

  • “Former FBI lawyer Lisa Osofksy today allayed lingering doubts about the future of the Serious Fraud Office as she delivered her first speech as director of the agency. Osofsky, who has dual US and British nationality, affirmed that she has the attorney-general’s support to maintain the independence and prominence of the SFO over her five-year term.” … “She also wants to enhance the agency’s use of technology to help crack data-heavy cases. Osofsky cited the example of deploying an artificial intelligence robot to help check for privileged material in the landmark Rolls Royce case back in 2016. This led to an 80% saving in the area it was used.” Partners from WilmerHale and White & Case comment in the article. More here.

 

  • Claim Technology, a LawTech start-up pioneering a digital Claims-as-a-Service platform, has integrated their solution with leading customer messaging platform, Intercom. Law firms who use Claim Technology’s chatbot, Robin, can now empower their customers to complete tasks, share media, and get real-time answers to their questions at the point of claim.” Post from Legal Futures.

 

  • Also from Legal FuturesSeries A Extraordinaire: Insight Venture Partners takes a $50m minority stake in Kira Systems. I have generally stopped posting about investments in legal AI because they have become so common, but I will post those that are unusually large or otherwise noteworthy. “Kira, which despite being bootstrapped until now has in the past three years grown from 15 to 115 employees and counts a majority of the global top 30 law firms as customers, signed the deal with Insight Venture last week in order to exponentially (a bit of hyperbole?) accelerate its growth within the legal sector and beyond.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: Kennedys Brings India Tech Team Inhouse, Launches ‘Kognitive Computing’. “The firm said that the new team is focused on ‘rapid prototyping, application development, text analytics, machine learning and blockchain‘.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: Meet Tolley.Ai The World’s First Tax Bot, And Help It To Learn. “The tax group within LexisNexis, known as Tolley, has created an NLP-driven, automated tax bot that can answer questions about accounting issues and learn from the feedback you give it. It may prove to be of use to both accountants and lawyers working in this field.” Lots of details here.

 

  • Colorado’s new consumer data protection law among the most demanding in the country. “The law establishes three key responsibilities for businesses and government entities that keep either paper or electronic documents containing Coloradans’ personal identifying information, the Colorado Office of the Attorney General says. It applies to all businesses, from one-person operations or multi-national corporations.” Details from the Denver Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • Pepper Hamilton’s Daniel Sieck postedBlockchain for the Energy Industry: Mid Market Trends – Investor Interest Is On The Rise. “While M&A deal flow remains relatively low in this sector, it is expected to increase, especially among corporate strategic acquirers seeking to obtain blockchain innovation and expertise rather than develop it in house.”
  • From Bloomberg Law: “Securitization specialists at law firms including Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and DLA Piper say the first blockchain-based transactions could come as early as this year. “There’s a lot of hype about blockchain, but I am working on actual deals right now,” said Matthew Duncan, a partner and head of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’s London-based securitization practice, who expects to see the first blockchain securitization by mid-2019. “Securitization will change fundamentally.””

 

  • And here’s more about blockchain from Artificial Lawyer: Smart Contract Group, Accord Project, Links with R3’s Corda Blockchain.

 

“Robots have stimulated the imagination of human beings for several thousand years: artificial servants and companions seem to be present as far back as in the ancient Greek myths. To a great extent, these myths are now becoming reality, with the effect that fundamental concepts of law must be revisited in light of recent and rapid technological developments. It remains to be seen how quickly law will follow technology… and to what extent lawyers themselves will be replaced by robots.”

 

  • Press release: Cooley Partner Named to Inaugural European Commission Expert Group on Liability and New Technologies.

 

  • Here’s an interesting post about the growth of legal tech (including AI) in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Legal Tech Market is Booming.

 

Since today is a bit light on legal AI news, here’s some info to catch you up on AI in the rest of the world:

  • From Finextra: “AiX, the artificial intelligence broker, announces today that it has completed the first ever trade brokered by an AI powered chatbot. The trade is the first of its kind to use AI technology instead of the traditional human brokerage model, completing a successful cryptocurrency transaction between Rockwell Capital Management and TLDR Capital.”

 

  • The international AI race: from the Financial Times: “In the race to master artificial intelligence, Europe is a clear laggard. The US and China dominate AI in everything from research to investment. Whereas Europe spent about $3bn-$4bn on AI in 2016, investment in North America was up to $23bn, according to McKinsey Global Institute.”

 

  • For more than a year I have been writing about the tens of thousands of news stories being composed by AI. During that time they have become more sophisticated. Here‘s a bit of an update. (This is about “artificial” but not “fake” news.)

 

  • It’s not just law firms that struggle to achieve greater diversity. Google Employees and Investors Joined Forces to Demand More Diversity. Why Even That Novel Approach Failed. Even the employees that caused Google to drop a major government/defense contract couldn’t clear the diversity hurtle. This story has been widely covered. Here’s the post from Fortune.

“Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin may hold supervoting rights, making these proposals untenable in practice, but they can’t stop this dirty laundry being aired in public—particularly when employees and shareholders join forces. At some point, something has to give. And not just a “more inclusive vegan salad” emoji.”

 

  • I guess if we’re going to really understand how dark/malevolent AI can go, we need to take it there and examine the result. So, MIT scientists create world’s first ‘psychopath’ AI and it’s really spooky. Creepy details here.

 

  • Speaking of creepy, it’s pretty horrifying to imagine the old white guys in our Congress, mainly Luddites, writing the laws that will govern our AI and other tech. Consider this post from the Washington Post‘I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say’: How Congress is struggling to get smart on tech. “(P)olicymakers themselves admit they aren’t fully prepared to deal with the issues.”
  • From the Mintz Intellectual Property Advisory, “AI: The Path of the Future or Industry Hype?” The post includes some examples of AI in use and an explanation of Machine Learning. The thrust of the article focuses on the patenting of AI systems, concluding with: “(i)n sum, while it is less than certain how far the technology will ultimately take us, it is clear that the field of AI is young, disruptive, and here to stay.”

 

  • Here’s another solid explanation of Blockchain, including a bit of history and some cautions.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “KPMG International has announced a range of AI-driven doc review services under an expanded strategic alliance with IBM Watson’s AI technology.  …(S)olutions utilising Watson now available include the KPMG Contract Abstraction Tool for IFRS 16 lease accounting compliance and KPMG Research Tax Credit Services with Watson.”

 

  • This piece discusses possible uses of AI in the Indian judicial system. Canadian and US applications of AI are discussed.

“Unless artificial intelligence and machine learning are deployed effectively in judicial administration, trial, and adjudication of cases at the earliest, the worrying long-term trend of a pile-up of cases from the lowest courts to the highest will continue unabated. Moreover, like in other pillars of democracy, artificial intelligence, when effectively put to use, can also play a key role to help address challenges of transparency and red tape. With the responsible adoption of artificial intelligence, the Indian judicial system can bring about a drastic transformation to ensure that justice is neither delayed nor denied.”

 

  • Book release: “Co-authored by Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer, and Jim Wilson, managing director of information technology and business research at Accenture Research, Human + Machine is being published by Harvard Business Review Press and will be widely available March 20. Based on the authors’ experience and on quantitative and qualitative research with 1,500 organizations, Human + Machine debunks the widespread misconception that AI systems will replace humans in one industry after another. The authors show that while that will be true for some jobs, with AI being deployed to automate certain tasks, the technology’s true power is in augmenting human capabilities.”
  • Read this ==> Here’s “Stagnation And The Legal Industry (Part 2) What Real Transformative Change Could Look Like: Envisioning a radically changed future for legal services,” the followup to Ken Grady’s recent provocative piece. The first step he describes (digitization of contracts, laws, decisions, etc.) is not at all far fetched. Then Ken gets into AI: as a tool, as an owner of IP (?), and as a liable entity (?). As is repeated so often when discussion AI, “it’s all in (or ‘about’) the data.” Ken also paints a picture in which risk management regarding the law will be less risky. I especially like Ken’s distinction between law firms and law companies as they strive to provide service to clients that is better, faster and cheaper (my words). As he points out, “this is one version of the future.” It is a thought-provoking one.

 

  • “…7-Eleven is rolling out artificial intelligence at its 11,000 stores across Thailand…. 7-Eleven will use facial-recognition and behavior-analysis technologies to identify loyalty members, analyze in-store traffic, monitor product levels, suggest products to customers, and even measure the emotions of customers as they walk around. “…(I)t will be using technology developed by US-based Remark Holdings, which says its facial-recognition technology has an accuracy rate of more than 96%.” More here.

 

  • Law firm (and KPMG) news:

Mintz Levin: “AI: The Path of the Future or Industry Hype?” This is a good overview of the history and state of AI, including a bit about AI and IP, including Alice.

Brinks Gilson & Lione: “Trade Secret Theft Cases Reflect A Ferocious Race To Be First In The Autonomous Vehicle Space.”

Jackson Lewis: “Partners with Ross Intelligence on Firm-Wide Artificial Intelligence Initiative.”

KPMG: “Rolls Out AI-Driven Tax Doc Review With IBM Watson.” (From Artificial Lawyer.)

 

  • For your Friday musings, several guesses as to what our AI world will be like in 50 years. Interesting.
  • These are solid for any marketer, even legal! “Get Smarter With Artificial Intelligence: 11 Ways Marketers Can Leverage AI.” (Nadja Blagojevic of Axoim even participated.)

 

  • Artificial Lawyer reports that Pittsburgh-based legal AI doc review provider “LegalSifter has secured $1.86 million in funding from venture capital fund Birchmere Ventures and several high-net-worth individuals.”

 

  • Epstein Becker partner Bradley Merrill Thompson, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Medical Devices Law & Industry Report, in “Who Is Liable for Faulty Artificial Intelligence in Health Care?” by Sara Merken.

 

  • Here are “five legal tech apps disrupting the legal market,” a good summary of the offerings of:
    • CaseCrunch (AI software that can predict legal decisions with high accuracy),
    • Premonition, (which lawyers, win which cases, in front of which judges),
    • Cognitiv+ (monitor changes in legislation and then compare its analysis to a company’s own contracts),
    • Check Recipient (studies your emails and alerts the user when it believes an email has made its way to the wrong person, blocking the attempt), and
    • FLEXEBOSS (online legal marketplace which enables people to search, select and interact with high quality, affordable (20% cheaper than the market rate), vetted UK solicitors to solve their legal issues).

 

  • I have often posted about the international competition to lead in AI, both commercially and militarily. Some of those participating in The Neural Information Processing System (NIPS) conference in Long Beach expect that the US lead may be vulnerable and is threatened by policies such as the tax plan now working its way through Congress. “I’m with everyone else—this is devastating,” says Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management who is studying the impact of AI on economic growth and inequality. “It’s honestly like it was designed by America’s enemies who want to take us down a notch. American policy is contributing to having AI research leave the country, literally.”

 

  • The ladies have justly received the Time POY award, but “Artificial Intelligence” has been chosen as the “marketing word of the year,” according to the Association of National Advertisers. (Voting was conducted online the week of Nov. 27 with 403 ANA members participating.) “It’s not just the marketing word of the year,” one advertiser said in verbatim comments selected by the ANA. “It’s the transformative phenomenon that’s going to reshape the world as we now know it.”

 

  • Reinforcement learning has done it again. AlphaGo Zero, developed by Google subsidiary DeepMind, only needed four hours of training to defeat the current world champion chess-playing program, Stockfish 8. Out of 100 games, it won 28 and drew the remaining 72. Even more impressively, it achieved this feat almost completely autonomously. “The AI was given a few basic rules, such as how the different chess pieces move, but was programmed with no other strategies or tactics. It simply got better by playing itself over and over again at an accelerated pace….”

 

  • AI News you can use! “Five New AI-Powered Features In Google Sheets Help Businesses Make Better Decisions.” For instance: “Using the ‘Explore’ feature, Sheets will intelligently suggest the right pivot table for you based on the data you have in a spreadsheet. What used to take six or seven steps to look at massive amounts of data (if you knew what you were looking for) just became as easy as clicking a button to visually represent data.”

Last week’s College of Law Practice Management Futures Conference was all AI and pretty amazing. I won’t try to summarize it here. For a recap, check out my Twitter feed (@MarkTGreene). Next year’s conference will be at the Soffolk University Law School in Boston, October 25-26. The focus will be cybersecurity.

 

  • If your firm is planning to do business in, or related to, the EU next year, especially if you’re using AI, you’ve got to come to grips with the upcoming GDPR. Details here.

 

  • This article from The Globe and Mail explains how “artificial intelligence takes the drudgery out of legal work.” It repeatedly uses the example of Blue J Legal, an AI product primarily focused on tax. A2J is discussed.

 

  • According to Artificial Lawyer, the result are in for Case-Crunch’s challenge to real lawyers in predicting financial product mis-selling claims. The results are here.

 

  • A new study by the UN (Artificial Intelligence and Broadband Divide: State of ICT Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2017) finds that countries with poor broadband infrastructure are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to AI development and uptake. Summary here.

 

  • I’ve mentioned a few times that Saudi Arabia is making moves to become a serious AI player. In what seems to be a publicity stunt, last week they granted AI robot Sophia “citizenship.” (With more rights than human women.) Now she’s (or “it’s” or whatever) in a Trump-esque Twitter feud with Elon Musk. This is pretty funny. (But this professor is seriously concerned.)

Meanwhile, Estonia is headed toward becoming the first country to grant AI some form of juristic personality, giving robots personal rights and responsibilities.

 

  • One of my favorite sessions at the Futures Conference was a presentation by Prof. Ashok Goel regarding Georgia Tech’s chatbot Teaching Assistant, Jill Watson. It’s a great example of how far chatbots have come. Here’s a summary from earlier this year.

 

  • Forget about Amazon’s HQ2, where will AI be headquartered? Seems there’s a clear winner.

 

  • Here’s an interesting piece about AI impacting journalism, and news in general, in the short term. It’s certainly relevant to law firm Client Alerts.

 

  • You know that Captcha website security check system? It seems it’s no match for AI’s ability to identify images.

 

  • For several decades, Moore’s Law was remarkable in its ability to predict the speed with which more transistors could be packed into an integrated circuit. As we seem to be reaching the end of our ability to pack on more transistors, some have predicted that AI’s growth will be stifled. For several relatively independent reasons, this does not seem to be the case, and AI will continue its ever-accelerating race to The Singularity.

 

  • This is a rather long but very interesting piece about the need to incorporate emotion into AI.

 

  • It has been a while since I’ve provided an AI primer for those new to the subject, so here’s a brand new one by Apoorv Saxena, lead product manager at Google and co-founder of the AI Frontiers conference. Here’s another that’s MUCH more visual. This is a good overview of the debate you may have heard about concerning the possible threats of AI. And here’s an overview of the most important players in each area/industry related to AI.