• Predictive analytics are going to be huge in the business (and practice) of law. This is my favorite example so far. “DLA Piper brought in Axiom Consulting Partners to assist in building a predictive-learning model that predicted with 75-80 percent accuracy those clients that will shrink or go dormant in the next year.” Check out the reported ROI.


  • Global law firm alliance, Meritas has made AI for its members a priority. “…Jill Wiley, the newest chairwoman of the board …, is looking to get independent law firms thinking about technology innovation and artificial intelligence. Wiley, also a managing partner at southern Arizona firm Waterfall, Economids, Caldwell, Hanshaw & Villamana, has set forth a priority to establish a Meritas international task force on the use of AI.” Details here.


  • Here’s an interesting roundtable discussion of the use of tech by in-house folks and their expectations of law firms. Several are already using AI and blockchain themselves, so they expect law firms to embrace such tech to achieve better, faster, cheaper. It’s a good read.


  • I am often asked whether and then how smaller firms can get involved with AI. My answer usually involves vendors who offer AI by the document or byte or user. Here’s an example (DATAVLT) of a firm “providing a cost-efficient data analytics service for these underserved SMEs.” (Or, join Meritas — see above.)


  • “Facebook is buying London-based artificial intelligence start-up Bloomsbury (AI) … a data analytics company that automates customer care and advice. It has proprietary algorithms that answer questions after trawling documents, which will prove a useful tool for Facebook’s battle against fake news. The Silicon Valley tech giant will pay between $20m and $30m (£15m-£22m)….” More here.

Also, Artificial lawyer reports that Bloomsbury AI is “one of the startups in Allen & Overy’s second cohort at its Fuse incubator.”


  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, this interview “with Steven Lofchie, a New York partner in the Financial Services Department at top US law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, to hear about the firm’s custom-built legal research and knowledge management platform that leverages machine learning, known as the Cabinet.”


  • I keep saying I’m going to stop covering legal AI investments, but I can’t seem to help myself. To wit$200M In Two Months Says Investors No Longer Snubbing Legal Tech.


  • Nothing new here. Move along, move along. From Taylor Wessing: AI is disrupting the delivery of legal services – but to what extent and how? “The continued development of AI in all areas of the delivery of legal services can only be good news for clients. AI offers the potential to free up lawyers from the more mundane and often time consuming aspects of their jobs, allowing them to focus on the areas in which they can bring the most value to the client relationship, all for a lower overall spend.”


  • And don’t miss this! “In a landmark study, 20 experienced US-trained lawyers were pitted against the LawGeex Artificial Intelligence algorithm. The 40-page study details how AI has overtaken top lawyers for the first time in accurately spotting risks in everyday business contracts.” And don’t miss the link to the full story.
  • Must Read: LawGeex is/are back with the 2018 edition of their LegalTech Buyer’s Guide. As promised, it provides: “130+ top technology solutions, definitive step-by-step guide on buying legal tech, first-person accounts from law departments, in-depth analysis of leading players in 16 categories of legal tech, and jargon-free explanation of legal “buzzwords.” Of course my favorite section is “AI: From Buzzword to Bulwark.”


  • From AustraliasianLawyer.com: “Several law firms are working with Tel Aviv-based legal tech venture LitiGate to further develop and test a litigation platform that uses artificial intelligence to automate legal research and argument assessment in relation to High Court applications. Taylor Wessing, Miscon de Reya, and BakerMcKenzie are working with the tech firm which aims to revolutionize legal services. Ben Allgrove, Baker McKenzie’s Global R&D Partner, says investing in new technology is paramount. “Technology and AI are transforming the delivery of legal services and our partnership with LitiGate is a great opportunity for us to support them develop cutting edge legal tech solutions, and ultimately shape the future of law. This collaboration is a core part of our innovation strategy and we look forward to embarking on this journey with LitiGate.”



  • Legal chatbot will tell you whether new EU data laws apply to your South African business: “Norton Rose Fulbright has launched a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that responds on the new European Union data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).” Story here.


  • From Artificial Lawyer, “Pan-African law firm, Bowmans, has chosen Kira Systems for AI-driven review work in M&A, private equity and compliance matters.”


  •  Also from Artificial Lawyer, news of another player in the contract review field. “A new legal AI-driven contract review company, Heretik, which operates primarily through the well-known Relativity ediscovery platform, could well be the shape of things to come.”


  • Press release: “Swedish corporate law firm Setterwalls has selected Luminance’s artificial intelligence platform to improve the efficiency of its due diligence process in M&A transactions.”


  • Check out ‘Legal Robot‘, According to Inc.com, it’s “an AI-powered “legal advisor” that helps both lawyers and consumers build contracts. Built to overcome the difficulty of understanding legal language, the app uses deep learning and natural language processing to create models of contracts for various scenarios and uses. It can then translate the terminology into layman’s terms, compare documents to create a language benchmark for consistency, and ensure compliance. The app aims to help businesses identify risks and pinpoint their specific blind spots in creating contracts, and its ability to learn and transform its understanding boosts its likelihood of doing that.”


  • Amazon develops a new health team for its Alexa division. “Causing stocks to plunge across the pharmaceutical industry, to working with existing healthcare providers in a number of initiatives, the e-commerce giant is set to explore the potential of its voice-recognition technology further through its new health and wellness team.” Details here.


  •  This from SPACENEWS and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Artificial intelligence is changing everything, ‘We need a different mentality.’ “NGA’s answer is what the agency calls its “triple A” strategy: automation, augmentation, AI. “We intend to apply triple A by the end of this year to every image we ingest,” said Poole. It will be a massive undertaking. Just over the past year, NGA ingested more than 12 million images and generated more than 50 million indexed observations.”



  • I expect some defense work will be required here: “vpnMentor ran a test of over 2,500 websites in the EU that will need to follow the new GDPR regulations and found that as little as 34% of websites are currently compliant. Most of the websites we checked either had old privacy policies, and in some cases no privacy policy at all, and are in no way ready for the stricter privacy guidelines.” Breakdown by country here.


  • From Insurance Edge: Human Vs AI: Where Will Blame Lie in Autonomous Vehicle Accidents?


  • From McDermottSurfing “Tech’s Next Big Wave”: Navigating the Legal Challenges in Digital Health. “(There are) myriad, complex legal challenges that must be addressed at the earliest stages of the planning process and the intensifying interest of government oversight and enforcement bodies.”


  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Taylor Wessing, Bakers + MDR Partner with LitiGate AI Startup, “to help develop its AI-driven research and argument assessment platform.” Link to story.

– “UK’s HM Courts & Tribunals Service has rolled out an online divorce application platform, which should reduce stress for parties involved and also – and this is the key bit – reduce the cost of a key justice process.” Good news for A2J here.

This is an interesting story about Thomson Reuters taking a step into blockchain contracts via Kleros. “…(F)or those who are already familiar with blockchain technology and feel comfortable with the idea of crowdsourced justice this could be an effective means of dispute resolution.”


  • White House to hold artificial intelligence meeting with companies. “The White House will convene a meeting on Thursday on the future of artificial intelligence in U.S. industry with major companies including Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc and Oracle Corp as well as senior government officials.” “The goal is to convene industry experts to advise the federal government on what regulations will be appropriate for the coming wave of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.” Details here and here.


  • This is an overview of the ways AI can benefit HR management in almost any organization.


  • Microsoft Commits $25 Million to ‘AI for Accessibility’. Details here.


  • Google news:

Google is relaunching its news site with lots more artificial intelligence as part of its effort to fight fake news. “Today we’re rolling out an all new Google News, which uses the best of artificial intelligence to find the best of human intelligence—the great reporting done by journalists around the globe.” “Using real-time AI/ML to organize the news.” Details here and here.

– Google goes all-in on artificial intelligence, renames research division Google AI. Details here.

  • Law firms face threats to their revenue streams from: 1) smarter in-house counsel, 2) other law firms who “get it” re AI and Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs), and 3) Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs). In each case, AI can enable those competitors to provide legal services better, faster and cheaper than traditional law firms. Many of the ALSPs grew up funded by investors and with AI in their veins. Still, those who dominate buyers’ mind share tend to be long time familiar brands. Axiom is the big exception. (Kudos to Acritas for providing this methodologically solid research.)


  • Speaking of those brand leaders and AI, Thomson Reuters is investing $100 million in a Toronto tech hub. Recent years’ major advances in AI have depended on breakthroughs in analytic algorithms, processing power and big data. Talk about “big data: “even as the company hosts more of its data on cloudbased servers, it still holds a massive 60,000 terabytes of information in its own data centres.” Wow.


  • According to this story from Artificial Lawyer, the “French Justice Ministry Sees ‘No Additional Value’ in Prédictive Legal AI.” In terms of AI’s promise of “better, faster, cheaper,” the ministry seems to have focused solely on the “better” aspect, ignoring the benefits of “faster” and “cheaper.” (“Prédictive” is being piloted by Taylor Wessing and Dentons, among others.)


  • The whacky world of AI prognostication: This report from CB Insights says AI is putting at risk 10 million jobs in the USA alone. Meanwhile, this one forecasts “huge job growth in AI jobs in Britain,” and this one says, “instead of destroying jobs AI Is creating new jobs in 4 out of 5 companies.” Here’s proof that there’s at least one new job available today!

  • This writer expects AI to “revolutionize marketing,” but sees it a mixed bag when it comes to marketing jobs, eliminating some, and empowering others. That may be related to the finding of this large international study by MIT that “reports that 91 percent of “iconic” companies — those that maintain both the highest levels of customer experience (CX) satisfaction and have world-leading brand recognition — deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to increase customer satisfaction, compared to 42 percent of companies in their fields overall.”


  • More on facial recognition: I reported a few days ago that China has deployed more than 20 million cameras in public places and intends to compile a database of all citizens’ visages. Reacting to a query concerning the security of that database, a vendor for the Ministry of Public Security claimed that “data theft would be impossible,” saying that “downloading the data would be as difficult as launching a missile with a nuclear warhead.” Is it just me, or does that sound like the precursor to the announcement of a massive security breach?


  • It’s Friday, so here’s an AI thought piece for your weekend. The subject: what is consciousness and can AI ever be conscious/self-aware? It’s a DEEEEEP dive into the Theory of Mind.
  • Check out Sally Gonzalez’ provocative essay about the relationship between AI & KM in law firms, and the likely changes AI will cause.


  • I recently posted an article arguing that in law, the optimal solution today may be an AI/human hybrid. This article argues the same for financial services.
  • Taylor Wessing is touting its “ongoing investment in how we use technology to deliver efficient services to our clients.” (It’s largely AI.)
  • And finally, on the tangentially related but fun front, this article predicts that autonomous vehicles (AV) will make us more human, and and this one shows that AVs aren’t just cars, trucks and drones, they’ve gone to Mars!