Demystifying Artificial Intelligence (AI) — from legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com
A legal professional’s 7-step guide through the noise

Excerpt:

AI IS NOT ONE THING
AI is not a single technology. Really, it’s a number of different technologies applied in different functions through various applications.

Some examples include:
Natural language processing (NLP), which is behind many AI applications in the legal industry whose work product is, as we know, text-heavy by nature. NLP is used to translate plain-English search terms into legal searches on research platforms such as Thomson Reuters Westlaw, and also to analyze language in documents to make sense of them for ediscovery or due diligence reviews.

Logical AI/inferencing is employed to build decision trees in systems such as TurboTax®. This guides users through questionnaires resulting in legal answers or drafts of legal documents. Human expertise is built into the logical structure of these systems.

This only scratches the surface of the capabilities of AI. All of the functions and technologies identified below are starting to be used in the legal space, sometimes in combination with one another.

Technologies

  • Logical AI/Inferencing
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Robotics
  • Speech
  • Vision

Functions

  • Expertise Automation
  • Image Recognition & Classification
  • Question Answering
  • Robotics
  • Speech (Speech to Text, Text to Speech)
  • Text Analytics (Extraction, Classification)
  • Text Generation
  • Translation

 

 

The meaning of artificial intelligence for legal researchers — from legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com

Excerpt:

Many legal professionals currently use artificial intelligence (AI) in their work, although they may not always realize it. Even among the most tech-savvy attorneys, questions remain as to what AI means for the legal profession today – and in the future.

Three of the most common questions include:

  • What is the definition of AI and how does it differ from other types of technology?
  • How will advances in AI change the way legal professionals work in the future?

And, perhaps most importantly:

  • How do you know when AI technology can be trusted in the legal space?

In this post, Thomson Reuters Westlaw shares answers to these questions based on the perspectives of our experienced attorney-editors and technology experts.

 

 


While the following isn’t necessarily related to AI, it is related to legal education and may be helpful to those who will be trying to pass the Bar Exam:


 

You Can Beat The Bar Exam. Here’s How. — from nationaljurist.com by Maggy Mahalick

Excerpt:

Use All Your Resources
You are not the first person to study for this exam. You are not in this alone. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for everything. Save yourself time and energy by using resources that are already out there for you.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (“NCBE”) has countless free and paid resources on their website alone. They provide a sample of past Multistate Essay Exam (“MEE”) questions, along with the analyses of the correct answers. They also provide a limited number of sample multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”) questions with the correct answer choices for free. They provide more questions with answer explanations for a fee.

You can also sign up for a bar prep program that uses past retired questions from previous bar exams. The NCBE licenses these questions out to some companies to use instead of simulated questions. Real questions will give you an idea of what the exam will look and feel like.

If you like using flashcards but don’t have the time or patience to make your own, there are several websites that provide online flashcards for you as well as websites that allow you to make your own deck online. For example, AdaptiBar has a set of online flashcards that you can add your own notes to.

 

 

 

 

The Law Firm Disrupted: Walmart Won’t Pay You to Cut and Paste — from law.com by Roy Strom
The world’s largest retailer, locked in a battle over the future of its business, has developed a tool to help make its many outside lawyers more efficient.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Earlier this week, Walmart Inc. announced it would be rolling out 500 more giant vending machines in its stores to deliver online orders in seconds. The tool is designed to compete with online delivery services from Amazon.com Inc.

The world’s largest retailer also announced this week a tool that will compete (in some sense) with its outside counsel. Walmart has licensed a product from LegalMation that automatically drafts responses and initial discovery requests for employment and slip-and-fall suits filed in California. By this fall, the product should cover those cases in all 50 states.

LegalMation says it takes under two minutes to drag and drop a PDF of a suit into its product and receive a response to that case, in addition to a set of targeted requests for documents, form interrogatories and special interrogatories. That work has traditionally been handled by junior lawyers at Walmart’s outside firms, and LegalMation claims it can take them up to 10 hours to do. The savings on preparing an answer to these complaints is as much as 80 percent, LegalMation said.

“You’re still reviewing the outcome and reviewing the affirmative defenses,” said LegalMation co-founder Thomas Suh, a longtime legal technology advocate. “You’re eliminating the brainless cutting and pasting.”

 

About six months after the Harvard program, Lee and Suh had drilled down on where to apply AI, and they teamed up with IBM’s Watson to build their product. They also had to develop their own neural network that they said is the “secret sauce” to LegalMation’s ability to parse legalese.  “We would not be able to do this without an AI engine like Watson, and likewise I don’t think a product like this would be doable without our neural network,” Lee said.

 

 

Also see:

 

Also see:

Automation in the Legal Industry: How Will It Affect Recent Law School Grads? — from nationaljurist.com by Martin Pritikin

Excerpt:

A 2017 study by McKinsey Global Institute found that roughly half of all work activities globally have the potential to be automated by technology. A follow-on study (also from McKinsey in 2017) concluded that up to one-third of work activities could be displaced by 2030. What, if any, impacts do these eye-popping findings have on the future on the legal profession, especially for recent law school graduates embarking on their careers?

Recently, it was announced that ROSS, a legal research artificial intelligence platform powered in part by IBM’s Watson technology, was unveiling a new product, EVA, which will not only find applicable cases, but quality check case citations and history. As usual, this latest development has gotten people worried that human lawyers—and, in particular, recent law grads who have traditionally been tasked with legal research—may be on a path to extinction.

Obviously, no one can predict the future with certainty. But if history is any guide, these new technological developments will shift the type of work new lawyers are expected to do, but won’t necessarily eliminate it.

We may not be facing a future without lawyers. But it is going to be a future that requires lawyers to learn how to utilize technology effectively to serve their clients—something we should all welcome, not fear.

 

College of Law Announces the Launch of the Nation’s First Live Online J.D. Program — from law.syr.edu

Excerpt:

The American Bar Association has granted the Syracuse University College of Law a variance to offer a fully interactive online juris doctor program. The online J.D. program will be the first in the nation to combine real-time and self-paced online classes, on-campus residential classes, and experiential learning opportunities.


The online J.D. was subject to intense scrutiny and review by legal education experts before the College was granted the variance. Students in the online program will be taught by College of Law faculty, will be held to the same high admission and academic standards as students in the College’s residential program, and will take all courses required by its residential J.D. program.

 

Also see:

 

 

Per Catie Chase from BestColleges.com:

As you know, online education is rapidly expanding. At BestColleges.com we believe it’s important to evaluate the latest trends in distance education and measure the impact to both students and academic institutions. This is an industry that evolves quickly and these results offer relevant, current insights we are excited to learn from and share with the online learning community.

To keep up with these trends, we surveyed 1,800 online students and university administrators and published two reports based on our findings:

  • 2018 Online Education Trends Report – Synthesizing all of the data we gathered in our study, this academic report provides a holistic look at the current state of online education and offers predictions for where it’s headed.
  • The Student’s Guide to Online Education – Most students we spoke with wished they’d known more about online education and how to choose a quality online program prior to enrolling. We built this guide as a launching point for prospective students to gain that knowledge and make informed decisions on their education.

 

In an effort to develop a broader understanding of how common perceptions of online education are changing, we added several questions for both students and school administrators to the study this year. A majority of students (79%) felt that online learning is either “better than” or “equal to” on-campus learning. They felt their employers (61%), future employers (61%), and the general public (58%) also had a similarly positive perception of online learning.

 

 

From DSC:
It is highly likely that in the very near future, the question won’t even be asked anymore what employers think of online-based learning and whether they will hire someone that’s taken a significant portion of their coursework online. They won’t have a choice. This is especially true if and when more advanced technologies and capabilities get further baked into online-based learning — i.e., truly personalized/customized learning (which most faculty members — including myself — and teachers can’t deliver), virtual reality, artificial intelligence, chatbots, personal digital assistants, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and more. 

The better question could become:

To what extent will campus-based learning be impacted when truly personalized/customized learning is offered via online-based means?

My guess?  There will continue to be a significant amount of people who want to learn in a physical campus-based setting — and that’s great! But the growth of online learning will grow even more (a lot more) if truly personalized learning occurs via online-based means.

 


 

99% of administrators found that demand for online education has increased or stayed the same over the past few years. Almost 40% of respondents plan to increase their online program budgets in the next year.

 


 

This year, 34% of schools reported that their online students are younger than in previous years, falling into the “traditional” college age range of 18-25, and even younger as high school students take college courses before graduating. Several schools noted that recent high school graduates are entering the workforce while also pursuing a college education.

 


 

 

From DSC:
Check out the 2 items below regarding the use of voice as it pertains to using virtual assistants: 1 involves healthcare and the other involves education (Canvas).


1) Using Alexa to go get information from Canvas:

“Alexa Ask Canvas…”

Example questions as a student:

  • What grades am I getting in my courses?
  • What am I missing?

Example question as a teacher:

  • How many submissions do I need to grade?

See the section on asking Alexa questions…roughly between http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-30ixK63zE &t=38m18s through http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-30ixK63zE &t=46m42s

 

 

 

 


 

2) Why voice assistants are gaining traction in healthcare — from samsungnext.com by Pragati Verma

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The majority of intelligent voice assistant platforms today are built around smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. But that might change soon, as several specialized devices focused on the health market are slated to be released this year.

One example is ElliQ, an elder care assistant robot from Samsung NEXT portfolio company Intuition Robotics. Powered by AI cognitive technology, it encourages an active and engaged lifestyle. Aimed at older adults aging in place, it can recognizing their activity level and suggest activities, while also making it easier to connect with loved ones.

Pillo is an example of another such device. It is a robot that combines machine learning, facial recognition, video conferencing, and automation to work as a personal health assistant. It can dispense vitamins and medication, answer health and wellness questions in a conversational manner, securely sync with a smartphone and wearables, and allow users to video conference with health care professionals.

“It is much more than a smart speaker. It is HIPAA compliant and it recognizes the user; acknowledges them and delivers care plans,” said Rogers, whose company created the voice interface for the platform.

Orbita is now working with toSense’s remote monitoring necklace to track vitals and cardiac fluids as a way to help physicians monitor patients remotely. Many more seem to be on their way.

“Be prepared for several more devices like these to hit the market soon,” Rogers predicted.

 

 


From DSC:

I see the piece about Canvas and Alexa as a great example of where a piece of our future learning ecosystems are heading towards — in fact, it’s been a piece of my Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision for a while now. The use of voice recognition/NLP is only picking up steam; look for more of this kind of functionality in the future. 

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 


 

 

 

AWS unveils ‘Transcribe’ and ‘Translate’ machine learning services — from business-standard.com

Excerpts:

  • Amazon “Transcribe” provides grammatically correct transcriptions of audio files to allow audio data to be analyzed, indexed and searched.
  • Amazon “Translate” provides natural sounding language translation in both real-time and batch scenarios.

 

 

Google’s ‘secret’ smart city on Toronto’s waterfront sparks row — from bbc.com by Robin Levinson-King BBC News, Toronto

Excerpt:

The project was commissioned by the publically funded organisation Waterfront Toronto, who put out calls last spring for proposals to revitalise the 12-acre industrial neighbourhood of Quayside along Toronto’s waterfront.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flew down to announce the agreement with Sidewalk Labs, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, last October, and the project has received international attention for being one of the first smart-cities designed from the ground up.

But five months later, few people have actually seen the full agreement between Sidewalk and Waterfront Toronto.

As council’s representative on Waterfront Toronto’s board, Mr Minnan-Wong is the only elected official to actually see the legal agreement in full. Not even the mayor knows what the city has signed on for.

“We got very little notice. We were essentially told ‘here’s the agreement, the prime minister’s coming to make the announcement,'” he said.

“Very little time to read, very little time to absorb.”

Now, his hands are tied – he is legally not allowed to comment on the contents of the sealed deal, but he has been vocal about his belief it should be made public.

“Do I have concerns about the content of that agreement? Yes,” he said.

“What is it that is being hidden, why does it have to be secret?”

From DSC:
Google needs to be very careful here. Increasingly so these days, our trust in them (and other large tech companies) is at stake.

 

 

Addendum on 4/16/18 with thanks to Uros Kovacevic for this resource:
Human lives saved by robotic replacements — from injuryclaimcoach.com

Excerpt:

For academics and average workers alike, the prospect of automation provokes concern and controversy. As the American workplace continues to mechanize, some experts see harsh implications for employment, including the loss of 73 million jobs by 2030. Others maintain more optimism about the fate of the global economy, contending technological advances could grow worldwide GDP by more than $1.1 trillion in the next 10 to 15 years. Whatever we make of these predictions, there’s no question automation will shape the economic future of the nation – and the world.

But while these fiscal considerations are important, automation may positively affect an even more essential concern: human life. Every day, thousands of Americans risk injury or death simply by going to work in dangerous conditions. If robots replaced them, could hundreds of lives be saved in the years to come?

In this project, we studied how many fatal injuries could be averted if dangerous occupations were automated. To do so, we analyzed which fields are most deadly and the likelihood of their automation according to expert predictions. To see how automation could save Americans’ lives, keep reading.

Also related to this item is :
How AI is improving the landscape of work  — from forbes.com by Laurence Bradford

Excerpts:

There have been a lot of sci-fi stories written about artificial intelligence. But now that it’s actually becoming a reality, how is it really affecting the world? Let’s take a look at the current state of AI and some of the things it’s doing for modern society.

  • Creating New Technology Jobs
  • Using Machine Learning To Eliminate Busywork
  • Preventing Workplace Injuries With Automation
  • Reducing Human Error With Smart Algorithms

From DSC:
This is clearly a pro-AI piece. Not all uses of AI are beneficial, but this article mentions several use cases where AI can make positive contributions to society.

 

 

 

It’s About Augmented Intelligence, not Artificial Intelligence — from informationweek.com
The adoption of AI applications isn’t about replacing workers but helping workers do their jobs better.

 

From DSC:
This article is also a pro-AI piece. But again, not all uses of AI are beneficial. We need to be aware of — and involved in — what is happening with AI.

 

 

 

Investing in an Automated Future — from clomedia.com by Mariel Tishma
Employers recognize that technological advances like AI and automation will require employees with new skills. Why are so few investing in the necessary learning?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predictions 2018: Technology, Media, and Telecommunications –from deloitte.com

The technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications ecosystem remains as fascinating as ever in 2018. Will augmented reality become mainstream? How will machine learning affect the enterprise? What’s the future of the smartphone? Deloitte Global invites you to read the latest Predictions report, designed to provide insight into transformation and growth opportunities over the next one to five years.

 

 

 

 

 
 

Microsoft now offers AI courses as a skill for your CV — from theverge.com by James Vincent

Excerpt:

Here’s something every tech company agrees on: the world needs more AI engineers. Microsoft is the latest firm to try to answer this demand, and this week, it launched a new course on its tech accreditation scheme (known as the Microsoft Professional Program) dedicated to artificial intelligence.

The course has 10 modules, each taking between eight and 16 hours to complete online. They cover a range of sub-disciplines, including computer vision, data analysis, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Interestingly, there’s also an ethics course (a topic Microsoft is paying close attention as it pivots to focus on AI) as well as a module on machine learning in Azure, the company’s cloud platform.

 

AI Helps Figure Out Where Students Go Wrong on Math Problems — from steamuniverse.com by Joshua Bolkan

Excerpt:

Researchers at Cornell University are working on software that will help math teachers understand what their students were thinking that led them to finding incorrect answers.

Erik Andersen, assistant professor of computer science at Cornell, said that teachers spend a lot of time grading math homework because grading is more complicated than just marking an answer as right or wrong.

“What the teachers are spending a lot of time doing is assigning partial credit and working individually to figure out what students are doing wrong,” Andersen said in a prepared statement. “We envision a future in which educators spend less time trying to reconstruct what their students are thinking and more time working directly with their students.”

 

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

From MIT Technology Review on 4-2-2018

*Only* 14 percent of the world has to worry about robots taking their jobs. Yay?
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a major report analyzing the impact of automation on jobs in 32 countries.

Clashing views: In 2016, the OECD said only 9 percent of US and worldwide jobs face a “high degree of automobility.” That was a contradiction of one of the most widely cited reports on jobs and automation, by Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, who in 2013 said that 47 percent of US jobs were at high risk of being consumed by automation.

What’s new: The OECD’s latest report says that across the countries analyzed, 14 percent of jobs are highly automatable, meaning they have over a 70 percent likelihood of automation. In the US, the study concludes that 10 percent of jobs will likely be lost to automation. An additional 32 percent of global jobs will be transformed and require significant worker retraining.

The big “but”: As the gap between the OECD report and Frey and Osborne’s estimates illustrate, predictions like these aren’t known for their accuracy. In fact, when we compiled all of the studies we could on the subject, we found there are about as many predictions as there are experts.

 


Also see:



Automation, skills use and training
— from oecd-ilibrary.org by Ljubica Nedelkoska and Glenda Quintini

Excerpts:

Here are the study’s key findings.
Across the 32 countries, close to one in two jobs are likely to be significantly affected by automation, based on the tasks they involve. But the degree of risk varies.

The variance in automatability across countries is large: 33% of all jobs in Slovakia are highly automatable, while this is only the case with 6% of the jobs in Norway.

The cross-country variation in automatability, contrary to expectations, is better explained by the differences in the organisation of job tasks within economic sectors, than by the differences in the sectoral structure of economies.

There are upside and downside risks to the figures obtained in this paper. On the upside, it is important to keep in mind that these estimates refer to technological possibilities, abstracting from the speed of diffusion and likelihood of adoption of such technologies….But there are risks on the downside too. First, the estimates are based on the fact that, given the current state of knowledge, tasks related to social intelligence, cognitive intelligence and perception and manipulation cannot be automated. However, progress is being made very rapidly, particularly in the latter two categories.

Most importantly, the risk of automation is not distributed equally among workers. Automation is found to mainly affect jobs in the manufacturing industry and agriculture, although a number of service sectors, such as postal and courier services, land transport and food services are also found to be highly automatable.

Overall, despite recurrent arguments that automation may start to adversely affect selected highly skilled occupations, this prediction is not supported by the Frey and Osborne (2013) framework of engineering bottlenecks used in this study. If anything, Artificial Intelligence puts more low-skilled jobs at risk than previous waves of technological progress…

A striking novel finding is that the risk of automation is the highest among teenage jobs. The relationship between automation and age is U-shaped, but the peak in automatability among youth jobs is far more pronounced than the peak among senior workers.


This unequal distribution of the risk of automation raises the stakes involved in policies to prepare workers for the new job requirements. In this context, adult learning is a crucial policy instrument for the re-training and up-skilling of workers whose jobs are being affected by technology. Unfortunately, evidence from this study suggests that a lot needs to be done to facilitate participation by the groups most affected by automation.

An analysis of German data suggests that training is used to move to jobs at lower risk of automation.

 

 

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