AL News Brief, Feat: Linklaters x2, Relativity, PwC, ABBY, + Nalytics

Hello all, here’s your AL News Brief for all the legal tech and AI news that’s fit to print this fine Monday morning. Enjoy.

Linklaters Says AI Could Put $Billions at Risk Without A Proper Legal Framework

Richard Cumbley, global head of TMT and IP, and a team of lawyers at global law firm Linklaters, have produced a report that warns of the dangers of companies exploiting AI technology without putting in place the right frameworks to use it.

The report – which has some very nice graphics and includes a ‘toolkit’ for assessing your risks – can be found: here.

Some of the report’s key points include: that global spending on AI systems by companies and other organisations is expected to reach $77.6 billion by 2022, more than a threefold increase on that forecasted for 2018.

That investment is being made in a wide range of sectors from healthcare to financial services. This growth raises many new legal and ethical challenges ‘which puts this investment at risk unless properly addressed’ says Cumbley and team.

For example, one area they look at is product liability, on which they say:

‘Strict liability could arise under product liability laws. In the UK, businesses supplying products to consumers have strict liability obligations to ensure their safety.

The term “product” includes “all movables … even though incorporated into another movable or into an immovable”. This term would not cover a business’s internal use of artificial intelligence tools (as they are not provided to a consumer) or web-based access to an artificial intelligence tool (as there is no product). However, product liability will be relevant if the artificial intelligence were embedded in a product sold to a consumer.

Cumbley, concludes: ‘Businesses are increasingly looking at ways to use artificial intelligence to extract value from their data or automate their processes using sophisticated decision making tools. In doing so, they are having to confront new legal, ethical and practical challenges.

We have identified a range of measures that business should take to ensure the successful deployment of this technology. Addressing these issues properly at the start of any project will not only protect the billions some companies are investing in this area but also unlock the very significant potential of this technology.’

Plus: Linklaters Launches Startup Employment Platform, Inc. Downloadable Contracts

A new Linklaters platform called TechLinks will provide startups and small tech businesses with employment resources and documents including employment contracts.

TechLinks, will offer ‘a select number of small and start-up technology businesses’ access to key employment documents and resources, plus guidance on how to legally protect and enhance their business when building a workforce.

TechLinks offers an interactive site where tech businesses can download employment contracts and other resources which are ‘the essential building blocks of a secure and stable company’ said the global law firm.

It will also provide insights and trends on the current market and a glossary of terms to make it accessible to those without a legal background.

David Speakman, Counsel at Linklaters said: ‘We have found that startups and small technology businesses have a need to protect the value in their business. Key questions need to be addressed at an early stage of their development, such as what happens if their key employees, often the founders, leave before the business gets to a sale or how to properly protect the business’ unique IP. This is also important when the business seeks investment, as investors will look to see if these protections are in place. We hope that TechLinks will help companies get the basics right from the start.’

ABBYY OCR Pioneer Integrates with UiPath RPA Marketplace

Leading OCR company ABBYY, has announced that its FlexiCapture Connector application is now available on the UiPath Go! robotic process automation (RPA) marketplace.

This will enable those companies and law firms tapping RPA technology to integrate ABBYY’s well-developed OCR capabilities into any process they are designing.

Bruce Orcutt, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at ABBYY, said: ‘UiPath is making it easier for its customers and partners to access… technologies like ABBYY with its RPA app store.’

ABBYY FlexiCapture Connector enables UiPath customers to leverage its intelligent OCR and machine learning capabilities to ‘accurately classify, extract, and validate data from structured and unstructured documents and communications including purchase orders, invoices, applications, bills of lading‘ and then to deliver that extracted data back into a UiPath robotic process.

Strathclyde University Law School Partners With Nalytics in Legal Tech Education Project 

The University of Strathclyde Law School and legal data search company Nalytics are to work together with 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, said the company.

This is a further example of legal tech companies working closely with law schools, something that Neota Logic has pioneered. Recently there has been a number of similar projects with other universities and tech companies, including Germany’s Bryter.

David Rivett, Nalytics COO, said: ‘[This will] provide post-graduate students with ‘hands-on experience’ of a real legal tech tool – Nalytics. This experience will better prepare them for careers which will inevitably call for a greater understanding of big data and the technologies used to effectively manage it.’

PwC To Use Relativity Trace Compliance Tool To Monitor Communications + Flag Risk

Relativity has announced the launch of Relativity Trace, a compliance tool which helps businesses to ‘proactively monitor internal communications and flag the highest-risk content for further review’. Big Four firm PwC has said that it will be one of the first customers to use it.

The tool allows regulated organisations to ‘detect and act on suspicious activity, including insider trading, collusion, improper investment management practices, bribery, and other high-risk scenarios’ said the ediscovery company.

It can automatically ingest all forms of communication, including email, audio, and chat. As it does, Trace uses rules and criteria determined by an organisation to flag the most relevant data, immediately alerting risk management and compliance teams. Companies and their law firms can then leverage Relativity to move into an investigation.

In short, it’s a type of early warning system that operates in real time, rather than after the fact, which connects directly into the platform’s wider ediscovery capability.

Matt Joel, director at PwC UK, said: ‘We’re excited to use Trace to create valuable efficiencies in our compliance projects. We already see the potential it can offer to our clients and we look forward to further leveraging the Relativity platform to move into markets beyond ediscovery.’

That’s all for now folks!