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Introduction to Legal Technology, lecture 1 (2015)


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Slides for lecture 1 of the course Introduction to Legal Technology at the University of Turku Law School, presented Jan 13 2015.

This lecture contains an overall introduction to the course and presents some general legal tech/compsci/AI concepts.

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Introduction to Legal Technology, lecture 1 (2015)

  1. 1. TLS0070 Introduction to Legal Technology Lecture 1 Introduction University of Turku Law School 2015-01-13 Anna Ronkainen @ronkaine
  2. 2. Welcome! ...on a journey to the unknown. (Really, I have no idea what will actually come out of this. Caveat auditor.)
  3. 3. So, what is this? -  not a course about the legal regulation of technology (save for lecture 8) -  not your average legal theory course (even if the teacher is a legal theorist...) -  it’s about technology (ICT) as it relates to the practice of law -  existing technology but even more so future technology, and the changes it will bring to the legal profession – and your career -  1st course of its kind in Nordics/Baltics (?)
  4. 4. Meanwhile, across the pond:
  5. 5. Look who’s talking Anna Ronkainen -  a lawyer at least on paper (LL.M., U of Cph); also studied EE/CS, linguistics; researcher in computational legal theory (U of Hki) -  Chief Scientist and co-founder, Onomatics Inc. -  worked in the software industry since the early 1990s -  my knowledge of practical lawyering comes from just very little in- house work (and a lot of films and TV), so please correct me whenever I’m wrong...
  6. 6. (Susan Rieger: Divorce Papers)
  7. 7. So, why this now? -  in 1995, lawyers didn’t use e-mail – and were vehemently against the whole idea -  ... and now ... -  in 2035, who knows? (and if you’re in law school now, you probably expect to practice well into the 2050s) -  what we do know is that a change is underway – and where it’s coming from – and that’s what this course is all about -  for example: legal startups have gone from about 20 to about 500 in the past 5 years
  8. 8. Course logistics
  9. 9. Course format -  10 lectures (2 h each) on Tuesdays between 14 and 18 (check the schedule!) -  attendance not mandatory but strongly recommended (20% of grade) -  final paper: 2500–4000 words (80% of grade) -  required reading: Richard Susskind: Tomorrow’s Lawyers (OUP 2013) and some articles (see Moodle)
  10. 10. Lesson plan (1/2) 1.  Introduction. On law and technology. What is legal technology? (Jan 13, 16–18) 2.  Artificial intelligence and law: the 20th century (Jan 27, 14–16) 3.  Artificial intelligence and law: the 21st century (Jan 27, 16–18) 4.  Human factors: What does AI tell us about legal reasoning in general? Human-computer interaction (Feb 3, 14–16) 5.  Legal technology now: information retrieval, electronic discovery, knowledge management (Feb 10, 14–16)
  11. 11. Lesson plan (2/2) 6.  Legal technology now: case management, online dispute resolution, access to justice (Feb 17, 14–16) 7.  Legal technology now: decision support, prediction, automation, self-service (Feb 17, 16–18) 8.  Ethical and regulatory questions. AI and IP law. Big data and data protection (Feb 24, 16–18) 9.  Legal technology in the future: emerging technologies, innovation, disruption and legal startups (Mar 3, 14–16) 10.  Legal technology and you: the impact of legal technology on the legal profession, new business models for legal services and alternative business structures, unauthorized practice versus liberalization (Mar 10, 14–16)
  12. 12. Lecture etiquette -  please interrupt me! -  but say your name at least once a day when you do -  use electronic devices if you absolutely have to (for taking notes, looking up relevant stuff etc)
  13. 13. Required reading -  Susskind book chapters and/or articles given on Moodle for each lecture -  not going to go all Socratic on you... -  ... but reading the indicated things at least cursorily before each lecture should make it a lot easier to understand the lectures -  and of course you’ll need them for the paper, supplemental readings also indicated
  14. 14. Final paper -  2500–4000 words (10–16 pages) -  to be returned on Moodle by Apr 10 -  topic and form must be approved by the lecturer in advance -  possible topics (non-exhaustive list): -  some specific technology and its application to law -  some specific field of law or type/stage of legal practice and the current/potential application of technology in it -  thorough analysis of 1–2 existing legal startup(s) -  business plan for your own future legal startup
  15. 15. Communications protocols -  in person (somewhere here for about 1 h before each lecture (except 14:00–14:15)) -  Moodle -  Twitter: @ronkaine #legaltechturku -  if you absolutely must: email -  my blog: (posts tagged ltcourse)
  16. 16. Back to the topic
  17. 17. What is technology? -  τέχνη ‘art, skill, craft’ + -λογία ‘study of’ -  “Technology is society made durable” (Bruno Latour) -  ”technologies of power” (Michel Foucault) -  the practical application of knowledge to a particular area -  “the collection of tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures used by humans” (yay Wikipedia!)
  18. 18. Which technology has had the biggest impact on law?
  19. 19. Writing! Code of Hammurabi, Mesopotamia 1754 BCE (Wikimedia: Rama CC BY-SA 2.0)
  20. 20. What is legal technology? -  technology (mainly ICT) used -  in courts -  in legal practice -  for doing things which conventionally have required the assistance of a lawyer -  ...
  21. 21. What kind of legal technology does this course (not) cover? -  ICT only: no photocopiers, no writing -  law-specific only: no e-mail -  focus on innovative technologies: no (or very little) Finlex or LexisNexis
  22. 22. What kind of legal technology does this course cover? -  artificial intelligence -  machine learning -  cloud computing -  big data -  disruptive -  innovative -  robot judges -  (bingo!)
  23. 23. No, seriously. What types of legal technology does this course cover? Lecture 5: -  information retrieval -  e-discovery (e-disclosure) -  knowledge management Lecture 6: -  case management -  online dispute resolution -  access to justice solutions Lecture 7: -  decision support -  prediction -  automation -  self-service
  24. 24. And the other 6.29 lectures? -  brief history of the AI and law field -  emerging technologies most likely to make an impact -  my own research (sorry, couldn’t resist...) -  professional ethics and regulatory issues -  innovation! disruption!! startups!!! -  ...and what you can/should do about all this
  25. 25. So what’s happening to law?
  26. 26. Susskind (ch. 3): The evolution of legal service 1.  bespoke 2.  standardized 3.  systematized 4.  packaged 5.  commoditized
  27. 27. 1. Bespoke lawyering -  the traditional model: everything done individually for each client -  not going to disappear, high-profile litigation will certainly always have a lot of this -  however, its role is diminishing -  hourly billing offers no incentives for greater efficiency to the service provider...
  28. 28. 2. Standardized lawyering -  ... but who wants to pay for each contract to be written from scratch (heck, who even wants to actually do that) -  standard document templates -  checklists -  the bulk of work still done manually
  29. 29. 3. Systematized lawyering -  same as standardized, only with better tech -  e.g. computerized checklists or process manuals for compliance (workflow systems) -  automated document generation, with a decision tree logic to select the right type of document, using just the necessary inputs
  30. 30. 4. Packaged lawyering -  systematized lawyering offered so the clients can use it themselves -  tools and information offered online in ready-made chunks, backed by individual (manual) service -  pricing model innovation by this stage, e.g. based on fees for specific transactions or monthly/annual subscription fees
  31. 31. 5. Commoditized lawyering -  packaged lawyering minus people, and with even better tech -  offered strictly as a computerized service e.g. as a web or mobile app -  scalable (the same number of people can provide the service to 1 or 100000 people), can be provided at a radically lower cost -  this is what many (but far from all) legal startups are doing
  32. 32. ...and that’s why we’re here -  the role of tech grows at each stage and its importance for legal innovation is unquestionable -  but it’s not everything -  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! -  design thinking now emerging in law -  alternative dispute resolution -  legal project management
  33. 33. What is artificial intelligence (and a few other concepts)
  34. 34. Artificial intelligence (AI) -  basically: what people can and computers can’t (yet) do -  when it becomes possible, it generally starts to be called something else -  (no good definition for intelligence of the non- artificial kind in psychology either, except that it’s whatever IQ tests measure) -  deep AI: general purpose intelligence (cf. the Terminator movies) -  shallow AI: task-specific intelligence (this is where the action is for us in law)
  35. 35. Turing test -  the most (but not very) agreed-upon validation experiment for deep AI -  a number of people have to carry a conversation with a person and a computer without knowing (or the setup revealing) which is which and >30% have to get it wrong -  “passed” by “Eugene Goostman” in 2014 (by lowering expectations by claiming to be a 13- y.o. non-native speaker of English) -  The Imitation Game: in cinemas Feb 20
  36. 36. (the technological) Singularity -  the moment when the computing power of all computers combines exceed that of humankind -  depending on who you believe, the beginning of the total annihilation of humanity or total eternal bliss -  (if you ask me, I think the whole issue is not well-formed)
  37. 37. Moore’s Law -  the observation that transistor density in an integrated circuit doubles every ~2 years (Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel, in 1965) -  has enabled the exponen- tial growth of computer processing capacity -  likely to slow down soon
  38. 38. Tests for shallow AI -  games, e.g. -  tic-tac-toe -  checkers -  chess -  Jeopardy! -  poker (2015!) -  go -  football (Robo-Cup)
  39. 39. Rule-based artificial intelligence -  also known as Good Old-Fashioned Artificial Intelligence (GOFAI) -  based on symbolic (human-readable) representations of rules, logic etc. -  expert systems -  dominant paradigm in AI through the 1980s -  still the dominant paradigm in AI & law, but it too is finally starting to give way to...
  40. 40. Example: Algorithm for winning in Tic-tac-toe
  41. 41. Statistical artificial intelligence Machine learning -  algorithms created by learning a model of the target domain from data typically using some general-purpose algorithm -  supervised learning -  unsupervised learning -  reinforcement learning -  the dominant paradigm in most areas of AI for a couple of decades now -  enabled by advances in processing capacity and better availability of teaching data (Big Data)
  42. 42. Which methods are the best for law? -  the best (in my opinion: the only) way forward is to use both where they are best -  rule-base methods are easy to implement and maintain -  statistical methods can better accommodate real-world complexity -  vast majority of AI & law research done in rule- based frameworks (or pure theory), statistical methods quickly emerging -  (more about this in Lecture 4)
  43. 43. Questions?