An AI just beat top lawyers at their own game

A new study, conducted by legal AI platform LawGeex in consultation with law professors from Stanford University, Duke University School of Law, and the University of Southern California, pitted twenty experienced lawyers against an AI trained to evaluate legal contracts.

The human lawyers achieved, on average, an 85 percent accuracy rate, while the AI achieved 95 percent accuracy. The AI also completed the task in 26 seconds, while the human lawyers took 92 minutes on average. The AI also achieved 100 percent accuracy in one contract, on which the highest-scoring human lawyer scored only 97 percent. In short, the human lawyers were trounced.

PeiQian (Vivian): What do you think the future challenge for lawyer’s workload? Will all the secretaries and entry-level attorneys disappear? How to keep competitive in the legal market? What’re your thoughts?



How Old Tech Could Roar Back

I read this article the other morning in a morning briefing I get from Axios each day (a great digital news company, that I highly recommend.) Anyways, the topic related back to some of our early class discussions about innovation and how old, established companies innovate to keep up with tech startups. Interestingly, this article suggests that old bell-weather companies actually fear innovation and competition the most from their established rivals, for one reason…these companies own the most data. There is a video attached to the article that I have not gotten the chance to watch yet, but apparently IBM did a presentation on a study they recently commissioned which found that, “based on interviews with 12,854 C-suite executives in 112 countries across 20 industries, 72% said that, if their sector is disrupted, it will be by old hands such as themselves.”

Patent Trolls Target Small Businesses

This is an interesting article detailing how intellectual property laws are sometimes abused to the detriment of small businesses. So-called “patent trolls” have been targeting small businesses with bogus claims in hopes of a quick settlement. Unfortunately, most small businesses do not have the resources to deal with such claims, so they simply pay. Luckily, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are trying to spread awareness about these “patent trolls” in order to aid small businesses

Intellectual Property Rights and Laws Protecting Entrepreneurs

This brief article presents some arguments supporting the value of Intellectual Property Rights and how their enforcement can be valuable to entrepreneurs. The article suggests that entrepreneurs have been frustrated with the application of IP laws as a hindrance to their business efforts, but this article serves as a reminder that IP law protects all business, including entrepreneurial ventures.

Tweeting Could Be Copyright Infringement!

This week’s reading talks about how certain new technologies help people infringe, directly or indirectly, on other people’s intellectual property rights.  I found an article that is pretty on point with this topic. This article discusses a NY court ruling that a tweet with an embedded link could count as copyright infringement.  The subject at issue is a photograph that was put onto snapchat which was subsequently reposted and tweeted by others.  The original photographer sued.

Spotify: The New Napster?

Spotify is currently under fire for infringing on the reproduction right of artists and songwriters. The songwriters believe that even though the company has obtained a license to the public performance rights of the songs, they are actually implicating the reproduction right. However, with the advent of streaming services and legislation that followed, they are able to bypass this argument.

The battle between old tech and innovative tech is not new in the digital age. This situation is simply another Aereo–except they have the law on their side. Chet Kanojia, the creator of Aereo, used design thinking in order to appease consumers. He sought to bring consumers what they didn’t even know they wanted: a la carte programming. In fact, he specifically created the service to fill a loophole to make television viewing void of technological hiccups. Unfortunately, the Court didn’t see it that way. They viewed the disruptive technology as a method to bypass copyright laws. But, in my opinion, it was a willful attempt by the Court to stifle innovation and bring security to businesses that operate on the old models. They are essentially punishing a disruptive innovation developed through design thinking in order to stick to the present model. But that’s not always the case.

My problem with this ruling is what makes Aereo any different from the Ubers or Spotifys of the world? Streaming was invented in order to circumvent infringing on the 106 rights under copyright while providing consumers with access to a music library. Uber was created in order to provide a more efficient service to consumers while bypassing fees associated with the taxi driver business. Are the courts really the best avenue to pick and choose which circumvention of laws is up to par?

Invitation to INVANTI Event!

Last year a member of the Notre Dame community, Maria Gibbs, co-founded a startup generator for social entrepreneurship.  Her company is INVANTI and they are showcasing the results of their first year tonight.  She invited me to this invite-only event and authorized me to extend the invitation to all of you!

The startups INVANTI has generated are:

  • Hurry Home provides alternative financing for homes valued at $50,000 or less, creating opportunities for wealth creation for low-to-moderate income families.
  • Bedrock creates an environment where people in recovery from addiction are supported and enabled to make decisions that stabilize and improve their financial health.
  • Save your Savings rewards people for saving rather than spending by automatically finding and saving users’ money in their everyday shopping, and then storing those extra dollars in a rainy-day account, with more rewards tied to saving more.
  • Last Loan enables banks to better support their commercial clients with employee financial health programs.

The event should be inspiring and helpful in thinking about our upcoming projects.  I hope to see you all there!–

Impact of Patent Trolls on Innovation

This article talks about how patent trolls can stifle innovation in entire economic sectors.  It uses the healthcare space to demonstrate how one patent troll severely delayed innovation in the digitization of medical records.  Patent trolls gain their leverage by buying vague patents from other small entities, where the patents encompass large portions of an economic space.  The trolls then sue companies infringing on these patents and that effectively brings R&D in those areas to a standstill at the company.  The reason for the standstill is that even if the troll’s case has no real merit, if the company somehow loses the case it is liable for “willful infringement” and triple the damages because it continued to participate in work that infringed on the patent at issue during the case.  While it’s clear to see the damages this has done to large companies, the patent trolls hold that what they do is protect the rights of small level inventors from being bullied out of the market by larger companies who infringe on their patents.  Which side do you take, and do you feel that our patent system is designed too much in the patent litigant’s favor?