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Archive for ‘Technology’

Lawyers Learning to Code?

OK, I know … you don’t want to hear about how lawyers should learn how to program. And sure, many of you may not need to learn how to code. But with everything that’s bubbling up in and around the profession these days it might not hurt to at least consider familiarizing yourself with what goes on behind the scene.

If you find yourself agreeing with that premise, then you’ll find this nice short post on Programming Resources for Lawyers on the Ex Libris Juris blog useful. It’s brought to us by the folks at the Harris County Law Library . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Pizza Delivery – in the Not Too Distant Future

In the not too distant future…

“Hey Google, order me a pizza – the usual, but a large this time, and have it delivered.”

Google Duplex calls pizza place. Pizza place AI bot answers the phone. The bots talk to each other.

Robots make the pizza.

Pizza is loaded into an autonomous vehicle containing a pizza oven that cooks it on the way to me.

Autonomous vehicle texts me when 2 minutes away.

I meet it at the curb. It authenticates me using voice or facial recognition and gives me the pizza. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Gmail Confidential for Lawyers

Law month, Google released new features for its paying customers of Gmail, including Gmail Confidential Mode. The initial announcement stated,

Today, we’re introducing a new approach to information protection: Gmail confidential mode. With confidential mode, it’s possible to protect sensitive content in your emails by creating expiration dates or revoking previously sent messages. Because you can require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it’s also possible to protect data even if a recipient’s email account has been hijacked while the message is active.

Built-in Information Rights Management (IRM) controls also allow you to remove the option

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Do You Need to Know You Are Speaking With a Robot?

You will probably have heard that Google has developed a system by which a machine can make phone calls to humans, notably to make reservations for hotels and restaurants (and what more human an activity is there?) – and the machine, using AI, can sound remarkably human. Apparently we have here a device that passes the Turing test with flying colours.

Question: should it have to tell people it deals with that it is essentially a robot? A lot of people claim to be unhappy with the idea that they may deal with the machine and not know it’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

The EVA-Lution of Legal Research?

I’ve been out of the loop for a little while and just happened on EVA the free AI-based legal research tool that ROSS Intelligence made available earlier this year. ROSS CEO Andrew Arruda characterizes this “AI system” as ROSS’ new coworker.

Robert Ambrogi blogged about EVA’s unveilling in late January calling it a “brief analyzer.” He expanded on this description:

“…it is also a tool for checking the subsequent history of cited cases and determining if they are still good law, … [and it] also can be used to find other cases that are similar to a given case

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

The Limits of Complex Algorithms in Predicting Recidivism

In the “Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies: Criminological Highlights” published by the University of Toronto, the ability of complex algorithms to predict recidivism or re-offending while on pretrial release is discussed. In a study by Julia Dressel and Hany Farid, the researchers assessed the accuracy of algorithm based prediction system COMPAS.

They looked at data from 7,214 defendants in one county in Florida. They compared the predictions made by COMPAS to two other sources of predictions: (1) Ordinary statistical predictive models and (2) Intuitive predictions by ordinary people.

Dressel and Farid found that COMPAS’s prediction of recidivism (arrest within . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

When Does a Technical Standard Become a Legal Standard of Care?

The Guardian reports us that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is close to adopting a new authentication standard that can replace passwords. This would be some kind of “who you are” (biometric) or “what you have” (token, phone to receive code) method of authentication, rather than a “what you know” password. (I suppose a code sent to your phone is what you know, but you know it only case by case, because you have another communications channel.)

Some web services already work this way, as the article notes – or does in special cases, as when one is logging . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

New Stuff & Old Laws

A common issue for new technology is the application of existing laws that were created before the new tech was contemplated. Examples include fintech (financial applications), fitness and health applications, and ridesharing services (such as Uber).

What is the issue?

Some activities and services are highly regulated. Financial services and the taxi industry are good examples. New entrants create innovative applications and services that compete with incumbents, but may or may not be regulated the same.

In some areas the entity may be regulated rather than the activity (often the case in fintech).

Laws sometimes prescribe a specific solution, rather . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Osgoode AI Sets Vision for Canadian Leadership

When the Government of Canada earmarked $125 million for a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, it was premised on the assumption that this area will be a future economic growth engine,

Artificial intelligence is a burgeoning area of research with implications for everything from better medical diagnoses to self-driving cars. The market for artificial intelligence-related products is predicted to reach $47 billion in 2020, and the field has attracted significant investment from Google, Facebook, Baidu and other major technology players.

The 2018 Budget reaffirmed this commitment, with one of the five innovation superclusters focusing on artificial intelligence-powered supply chains that would . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Ontario Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report 2017

The 2017 Ontario Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report is now available online and outlines the activities undertaken by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2017 to oversee compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its accessibility standards.

The report explains the results of the December 31st compliance reporting obligations of obligated organizations, and the various audits and inspections conducted by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2017. Overall, the report clearly indicates that there is a lot of enforcement work still needing to be done for Ontario to reach the goal of becoming an accessible province . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Recent Report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

Written wholly by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, and PhD candidate at the University of Western Ontario

In February 2018, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics released a report that summarized issues and recommendations concerning the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The report was authored by Bob Zimmer, the Chair of the Standing Committee, and presented to the House of Commons in the first session of the 42nd Parliament.

More specifically, the report was generated following the decision to undertake a review of PIPEDA. This review began February 14, 2017; it consisted of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated?

Elon Musk spoke at SXSW and emphasized his concerns about artificial intelligence and why it needs to be regulated.

What is the issue?

Elon says AI is more dangerous than nuclear warheads.

Right now, AI is created for specific tasks, such as driving a car, playing a game, responding to our voice commands, or providing personal recommendations. AI today is nowhere near as capable in general than even a moth brain, and most people think general artificial intelligence is a long way off. But Elon says “I am really quite close, I am very close, to the cutting edge in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology