In this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert sit down for a one-on-one conversation to catch up on their recent vacations and discuss some of the latest developments in the legal industry. Marlene shares her experience in Hawaii, where she enjoyed beautiful beaches, a nature preserve, and delicious local cuisine with her family. Greg, on the other hand, talks about his trip to South Africa, where he spent time in Kruger National Park observing wildlife and learning about the challenges of rhino poaching.

The conversation then shifts to the recent lawsuits filed by The New York Times, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Mother Jones against OpenAI and Microsoft for using their copyrighted material to train AI systems. The hosts discuss the implications of these lawsuits and draw parallels to the music industry’s past struggles with Napster and the eventual rise of streaming services.

Marlene introduces a new AI-powered comic maker she discovered, which allows users to generate comic strips based on their own images and descriptions. Despite some humorous mishaps with her own generated character, she sees potential in the tool for creating engaging content. Greg shares his experience with Hedra, an AI tool that animates still pictures to create talking head videos, and the two discuss the possibility of creating a fully AI-generated podcast episode.

The hosts also explore practical applications of AI, such as AI Excel Bot, which generates Excel formulas based on plain text instructions and explains existing formulas in simple terms. They discuss how this tool could be beneficial for professionals who frequently work with complex spreadsheets.

Lastly, Greg highlights an episode of the Technically Legal podcast featuring Brandon Epstein, Chief Forensic Officer at Medex, who discusses the challenges of detecting deep fakes and the digital fingerprints left by various recording devices. The conversation emphasizes the importance of authenticating videos, especially in the news media, and the ongoing battle between deep fake creators and forensic experts.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Catching Up on Tech and Travels – TGIR Ep. 260

[Note: Please welcome Laurent Wiesel, Principal at Justly Consulting. This article was originally published in LinkedIn. – GL]

Harvey AI bills its platform as providing a suite of products tailored to lawyers and law firms across all practice areas and workflows.

Harvey’s debut product video released on June 28, clocking in at 1:44, plays to a background of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 and no further audio. While light on explanation, the video introduces several features along with some interesting bells and whistles.

Harvey’s features, presented here in the order they appear in the left nav:

1. Client-Matter Number Integration

  • Critical feature for law firm operations
  • Helps enforce client policies and avoid data blending
  • Similar to established platforms like Lexis and Westlaw
  • Potential benefits for billing and ethical wall enforcement
  • Modal alert indicates ability to attach client-matter numbers to individual queries
Assistant feature with prompt loading and “save example”

2. Assistant

  • Offers chat and document Q&A capabilities
  • Currently provides single responses, no interactive chat yet
  • Prompt limit: 100,000 characters, which appears to reduce to 4,000 when even a single documents is added
  • Feature to save and load prompts, separated into Private, Team (collaboration), and Harvey (pre-built) varieties
  • Unexplained “Save Example” feature (briefly visible at the 0:18 mark)
  • Citations in assistant and research responses for quick verification

Continue Reading Let’s Breakdown Harvey.AI’s Video of Features (Guest Post)

If you’re my age or older, you most likely remember the first rudimentary spreadsheet application you used.  You may not remember the actual moment you discovered the sort functionality, but you probably remember the feeling you got when you hit that button for the first time. In one magical moment, a jumbled list of items – randomly entered in the nonsensical order they popped into your brain – was immediately transformed into a perfectly alphabetized list worthy of your municipal library’s card catalog.  Amazing!  Revolutionary! Life changing?!

Today we live in the world of Generative AI.  It is amazing, revolutionary, and probably life changing. This technology has already changed, and will continue to change, how we use and interact with computers in business, and in our personal lives.  I use it daily.  I use it in solutions for my clients.  It takes tedious tasks of text transformation and turns them into simple push button experiences.  Just like the sort function does.

An 50 year old male professional with curly hair.jpgOf course, GenAI does a lot more than order or sort text.  It translates.  It rewrites.  It summarizes. It clarifies.  It extracts. It interpolates. It expounds upon. It combines THIS and THAT into one thing.  It re-imagines THIS, as if it were actually THAT. It recontextualizes THIS as if THAT didn’t exist. Its capabilities go well beyond simply sorting a list.  In fact, it often gets simple sorting wrong, because it doesn’t use a hard-coded algorithm to produce it’s text transformation. Instead, GenAI uses vast troves of written example language to determine the probability of the next word it should write, and then the next, and the next… until it reaches it’s maximum output or it runs out of space.

The results of this seemingly simple exercise are impressive.  It means that any writer with a rough idea of what they want to write, no longer needs to stare at a blank page (or screen), they simply ask a question or propose a concept and the technology generates a draft.  Any reader who doesn’t want to read a 400 page transcript of a court proceeding, can get a summary that guides them directly to the “important” parts of the text.  And any person who needs to transform any text from one form, or language, or perspective, to another can get a draft version of that transformation very easily and quickly.

A stupid robot sit in front of a computer making m.jpg

However, there is a downside to Generative AI.  It so easily manipulates and transforms text, that it often gives the appearance of being intelligent.  This is an illusion.  We tend to identify people who easily manipulate and transform text as intelligent people, which gives rise to the fallacy that a machine that does the same is an intelligent machine. We talk about GenAI “passing the bar exam”, as if that means it understands the law, and then we further extrapolate that we can use GenAI to replace lawyers.  As tempting as that proposition might be to those of us who are not lawyers but work with them regularly, it’s not going to happen any time soon, if ever.Continue Reading GenAI & the Magical Sort Button

In this episode of The Geek in Review podcast, hosts Greg Lambert and Kate Boyd from Sente Advisors (standing in for Marlene Gebauer) sit down with Giles Thompson, Head of Growth, and Jun Choi, Growth Executive at Avvoka, to discuss the company’s innovative approach to document automation and the impact of generative AI on the legal industry.

Avvoka is a no-code document automation platform that enables legal professionals to streamline the creation and management of complex legal documents and contracts. The company has recently introduced AI-enhanced features such as SmartAutomation (with GenAI) and SmartConsolidation , which aim to simplify the process of building automations.

Giles and Jun highlight the differences in knowledge management practices between the US and UK, with the former being more technology-focused and the latter being more human-centric. Avvoka’s platform caters to both law firms and in-house legal teams, with clients ranging from Warner Brothers Discovery and McDonald’s to booking.com.

The company also hosts a vendor-agnostic community event series called “Logically Drafted,” which bring together legal professionals interested in document automation to share their experiences and insights. These events have gained traction globally, with upcoming sessions planned for Houston (Tuesday 18 June) and Chicago (Friday 21 June), and other cities.

Looking ahead, Avvoka is focusing on integrating generative AI technologies into its platform while ensuring data security and client control. The company is collaborating with clients to provide flexibility in terms of hosting and integrating large language models, allowing them to maintain control over their data and manage risks associated with these emerging technologies.

Giles and Jun emphasize the importance of being realistic about the capabilities and limitations of generative AI in the legal industry. They believe that document automation will continue to play a crucial role, with AI serving as an enhancement rather than a replacement for existing tools and processes. The key challenge for vendors like Avvoka will be to navigate the hype surrounding generative AI while delivering practical, value-driven solutions to their clients.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

TranscriptContinue Reading Avvoka’s Innovative Approach to Document Automation and the Impact of Generative AI – Giles Thompson and Jun Choi

In this special episode of The Geek in Review, host Greg Lambert sits down with Ed Walters, Chief Strategy Officer at vLex, to discuss two significant announcements: the integration of vLex’s Vincent AI with iManage Work and the automated docket ingestion feature with iManage using vLex’s Docket Alarm.

The integration between Vincent AI and iManage’s Insight Plus collection allows law firms to leverage their internal knowledge assets alongside vLex’s extensive public law database. This combination of the “two halves of the legal brain” enables lawyers to create brilliant first drafts and analyze documents using the power of generative AI. Walters emphasizes the importance of data quality and the role of knowledge management teams in curating the best practice documents for training AI models.

Security is a top priority for both vLex and iManage in this integration. Walters details the various measures taken to ensure data protection, including encryption, dedicated master keys for each firm, and compliance with industry standards such as ISO 27001 and SOC 2. He also clarifies that vLex uses retrieval-augmented generation, securely passing relevant documents to a closed instance of the foundation model without training on the data itself.

The second announcement focuses on the automated docket ingestion feature, which seamlessly saves court filings from Docket Alarm into the correct iManage folders. This practical solution eliminates the manual process of saving documents and ensures that all team members have access to the most up-to-date versions of the filings.

Looking ahead, Walters hints at future integration points between vLex and iManage, emphasizing the potential for generative AI to help law firms differentiate their services and meet client expectations. He sees Vincent AI as a secure bridge between generative AI and a firm’s internal work product, enabling them to leverage their knowledge assets without the need for expensive, in-house foundation models.

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https://youtu.be/uDHXq8UT1UU

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

 Transcript

Continue Reading vLex Integrates Vincent AI with iManage and Automates Docket Ingestion with Docket Alarm

In this impromptu episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert reconnect after being on the road for a few weeks. They discuss their recent “Love and LegalTech” mini-series, which featured eight couples sharing their experiences working in the legal technology industry. The series provided insights into communication, work-life integration, and the passion for innovation shared by the guests. 

The conversation then shifts to a recent webinar by Toby Brown and Ian Wilson, where they discussed the potential impact of AI tools on law firm hours and profits. While the idea of AI reducing billable hours may seem controversial, the hosts agree that firms must adopt these tools to remain competitive. They also touch on the importance of aligning innovation with practice groups and the need for subject matter experts and people with strong interpersonal skills to drive change management.

Greg demonstrates an example of agentic AI using a tool called Crew AI. He sets up a task to search for information on a company called Take 5 Oil Change, using multiple AI agents to gather, synthesize, and report the findings. The process involves using SERPER, a Google search agent, an AI agent (Anthropic Claude), and a reporting agent. The output includes a log of the actions taken and a one-page report on the company, its leadership, and industry classification.

The hosts discuss the potential applications of agentic AI, such as quickly gathering information for client pitches or identifying legal issues. They also explore the possibility of running AI agents within secure cloud environments to address data privacy concerns. While the concept of agentic AI is still evolving, the hosts believe there is significant potential for these tools to streamline processes and enhance efficiency in the legal industry.

The episode concludes with a lighthearted mention of Greg’s AI-generated song created by UDIO about checking conflicts before going on vacation, showcasing the creative possibilities of AI tools in the legal profession.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Catching Up on AI Agents, and Agentic Processes

In this episode of The Geek in Review podcast, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert welcome back Richard Tromans, founder of Artificial Lawyer, after his year-and-a-half sabbatical. Tromans shares his insights on the impact of generative AI on the legal industry and discusses his upcoming Legal Innovators conferences in California and London.

Tromans observes that while the legal industry is generally enthusiastic about the potential of generative AI, there is a stark contrast in the perception of its impact outside the legal bubble. He believes that the technology will have a significant effect on the legal sector, but it will be mostly benign, with the potential to add value to the profession once the hype and cynicism subside.

The key to real transformation, according to Tromans, lies in integrating AI throughout the entire business process, rather than using it as a mere helper tool. This integration should encompass document management systems, knowledge management capabilities, templates, and precedents. However, he emphasizes that the current economic model of the legal industry must adapt to the technology for true transformation to occur.

Tromans also discusses the upcoming Legal Innovators California conference in San Francisco, which will focus on generative AI, standardization, and the infrastructure needed to support the evolving legal landscape. The event will feature speakers from law firms, in-house legal departments, academia, and major tech companies.

Looking ahead, Tromans believes that the biggest challenge for the legal industry over the next two to five years will be the willingness of clients and law firms to embrace change and rethink their processes. He argues that the industry could have adopted AI-driven solutions years ago, but the impetus to do so was lacking. The success of this “gentle revolution” will depend on the ability of clients and law firms to challenge assumptions and adapt to the changing technological landscape.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Artificial Lawyer’s Richard Tromans: Back to Work!

In this episode of The Geek in Review podcast, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert welcome Jeroen Thierens, Strategic Account Advisor, and Jorn Vanysacker, co-founder of Henchman, a Belgian legal tech company that focuses on building an intelligent drafting assistant for lawyers working on complex transactional contracts based on precedents in the firm’s DMS.

Vanysacker shares the story behind Henchman’s founding, emphasizing the importance of solving a clear problem with a focused product strategy. The company’s mission is to unlock the collective knowledge within law firms and legal departments by connecting to their document management systems, recognizing contracts and clauses, and making this information easily accessible within Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Henchman serves both in-house legal teams and law firms, with a customer base spanning from boutique firms to AmLaw 200 firms. The platform addresses two main use cases: drafting transactions and assisting knowledge management teams in gaining data-driven insights to prioritize their work and boost relevant knowledge in search results.

The discussion also touches on Henchman’s integration with Microsoft Copilot, which aims to provide more accurate results when drafting contracts by leveraging the structured data and metadata within the platform. The company’s European perspective is reflected in its language-agnostic system, which works seamlessly with multiple languages, making it an attractive solution for global law firms.

Looking ahead, Vanysacker and Thierens discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by generative AI in the legal industry. While acknowledging the potential of large language models, they emphasize the importance of context and accuracy in transactional work. Henchman’s approach is to use AI as a tool to enhance their product, focusing on providing the next best options rather than just the next best words, ultimately aiming to become the “Chief of Staff” for each legal professional.

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Transcript

Continue Reading Jorn Vanysacker & Jeroen Thierens from Henchman: We Are Building the “Chief of Staff” For Each Legal Professional

Our friend Damien Riehl stopped by to talk with Marlene Gebauer about two big happenings at vLex. Riehl unveiled exciting advancements in vLex’s AI-powered legal research platform and shed light on vLex’s commitment to streamlining legal workflows and reducing the need for extensive prompt engineering.

One of the major developments is the enhanced document analysis feature. Users can now upload legal documents, such as complaints, and vLex’s AI will automatically extract key information including claims, facts, parties involved, and potential legal defenses. This eliminates the tedious manual process of reviewing and analyzing documents, saving lawyers significant time and effort. Additionally, the platform suggests relevant legal research questions based on the document’s content, further expediting the research process.

vLex’s advancements directly address the growing concerns surrounding prompt engineering in legal tech. By automating key analytical tasks, the platform empowers lawyers to focus on higher-level strategizing and client interactions, rather than spending hours crafting the perfect prompts for AI tools. Riehl echoes the sentiment of OpenAI’s Sam Altman, believing that successful AI integration should render prompt engineering obsolete. He acknowledges that the option to fine-tune prompts remains, similar to Boolean search techniques, but emphasizes that vLex aims to make it a choice rather than a necessity.

The potential impact on the legal industry is substantial. Clients, especially large corporations, can leverage vLex’s capabilities to analyze past legal actions and assess the value provided by their law firms. This transparency could lead to a shift from billable hours to flat-fee arrangements, incentivizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Further amplifying vLex’s potential, the company welcomes Daniel Hoadley, a renowned legal tech expert, to lead their research and development team. Hoadley’s expertise in data science and large language models promises exciting advancements in harnessing the power of vLex’s vast legal document database. With a robust roadmap of projects, vLex’s is poised to continue pushing the boundaries of legal technology and shaping the future of legal practice.

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Vlex Pushes Legal Tech Boundaries with New Features and Top Talent