Artificial Intelligence

We hope that you like your Geek in Review with a little extra geekiness this week because we dive in with CaseText’s Chief Product Officer Pablo Arredondo on their innovative search tool, WeSearch.  This completely unique method of indexing texts into what Arredondo calls a “sublimely complex, 768-dimensional vector space”  creates a truly beautiful, and useful method of searching not just the words in the documents, but the concepts and meanings of those documents. Unlike the Artificial Intelligence tools many of us in the legal industry currently use, there’s no need to spend weeks or months training the system to understand the documents. The Neural Net techniques developed by the likes of Jacob Devlin, Google Researcher, and BERT author, allows the system to train itself, and the folks at CaseText have turned it loose to learn American case law.

While this new method of research opens many potential usages (and we brainstorm a few in the interview), but it also opens up some issues that aren’t unique to the legal industry, but are common in this industry. Issues such as acceptance of cloud-based utilities, what can and what cannot be accessed by the neural net tool, and perhaps the biggest issue we discuss, and that is the black box issue. Traditionally, when vendors provide search tools with AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP), there are Intellectual Property issues of the “Black Box” of the tool. While the methodology of how the system works is known by the vendor, just like the formula for Coke, it isn’t something they are willing to share. When it comes to this tool, the neural net and vectors work in ways that can be explained on a basic level, but after the system is trained, it begins functioning in a way that can’t be explained. This will be an issue that law librarians and academics may need to dive into in the not-so-distant future.

The WeSearch tool is available to test out. Let us know what you think.

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Information Inspirations

We’d all like to know what “The Future of the Law Firm Office” is going to be after we begin entering a post-pandemic workplace. Texas Lawbook’s Brooks Igo is hosting an upcoming webinar on May 11th which tackles that very topic.

Jae Um gives us ten questions we need to ask ourselves on how resilient our law firms are as we come out of COVID. Resiliency was a key factor in 2008, and it will be in 2021 as well.

Law firms might be different than corporations, but our clients have a Customer Experience (CX) with us whether we think about it or not. In a new podcast launched by Accenture called Built for Change, the inaugural episode discusses the importance of CX, and how some companies have successfully pivoted how their customers interact with them, and make that experience better.

Law firms have an issue with the “NONs”… only this time it is non-equity partners.

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Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 114: Pablo Arredondo on CaseText’s New WeSearch Tool and How the Neural Net Is Making Its Way Into Legal Information

While lawyers probably hear every day how Artificial Intelligence is going to change the legal industry, many are still uncomfortable discussing it simply because they don’t understand what exactly AI is, and if it is going to be a good thing or a bad thing for them personally. Kira Systems’ Noah Waisberg and Dr. Alexander Hudek are releasing a book on February 3rd that addresses these issues. AI For Lawyers: How Artificial Intelligence is Adding Value, Amplifying Expertise, and Transforming Careers walks through the questions and gives some easy to understand explanations on how AI is being used in the legal industry. Whether it is document automation, e-discovery, legal research, or a myriad of other legal issues, AI is becoming normalized across practically every task a lawyer or legal professional does. As with most advanced technologies, AI may sound scary, but eventually, it becomes ubiquitous.

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Information Inspirations

The Strategic Knowledge and Innovation Legal Leaders Summit (SKILLS) went online this year using Shindig, and it was a great experience. The audience and presenters found ways to interact, and while LegalWeek may not have happened this year, it was nice to still be able to seek out our conference friends online. Speaking of friends, our fellow 3 Geeks contributor Ryan McClead from Sente Advisors, along with Nicole Bradick of Theory and Principle won the video presentation at SKILLS for their new Map Engine software.

Early podcast guest, Jae Um has a five-part series on what to expect in a post-pandemic era for the legal market. It is a must-read.

We thought that last year’s bar exam was a bit of a mess. Turns out it was more like a mean game of musical chairs. There were definitely winners and losers.

The University of Texas Center for Women in the Law is putting on a free CLE featuring Nina Totenberg and four former clerks of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to celebrate the beginning of their Ginsburg Initiative.

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Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 103 – AI for Lawyers with Noah Waisberg and Dr. Alexander Hudek

In order to measure what matters, it is important to have the data available to help. Sarah Lin is the Information Architect & Digital Librarian at RStudio, PBC, and is also a law librarian. RStudio wanted someone to help them manage their digital morass and to Marie Kondo their digital information. Is there anyone better than a law librarian with some tech skills to do just that?
Sarah discusses what the R Programming language does, and how she got interested in the profession of statistical computing. While some may not see a direct link between being a law librarian and an R programmer, there are actually a number of skills librarians possess which make them well suited for data analytics. One skill is our ability to understand, clean, and organize information. For RStudios, the Chief Scientist, Hadley Wickam created Tidyverse which helps in handling the clean data tasks. And there are also resources like Shinyapps.io to help organize. Throw in a law librarian to have it all make sense and tell a story and you have a fantastic combination of skills and tools. And we should mention that it is free open-source software.

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To learn more about the R language check out:
 
Information Inspirations
Roy Sexton from Clark Hill lays out what law firm marketing does as opposed to what law firm business development does in the latest episode of Steve Fretzin’s Be That Lawyer. Roy’s advice of the “Rule of Three” when it comes to promoting yourself and your marketing products makes this a must-listen episode.
Adam Smith, Esq. covers the new initiative by our friend Phil Flora and Leopard Solutions on ranking law firms by their vitality and resilience, not just once a year, but in real-time.
Feeling the effects of COVID, the election, the environment, or the hundred other stressors in your life? Maybe take Prof. Eric Janssen’s advice and put down your phone and go for a walk.
Did you know there was a Pirate who was a 17th Century Anthony Bourdain? Marlene teaches Greg about this culinary outlaw and also teaches him about breadfruit.


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 90 – Using Data Analytics to Tell Your Story with RStudio’s Sarah Lin

[Ed. Note: Please welcome guest blogger, Colin Lachance, CEO of Compass/vLex Canada. – GL]


At no fewer than four conferences this lovely month of May, I will be speaking about artificial intelligence in law. Each event has a different focus (regulation, impact, libraries, family law), but as my comments in each will spring from my personal framework for considering issues, opportunities and implications, I thought it might help me to advance that framework for your feedback.


Continue Reading Le Joli M.ai

One of the highlights of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) conference in Austin this year was the Innovation Tournament which pitted three librarians’ tech innovations against each other. With two prizes, each worth $2,500, up for grabs, the competition was pretty tough. There was a scanning project management innovation, a Virtual Reality presentation