artificial intelligence


Hal, Val, and the lawyer governance problem that’s hindering AI in law


Oscar Reutersvärd is the “father of the impossible figure.”  Some of his impossible figures are captured on the Swedish stamps shown above.  The figures are, of course, quite possible — they’re just ink on paper.  But our brains turn quickly from seeing some shapes to the “realization” that they are “impossible” because the 3-D world our minds are trying to construct cannot exist.

Our powerful, broken minds

The problem is in our brains, of course.  Not only do humans use analogy and inference to build world models, as I discussed in the first two installments of this book review series on AI (Posts 232 and 237), we do it involuntarily.  (Part III of this four-part series is Post 250, which focused on opportunities and challenges of expert systems.)
Continue Reading My mind is just a broken machine: Part IV of book review series on AI in law (263)


Examining the gap between what machines do and what lawyers do.


A shiver of lawyers reading books is, perhaps, like a school of fish swimming: the fish don’t know the water is wet, and likewise, the lawyers, who may deeply consider what they are reading, will rarely stop to consider what reading is. But because reading is so important to the law, and one of the key capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) is its growing ability to work with text, it’s worth a moment to pause and consider: what are we doing when we read?
Continue Reading Did Robbie the Robot really learn to read? (book review) (237)


Lawyers are trained to be good at what machines can’t do.


Will the world still need lawyers once AI gets really good?

The short answer is yes—and I believe it will still be yes no matter how good AI gets.  My view is not universally accepted, so I will need to lay it out, and that will involve some claims about what humans are and whether a machine can ever be like that.  This will shed considerable light on what lawyers essentially do, and help us to see how machines can help us to be better lawyers.
Continue Reading Legal’s AI rocket ship will be manned (book review) (232)