Last week, Kira Systems attended the NYC Legal Tech Meetup (NYCLTM) at Morrison & Foerster offices. The March meetup included networking, a presentation on AI tech, and an “Understanding Legal in AI” panel discussion. The panel was led by Christian Lang and included Kira Systems' own CEO and co-founder, Noah Waisberg, as well as Brian Kuhn, Global Co-Leader for IBM Watson Legal Practice, Laura van Wyngaarden, Co-Founder & COO of Diligen, Phil Bryce, Global Director of Knowledge Management at Mayer Brown and John Nay, Founder & CEO of Skopos Labs Inc.
The crowd at the NYCLTM meetup - one of the definitive highlights from the evening was the high level of engagement from the audience
John Nay set the tone for the evening with a brief primer presentation on AI technology. With a mixed audience of lawyers and technologists, this provided great context for the more detailed panel discussion that followed panel.
During the panel, Brian Kuhn sparked some debate after he stated that custom software is better at meeting client needs. Noah challenged Kuhn on this idea, suggesting that for many areas users are better served by off the shelf software. For example, in contract analysis, lawyers are often looking for the same things over and over (e.g., change of control, assignment, exclusivity) irrespective of the firm or their client, and building software robust enough to work in different projects means better performance on non-standard data. (Non-standard data is very common in contract analysis.)
The panel also discussed the various markets for legal AI, and which products they would like to see in the future:
“The US is a particularly tough market, but the UK and Australian markets are easier markets for the legal tech industries - there’s more motivation and experience around efficiency.”
– Noah Waisberg
Finally, the panel touched on the ethical considerations surrounding AI systems learning from client documents. A brief discussion surrounding the differences (or lack thereof) between AI learning and human learning ensued.
Alma Asay and moderator Christian Lang doing community building during the event.
The evening finished off with some mingling between attendees. Interestingly, overheard at the end of the evening were several corporate associates chatting about their plans for the rest of the night: going home to start due diligence.