MD Anderson Drops IBM Watson – A Setback For Artificial Intelligence In Medicine ?

Not sure this is actually a “set back for AI in Medicine.”  Rather, long story short — it ain’t 2014 anymore … as we discuss in our talk – Machine Learning as a Service : #MLaaS, Open Source and the Future of Legal Analytics – what started with Watson has turned into significant competition among major technology industry players.  Throw in a some open source and you have some really strong economic forces which are upending even business models which were sound just three years ago …

From the story — “The partnership between IBM and one of the world’s top cancer research institutions is falling apart. The project is on hold, MD Anderson confirms, and has been since late last year. MD Anderson is actively requesting bids from other contractors who might replace IBM in future efforts. And a scathing report from auditors at the University of Texas says the project cost MD Anderson more than $62 million and yet did not meet its goals. The report, however, states: ‘Results stated herein should not be interpreted as an opinion on the scientific basis or functional capabilities of the system in its current state’….”

Your Lawyer May Soon Ask This AI-Powered App for Legal Help (via Wired)

“I thought back to that big problem lawyers face in their day-to-day work, and how it impacts regular people,” Ovbiagele tells WIRED. “I thought we should apply the capabilities of machine learning to tackle this problem and make things better for lawyers and for clients.”

“LegalRank can figure out which results get preferential results, whether that’s prioritizing a case that has more citations, knowing that a Supreme Court case should rank higher than a local decision, and other nuances.”

A subsidiary of (world’s largest) global law firm Dentons, NextLaw Labs, has signed ROSS Intelligence as its first portfolio company.

Full disclosure – I am a member of the advisory board of NextLaw Labs

Using Technology and System Design to Improve the Dodd-Frank Resolution Planning Requirement (+ Better Manage Complexity)

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This past week, I had the pleasure of participating in a half day closed door session with about ~40-50 folks from the financial services industry including several of the world’s finest law firms, representatives from SIFI and non-SIFI financial institutions as well as folks from IBM Watson and LegalOnRamp (a Watson eco-system partner).

The specific subject was RRP – the resolution planning / living wills requirement under Dodd Frank.  Former Congressman Barney Frank provided opening remarks and joined the group for the balance of the half day session.  Paul Lippe and I discussed our recent paper on Resolution Planning that was published in Banking Perspective (The Journal of The Clearing House).

As we argue in the paper, the ‘too big to fail argument’ is not really that intellectually forceful.  The question – properly posed – is what to do about complexity and the management of complex systems.  The complex and interdependent nature of the banking ecosystem is the feature that really challenges efforts to develop robust regulatory / management structures.  This would be true even if existing financial institutions were made smaller.

Our conversation was about how to use technology and system redesign to confront and manage wide scale complexity.  The resolution planning challenge should not just be focused upon clearing the existing regulatory hurdle but actually can be an opportunity for organizations to build better financial/legal information infrastructure (ultimately leading to an internet of contracts or more broadly an internet of legal things).  In building a better financial/legal information infrastructure, banks will be better positioned to manage/properly price risk.

10 Predictions About How IBM’s Watson Will Impact the Legal Profession

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I enjoyed collaborating with Paul Lippe for this short article in the ABA Journal New Normal column. We make 10 predictions about Watson’s application into the legal industry (some short term and some longer term) and preview some of our specific collaboration applying IBM Watson in the legal industry. Suffice to say there is much more to come …