Legalweek 2024 Reflections
Legalweek 2024 Reflections from David Stromberg
As I reflect on Legalweek 2024 I am struck by the deep conversations that GenerativeAI (GenAI) sparked. From the promise of increased productivity to the fears for its impact on humanity. I have been attending Legalweek since 2006 and this one felt different. The multitude of potential applications of Large Language Models (LLM’s) has led to a plethora of new entrants into the legal technology space, but unlike technology that emerged in the past it seems like core problems in eDiscovery are finally being researched.
The areas of research that were discussed throughout the week and are particularly promising are improvements to Technology Assisted Review (TAR), resulting in greater accuracy and reduced labor by using predictive coding models; the application of GenAI to summarize privileged content for privileged logs; the identification of potentially privileged content; improvements to search using natural language; and the generation of timelines and the summarization of documents. Additionally, the promise of moving analytics earlier in the cycle, to reduce hosting costs and data management. It felt like the industry is refocusing on its core purpose. This conference, from a technology perspective, was very future focused, with software vendors previewing what’s coming in the next 9-12 months. I do believe practical, beneficial, and technological advancements will be made in multiple areas in 2024.
The second theme of Legalweek 2024 was cyber security and data privacy. I was honored to moderate a panel discussion on navigating data security, data privacy, and cyber security litigation trends and regulatory compliance. I managed to introduce that word salad of a session title without error is - likely my greatest accomplishment of Legalweek 2024. The panelists were exceptional, and I really appreciated the different perspectives they brought. I was particularly struck by the vast impact of the lack of federal privacy regulation spanning the United States. States have brought their own nuanced versions of regulations to protect people’s privacy, and although needed, these regulations have unwittingly caused complexities for organizations that operate in multiple jurisdictions. Ultimately, creating undue risks both for organizations and individuals.
Finally, the third theme was the thought-provoking question of ethics around AI. Across the week I attended several executive dinners with industry thought leaders, it was amazing how quickly the conversations turned towards ethics. Three core conversations repeated during these dinners; the ethics of building creating AI models with content you don’t own; he ethics of creating models from one client’s data and applying them to another’s; and the lack of transparency in GenAI and the ethics of representing its output as your work. While there are not yet any clear answers or legislative guardrails, the fact that this is top of mind for leaders in the industry is reassuring.
As Legalweek closed, I was left thinking Legalweek 2024 set the stage for mass disruption in the legal industry. That ultimately innovation due to LLM’s will have the impact of reducing risk, cost, and timelines for discovery. It also emphasized the need for a human-centric approach, which is thoughtful and responsible in how we employ this new technology.
Head of Product - Legal Solutions