Why the legal department needs to care about and understand artificial intelligence

BY Daniel J. Schwartz

Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to provide unparalleled breakthroughs in various industries. For instance, in addition to the traditional “tech industry,” the following industries expect disruptions in various forms from AI:

  • Health care: enhanced pharmaceutical development and ability to diagnose, track, and predict the spread of infectious disease;
  • Retail/consumer entities: enhanced real-time supply chain/logistics and point-of-sale experience, deeper understanding of macro- and micro-consumer sets, superior customer service experiences; increased workforce productivity;
  • Food and agriculture: development of “smart farming,” resource preservation, and spoilage reduction;
  • Manufacturing: predicative analytics for machine maintenance and repair, optimized product and packaging design, and enhanced regulatory/quality control programs;
  • Financial services: reduce financial crime/fraud, expanded offerings to clients with more direct targeting of those offerings; and
  • Government services: improved deployment of government resources, transparency in government operations, and enhanced law and regulatory enforcement programs.

Many of these breakthroughs are already happening today, but most experts agree that AI remains in the nascent stage of development, including its impact on our daily personal, professional, and civic lives.

AI is not only industry agnostic, but it will present legal issues across disciplines, including:

  • Intellectual property
  • Health care
  • Labor & employment
  • Corporate
  • Litigation
  • General client counseling

In this new series of thought leadership from Nixon Peabody, we will examine the legal issues presented by AI, starting from broad definitional issues and extending to topics such as “what legal issues will arise through the development, use, and protection from AI.” In addition to addressing the over-arching issues implicated by AI, we will provide immediate updates on new developments, cases/rulings, and regulatory and legislative updates addressing AI.

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Daniel J. Schwartz


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