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Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice (GDLPP)

PLTX2040 Practicum (Technology and Innovation)

Readings on AI and on ‘AI & Law’

Graham Greenleaf & Philip Chung
30 June 2020

This reading guide is to assist students who wish to obtain a deeper self-directed understanding of both the general field(s) of AI, and specific applications of AI to law. Readings are primarily online, but a number of books are included.

In the week before the first class, students should at least explore readings on AI generally, and if time permits, start reading on ‘AI and law’. Use of the readings should then continue throughout the course, in order to obtain competence in understanding developments in AI and law, and in the general context of AI development in which it occurs.

Artificial intelligence (AI) generally

Survey articles and books

  • Melanie Mitchell Artificial Intelligence – A Guide for Thinking Humans (Pelican2019) –This introduction is relatively non-technical, and assesses what evidence there is (or is not) for the success/effectiveness of particular branches of AI.
  • Margaret Boden Artificial Intelligence – A Very Short Introduction (OUP 2016) This introduction is also very readable, but is perhaps less sceptical.
  • Wikipedia: Artificial intelligence – A rich introduction to the history and varieties of AI, with links to many other Wikipedia entries, and references. As good a starting point as can be found in most books.
  • M. Legg and F. Bell Artificial Intelligence and the Legal Profession - A Primer (flipstream, UNSW Faculty of Law, 2018) – see ‘What is artificial intelligence’ (pgs. 2-12). This is valuable because it is written with a legal audience in mind.
  • S Russell and P Norvig Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd Ed) (Pearson, 2016) This is the standard student textbook on AI; highly technical and comprehensive; Chapter 1 is a more readable introduction to the field, and the concluding chapter is also non-technical.

Specific AI technologies and branches

Each of the general introductions above has sections on each of the specific technologies below.

Symbolic AI

Neural networks

‘AI & Law’

Surveys and introductions

  • Kevin Ashley Artificial Intelligence and Legal Analytics (Cambridge, 2017) – This is the only textbook survey of the field of AI and law from an academic perspective; often technical, and with an emphasis on case-based reasoning (Ashley’s speciality), but with good coverage of legislation-based systems as well.
  • M. Legg and F. Bell Artificial Intelligence and the Legal Profession - A Primer (flipstream, UNSW Faculty of Law, 2018) – see ‘How is AI used in legal services’ (pgs. 13-20).
  • Wikipedia: Legal informatics: Artificial intelligence – Introduction to the history of AI & law, including conferences, journals, and main research topics. Use this to explore other Wikipedia pages on AI & law, such as:
    • Wikipedia: Lawbot – ‘Lawbots are a broad class of customer-facing legal AI applications that are used to automate specific legal tasks’. Has some examples of systems in practice.
    • Wikipedia: Legal expert system – [Grain of salt needed] Shows very limited knowledge of history of the field.

‘Law as Code’ groups

‘Business process modelling’

Academic research on AI & Law

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