The Second Workshop on Automated Detection, Extraction and Analysis of Semantic Information in Legal Texts (ASAIL) will be held in conjunction...
2015 was a banner year for Artificial Intelligence, including AI and Law. It was a year when we heard about advances in self-driving cars and expanded applications for robots, about quantum computers and cognitive computing. In the field of AI and Law, we learned about developments in e-discovery, big data and predictive analytics. Cognitive computing applications have included IBM Watson-based systems like ROSS, and future applications are anticipated from the relationship recently announced between Thomson Reuters and IBM.
It’s been a banner year for our association as well. In the past year we have seen more people attend the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL) than ever before. We made a special appeal for conference papers on machine learning, big data and e-discovery. We instituted a doctoral consortium at ICAIL and continued our mentoring program for new authors. We inaugurated new conference awards for best paper, best innovative application paper and best doctoral consortium paper. We also offered a spectrum of engaging conference workshops addressing state of the art developments in areas such as semantic analysis of legal texts, big data and law, and e-discovery. In addition, we reached out to non-English speaking branches of the AI and Law community and offered an associated workshop at ICAIL. We also created a new web site for the association (IAAIL.org) and began to restructure and expand the article on AI and Law on Wikipedia. These are just a few of the initiatives that have taken place under the watch of the current IAAIL Executive Committee, and we are grateful to the many individuals who have contributed to the success of these efforts.
It is an exciting time to be a researcher in the field of AI and Law, and we have much to look forward to in the years ahead. We also note that our next ICAIL conference will take place in mid-2017, in Europe, the official announcement for it coming in the first quarter of 2016.
As the year winds down, I would like to express a word of thanks to those members who have served on IAAIL’s 2014-15 Executive Committee, some of whose terms will be coming to a close:
After I pass the president’s torch to my successor, Katie Atkinson, she will tell you more about the new Executive Committee members, mentioned briefly below. The new Executive cCommittee is one of the most representative EC’s that the organization has ever assembled. Katie is an exceptional leader who recently did an excellent job as Program Chair for the ICAIL 2015 conference held in San Diego. Katie will be supported by Bart Verheij as Vice President, who similarly did a great job serving as Program Chair for the ICAIL 2013 conference held in Rome. In addition, the new EC will be joined by Ken Satoh from Japan, who will be our first Asian representative, Michał Araskiewicz from Poland, who will be our first Eastern European representative and Anna Ronkainen from Finland, who will bring perspectives and recommendations from industry to the EC. That we will have three women serving on the EC is also a very positive development. The other members of the EC bring strong track records of service to the field, including Anne Gardner, who has done an outstanding job as our secretary-treasurer, and Enrico Francesconi, who designed and developed our new web site (IAAIL.org). This body of executive leadership should continue to oversee the growth and advancement of our community. At the time of this posting, we have over 1150 people on our mailing list and 800 people in our group on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/770517), both at record numbers. So it is indeed an exciting time to be involved in the field of AI and Law and this community, and I look forward to great things happening in the field thanks to your continued engagement. On that note, let us welcome and embrace the New Year and the challenges and rewards it will have in store for the field and our community!
--Jack G. Conrad,
IAAIL President, 2014-15