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AI or Not To AI: Observations from Legalweek NY 2023

This year at Legalweek, there was little doubt on what the annual takeaway topic would be. As much as I tried to avoid it for fear of beating the proverbial dead horse, it was impossible not to talk about generative AI, ChatGPT, and all that goes with it. Some fascinating discussions were had and many aspects of AI were uncovered.


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Several years ago at Legalweek (then still Legal Tech), I came up with a question to ask everyone with whom I met. Not to downplay the importance or significance of whatever new version or added features legal tech vendors were there to promote (we talked about that too) but it was more of a way to break up the monotony of them spouting the same answers over and over. Kind of like the movie stars who have to answer the same question from hundreds of journalists when they’re out promoting a movie (the crew was fantastic and we had a great time filming and Tom Cruise is amazing to work with). Plus, these people are legitimately brilliant, so why not pick their brains? They seemed to enjoy the break in the routine. Sometimes the discussions blended well into an article on that topic, sometimes not. In 2020, as Legalweek was held mere weeks before a global pandemic, I had some interesting answers regarding the cloud. It was more accepted than ever and security concerns seemed to have waned. The conclusion I ultimately came to was that most favored a sort of hybrid approach (sound familiar?) between storing data in the cloud and on premises. Then, less than a month later, the pandemic made that question moot as part of the reason many in the legal industry were able to adapt so quickly to remote work was due to the cloud. Pandemic 1, my “brilliant” idea 0.

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