Link Round-Up: May 19, 2017

‘Link Round-Up’ gives you a glimpse into the articles that got the most airtime around the Loom Analytics water cooler this week. Published every Friday, article topics include access to justice, big data, legal technology, and what’s happening in the Canadian legal landscape.

For example, consider how machines are taught to translate languages. Last year, the United Nations released 800,000 manually translated documents in the six official UN languages … for machine use. By releasing documents containing perfect translations in multiple languages, the data set helps create better automated translation systems … Yet the downside of relying on these documents is that treaties and diplomatic correspondence rarely mimic everyday speech. Better systems would benefit from a broader range of materials such as translated popular books or television shows. 

  • Google kicked off its annual I/O developer conference this week, allowing those in attendance to get a preview of what’s next from the company. For your own sneak peek, head over to Patrick Moorhead’s detailed breakdown of the conference keynote on Forbes.
  • William Lester, an American lawyer who has been accused of overbilling the state, may have been in hiding for more than a year after skipping out on his arraignment, but apparently he’ll be damned if it keeps him away from his social media commitments. According to an article from the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Lester was among the first people to welcome Assistant Kanawha County prosecutor Fred Giggenbach when he joined Twitter this month, prompting Giggenbach to joke, “Maybe we can tweet him a plea deal.”
  • Joshua Davis has a proposal he’d like us to consider in his article, “Hear Me Out: Let’s Elect an AI as President.”

Is it possible that someday we will elect an AI president?  Given some of the recent occupants of the White House, many might consider it an upgrade. After all, humans are prone to making decisions based on ego, anger, and the need for self-aggrandizement, not the common good. An artificially intelligent president could be trained to maximize happiness for the most people without infringing on civil liberties. It might even learn that it’s a good idea to tweet less—or not at all.

Davis lays out his arguments over on Wired and along the way touches on the many advancements AI research has already seen in the past decade, asks some practical questions about the feasibility of an AI presidency, and soothes our dystopian fears.