From the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law (IAAIL)
A brief summary of:
14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL 2013)
10-14 June 2013
By Jack G. Conrad (IAAIL Vice President)
Thomson Reuters Global Resources, Catalyst Lab
ICAIL in Numbers
- 176 attendees, equally divided between the full conference and the associated workshops
- 4 Tutorials / 9 Workshops. The DESI V E-Discovery Workshop was once again the largest, with about 40 attendees.
ICAIL at 25
- Thanks to Springer, each attendee received in his/her conference bag a copy of the AI and Law journal special 25th anniversary of ICAIL Issue.
- For more information, see http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10506-012-9131-x
- The occasion of ICAIL’s 25th birthday was celebrated at the reception held the first evening of the conference. Trevor Bench-Capon, who was among the very first members of the community, shared some reflections on both those early days and his dedicated work in editing the special issue. The recollections were steeped in a tone of marvel upon looking back, nostalgia, and pride.
- Current IAAIL President Radboud Winkels, during a portion of the president’s keynote address, also presented a brief topical overview of developments in the field over the past quarter century (highlighted below).
A Few Notable Papers
- The Donald H. Berman Award for Best Student Paper went to Oahn Thi Tran. Her paper, “Reference Resolution in Legal Texts,” was co-authored with Minh Le Nguyen and Akiri Shimazu and focused on resolving terms, definitions and provisions in Japanese language legal documents. Oahn is a Vietnamese graduate student studying at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Her presentation was articulate and detailed, even in her third language.
- There were a number of Tweets posted to Twitter during the conference akin to the following:
- Wondering as always, about the practical applicability of #icail2013 research
- Cons: some things discussed are still 'head in the clouds', afaik [as far as I know] never usable #ICAIL2013
- however, what's the point in re-discussing old approaches (strong AI). Also, legal argumentation...again? #ICAIL2013
- The following paper on IP analysis, presented last in the conference, represented a response to such skeptics: “Identifying Patent Monetization Entities” by Mihai Surdeanu and Sara Jeruss of Lex Machina. It describes a number of the technical details of their Patent Troll Identification System and the painstaking ways in which they evaluated it and performed error analysis (slidedeck). Companies are paying significant amounts to license the application and Lex Machina has just come out of a Series A funding round in which they’ve fared well (https://lexmachina.com/2013/05/01/).
- Because our community consists of numerous sub-communities -- including formal logic, argument systems, legal education systems, online dispute resolution systems, forensic systems, named-entity resolution, text classification, information retrieval, graph analytics, XML standards, content specific applications (statutes, regulations, IP, criminal case law), etc., we are not going to try to do justice here to the broad body of work that was presented. Instead, we will let each sub-community share their own topic-specific summaries among themselves.
- Rosaria Conte (Institute for Cognitive Science and Technology, CNR) on “Minding Norms” – shares observations from studying the dichotomy between scientific and philosophical perspectives on norms.
- Paul Thagard (Univ. of Waterloo) on “Intention, Action, and Legal Responsibility” –
- describes how semantic pointers provide new synthesis of symbolic and neural network approaches to cognition;
- discusses alternative understandings of legal responsibility more consistent with how brains make decisions.
- Radboud Winkels (Univ. of Amsterdam, IAAIL President) – on “25 Years of AI & Law” – articulates three trends in the past few decades: (slides)
- Move from ‘deep modeling’ of legal knowledge to more ‘shallow’ data and document analysis;
- Less emphasis on / interest in building systems;
- The rise of argumentation.
- Peter J. van Koppen (Maastricht Univ., Free Univ. of Amsterdam) – on “Spoiled Judges and the Fluidity of Evidence in Criminal Cases” – describes how the introduction of DNA changed much in the perception of evidence in criminal cases, using riveting examples.
- The IAAIL Executive Committee announced the Peter Jackson Award for the best Innovative Applications paper, to be first awarded at ICAIL 2015. The announcement was accompanied by a memorial tribute to Peter Jackson delivered by Jack Conrad.
- Thorne McCarty and Edwina Rissland are leading efforts to write the “AI & Law” entry for Wikipedia. Interested volunteers are welcomed to contact them (Thorne is a member of the AI & Law group on LinkedIn).
- Adam Wyner is leading an effort to build up a group site for legal data collections and annotations for experimental purposes. Contact him if you would like to help. (Adam is a member of the AI & Law group on LinkedIn).
- The ICAIL Mentoring Program is now four conferences old. Thirty individuals have thus far applied to the program, with about half actually completing the process. The program has produced three accepted papers to date, but the community still needs to do a better job of spreading the word about the program.
- Our ICAIL research report on “The Significance of Evaluation in AI and Law: A Case Study Re-examining ICAIL Proceedings” (Conrad and Zeleznikow, 2013), was well received. One of the most constructive suggestions made in response to it was to conduct a workshop on the topic at ICAIL 2015. The focus of this workshop would be on empirical methods and evaluation in AI & Law.
- Members of the AI & Law community are reminded that IAAIL continues to maintain a social media group on LinkedIn where news of conferences and workshops, job postings, relevant topical discussions and more take place. If you are not currently subscribed, please consider doing so and participating in the group going forward. The group can be accessed via the following URL: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/International-Association-Artificial-Intelligence-Law-770517
Int’l Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law (IAAIL) Elections (http://www.iaail.org/)
- Radboud Winkels and Thorne McCarty will complete their service to the IAAIL Executive Committee at end of the year;
- Anne Gardner will continue her service as Secretary/Treasurer;
- Erich Schweighofer and Guido Governatori will continue their service as members at large on the EC;
- Bart Verheij and Enrico Francesconi were nominated by the Nominating Committee and were subsequently elected to newly open positions on the EC;
- Edwina Rissland and Adam Wyner ran against them as nominees from the floor;
- Edwina Rissland was elected to serve on the next Nominating Committee; the committee will consist of Radboud Winkels (Past President), Giovanni Sartor (Past Past President), Monica Palmirani (elected in 2011 for four years), and Edwina (replacing Pompeu Casanovas, who was elected in 2009 for four years).
- Katie Atkinson was elected new Vice President of IAAIL;
- Jack Conrad was elected President of IAAIL;
- The new EC will begin its term in office on Jan. 1, 2014.
ICAIL 2015 Program Chair
- The IAAIL Executive Committee chose Katie Atkinson to be Program Chair for ICAIL 2015. Katie has already been a successful Program Chair for JURIX and brings that substantive experience with her.
ICAIL 2015 Venue
- A pitch was made for hosting ICAIL 2015 -- by the University of San Diego (California) Law School and its new Computational Legal Studies Research Center.
- The conference would be held at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (KIPJ) and would be supported by USD’s Law School.
- We would not be charged for use of the institute and costs could be further reduced by holding a half-day Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course for area attorneys in conjunction with the conference.
- The pitch was made by Ted Sichelman, a professor at the USD Law School who has experience working with mathematical models for legal artificial intelligence systems.
- The EC will evaluate formal proposals before deciding on the venue. Expressions of interest are invited and should be directed to Jack Conrad, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Since ICAIL typically alternates between continents, we expect that the 2015 conference will be held outside of Europe.
- The ICAIL conference banquet was held at Villa Miani on Monte Mario, one of Rome’s renowned hills, with marvelous views of the Vatican and other points around the city. The weather that Wednesday evening was perfect.
Expressions of Appreciation
- Without the dedicated and patient efforts of Bart Verheij (Program Chair), Enrico Francesconi (Local Chair) and Anne Gardner (Secretary/Treasurer), ICAIL 2013 would not have been the success it was. Special thanks are also due to Simona Binazzi of ITTIG for her indispensable contributions to the smooth running of the conference and to the ITTIG staff for their conference preparations.
- The AI & Law community is truly indebted to all the organizers for their commitment to making ICAIL 2013 the superb event that it was.
- IAAIL also wishes to thank the Senate of the Italian Republic for its role of support for the conference, and in particular, Senator and ITTIG-CNR researcher, Rosa Maria Di Giorgi, who welcomed participants to the main conference with her cordial opening remarks.
- We are also grateful to the to the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities of the National Research Council of Italy for their presence at the event.
- In addition, IAAIL wishes to thank Casa dell'Aviatore and its staff for their role in helping make the venue warm and accommodating.
- Finally, thanks to IAAIL Secretary/Treasurer Anne Gardner for carefully reviewing this summary and offering numerous thoughtful suggestions for its improvement.
Featured in this photo from the conference banquet at Villa Miani (from left):
ICAIL Local Chair, Enrico Francesconi (Consiglio Naz. delle Ricerche (CNR), Florence, Italy)
IAAIL Secretary-Treasurer, Anne Gardner (Stanford, USA, retired)
ICAIL Program Chair, Bart Verheij (Univ. of Groningen, NL)