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2017 saw an uptick in the adoption of "artificial intelligence" (AI) technology in legal. Areas with increasing adoption across law firms and legal departments include contract management, cybersecurity, and legal research. (Credit: whiteMocca/Shutterstock.com)

In the past several years, IBM Watson been largely associated with AI in legal technology. Some firms and legal departments have adopted it, while research company ROSS Intelligence built its technology atop it. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

The internet of things (IoT) is changing the way we work, spend our free time, and communicate, but it’s also led to concern among legal and IT professionals about security. These days, law firms are incorporating IoT into e-discovery, privacy and cybersecurity practices.

The autonomous vehicle is an IoT iteration creating investment, hype and concern. Companies like Google, Uber and Tesla are investing in driverless cars.

Blockchain technology underlies innovative efforts like smart contracts and bitcoin. Some law firms are partaking in blockchain research groups, while others are trying to leverage the technology for their own internal solutions. (ktsdesign/Shutterstock)

In 2017, IBM announced it’s working with food suppliers to develop blockchains around the food supply chain. Wal-Mart has already adopted this, with a blockchain ledger combining production, shipping, storage and retail. The companies say it can help determine the origins of food-born contaminations. (Photo: Melanie Bell)

In spring 2018, University of California, Berkeley School of Law will offer a course titled “Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and the Future of Technology, Business of Law,” which will look at both legal considerations and applications of blockchain. Berkeley is one of many schools looking at blockchain-centered courses. (Photo: UC Berkeley School of Law)

By now, you’ve probably come across the terms artificial intelligence, blockchain, and internet of things. And while the technology may leave many scratching their heads, others are leveraging it to not only change the way they practice law, but get ahead in the information age.

Ian Lopez

Ian Lopez is the senior technology editor for ALM Media.

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