IAAIL End of Year Message from Katie Atkinson

Dear IAAIL Members,

With this end of year message, I would like to provide members with updates on a few topics relevant for the community and most notably the final summary from the 2017 ICAIL conference.

The IAAIL Executive Committee was delighted with the success of the 2017 edition of the International Conference on AI and Law, whose highlights are listed below.

ICAIL 2017 was the 16th edition of ICAIL and it was held in June at King's College London with Jeroen Keppens serving as Conference Chair. 298 people from 34 countries attended the conference, with 176 of these attending the full conference. These attendance figures are a record for ICAIL. The associated workshops (listed later on) were also lively and popular with many attendees joining multiple workshops.

The Program Chair for the conference was Guido Governatori, and content of the program covered both new and traditional AI and Law topics. Besides traditional topics such as legal information retrieval, e-discovery, argumentation, and formal models of legal reasoning, this edition also solicited contributions on legal and ethical aspects of artificial intelligence to address the growing general interest in practical and emerging real life applications of AI techniques (for example, the emergence of autonomous vehicles).

This edition of ICAIL received a record number of 103 submissions and after a two-round review process, 23 submissions were accepted as full papers, 9 submissions were accepted as research abstracts and 3 contributions as demonstration papers. The proceedings also include the winning papers from the COLIEE (Competition on Legal Information Extraction/Entailment) competition, for which we gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Artificial Intelligence journal.

Invited Speakers
In addition to the regular contributions above, the conference program featured keynote addresses by Prof. Richard Susskind OBE who presented “A Manifesto for Artificial Intelligence in the Law”, and Prof. Karen Yeung focusing on “Using AI systems to personalise, predict and automate the application of law: A fundamental assault on the concept and rule of law?”. The traditional address by the President of IAAIL was delivered by Prof. Katie Atkinson who spoke on “AI and Law in 2017: Turning the hype into real world solutions”. The after-dinner speech was delivered on the Thames dinner cruise by Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals in the UK.

Satellite Events
The conference program included a live session of the COLIEE competition, pitches from the doctoral consortium, and a demo session. Also, the full program of the conference was supplemented with the Introduction to AI and Law tutorial and a number of very successful workshops, including both well-established ones and new ones on emerging topics and themes, namely:

- Workshop on AI on Legal Practice
- 8th Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and the Complexity of Legal Systems (AICOL)
- DESI VII Workshop on Using Advanced Data Analysis in eDiscovery & Related Disciplines to Identify and Protect Sensitive Information in Large Collections
- 17th Workshop on Computational Models of Natural Argument (CMNA XVII)
- Workshop on Evidence & Decision Making in the Law
- SmartLaw@ICAIL2017 Workshop on Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Law
- MIREL 2017. Workshop on MIning and REasoning with Legal texts
- ASAIL 2017: 2nd Workshop on Automated Semantic Analysis of Information in Legal Texts
- Multilingual Workshop on Artificial Intelligence & Law 2017

A number of awards were given to noteworthy contributions, selected based on the recommendations from the Program Committee:

- The Carole Hafner Best Paper Award was presented to John Horty (University of Maryland) for his paper entitled "Reasoning with Dimensions and Magnitudes"

- The Peter Jackson Best Innovative Application Paper Award was presented to Christian Cardellino (University of Córdoba), Milagro Teruel (University of Córdoba), Laura Alonso Alemany (University of Córdoba), Serena Villata (Université Côte d'Azur) for their paper entitled "Low-cost, High-coverage Legal Named Entity Recognizer, Classifier and Linker".

- The Don Berman Best Student Paper was presented to Silviu Pitis (Georgia Institute of Technology) for his paper entitled "Methods for Retrieving Alternative Contract Language Using a Prototype"

- The Doctoral Consortium Best Paper Award was presented to Mirna El Ghosh (INSA Rouen, France) for her paper entitled "Automation of Legal Reasoning and Decision Based on Ontologies”

- The winning papers from the COLIEE competition were:
Seongwan Heo, Kihyun Hong, Young-Yik Rhim (Intellicon Meta Lab) for their paper entitled "Legal Content Fusion for Legal Information Retrieval”
and Mi-Young Kim, Randy Goebel (University of Alberta) for their paper entitled "Two-step Cascaded Textual Entailment for Legal Bar Exam Question Answering”.

A special note of thanks must also go to Anne Gardner for all the meticulous work she does behind the scenes in her role as Secretary-Treasurer of IAAIL, ensuring that the financial and administrative work of the conference and Association is all completed thoroughly.

ICAIL 2019
The program chair for ICAIL 2019 will be Floris Bex, Utrecht University. Multiple bids were received for hosting the 2019 edition of ICAIL and the venue selected for this edition of the conference will be announced early in 2018.

Executive Committee
My term as President of IAAIL came to an end on 31 December 2017 and I would like to thank the members of the Executive Committee for their work and support throughout the past two years:
- Vice President: Bart Verheij, University of Groningen, Netherlands
- Secretary-Treasurer: Anne Gardner, Palo Alto, California
- Executive Committee members-at-large:
Michał Araszkiewicz, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Enrico Francesconi, ITTIG-CNR, Italy
Anna Ronkainen, TrademarkNow, Helsinki, Finland
Ken Satoh, National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo, Japan
It has been an exciting year for research in AI and Law and IAAIL, and we look forward to the continued growth of our community, research and collaborations in 2018. The next report you will receive from IAAIL will come from the new President, Bart Verheij, who I am delighted will be leading the community into the exciting times ahead.

A Happy New Year to all members.

Katie Atkinson,
Outgoing President of IAAIL


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