MoFo News Item

Spectrum Speaker Series: MoFo Alumni Matthew Ahn Talks Bias in AI

26 Jul 2019

On July 16, 2019, former MoFo litigation associate and current Coinbase associate general counsel Matthew Ahn paid a visit to the firm’s San Francisco office to give a presentation on bias in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Over 100 attendees, some of whom joined via live stream, were entertained as Matt discussed the evolution of AI in the practice of law, the potential impact of broader AI adoption, and issues regarding ethics and bias.

One of the main takeaways was that you can’t leave common sense out of the equation when it comes to AI. Even the most robust algorithms fail without the human element. After all, machine intelligence can only do what its human counterparts ask it to do.

Matt provided examples of when so-called advanced algorithms and technology missed the mark. Do a Google search for Matthew Ahn and you might think he’s the lawyer from Ohio known as the “King of the Subway.” Take a closer look at the results, and you’ll see that he is not, in fact, the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest travel time to all New York City subway stations.

Between puns, pop culture references, and the occasional Law & Order theme sound effect, Matt touched on the use of AI in jury selection, the criminal justice system, and elsewhere, while highlighting the social and legal implications of this rapidly developing technology. He warned that there are limits to the accuracy, fairness, and ability to predict recidivism in popular software programs used in the legal space.

Matt’s current practice lies at the intersection of intellectual property, blockchain technology, and no-nonsense dispute resolution. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and clerked for the Honorable James A. Parker in the District of New Mexico.

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