At the end of my first week at Immuta, all the way back in 2016, I wrote a post for this blog entitled “A Lawyer and A Data Scientist Walk Into A Bar.” In that post, I talked about the inevitable collision between law and data analytics, and how we faced a choice – both in the tech community and beyond – about how the technology we build reflects our values.
I’ve learned a ton over the last few years — building out the legal engineering team here at Immuta, supporting some of the most forward-thinking global customers, and being recognized by Fast Company as the 30th most innovative company in the world. Through all this work, I’ve come to one surprising conclusion: the biggest challenges confronting AI and analytics are no longer technical — they are squarely issues of governance and law.
Indeed, what we’re seeing now with the Coronavirus pandemic – a massive embrace of data-driven technologies to make sense of the crisis – serves as a humbling lesson that the adoption of AI is not slowing down. And standing in its way are huge liabilities related to fairness, privacy, security, transparency and more.
That’s why I’m excited to announce the launch of bnh.ai, a boutique law firm focused on AI and analytics, run jointly by a lawyer and a data scientist. Bnh.ai is the first law firm of its kind, and we are based in Washington, DC for exactly this reason – the only place in the country that allows lawyers and non-lawyers to jointly own law firms. Patrick Hall is co-founding the firm, which will be incubated here at Immuta. We’re just a few weeks in and we’ve already received some positive press, which I’ve posted below.
I wish, of course, that we could launch in better times – we originally planned to go public at SXSW earlier this month, when I was scheduled to give this talk on the long and troubled history of data protection. But today more than ever we see an opportunity for AI and analytics to serve as a force for good, at least when used responsibly. The task in front of us – at bnh.ai, at Immuta and more globally – is to align all these data-driven technologies to our laws and values.
So if you need help managing the liabilities of AI – or if you’d simply like to hear about our work – please reach out. We’re excited to get started, and we’d love to help.