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We're All Talking About AI: Following Our AI Visionaries Through 2022

Celia O'Brien

AI is gaining traction and people are talking about it. With another year of conversation and education under our belts and in the books, we’d be remiss not to mention the prominence of AI. AI is on the move, and we are moving with it.

When it comes to innovation, this industry continues to be iron sharpening iron, and we love witnessing doors open through empowering and challenging dialogue between all kinds of professionals.

Over here at Relativity, we’re especially admiring the wise words contributed by the 2022 cohort of our AI Visionaries, an annual list of AI innovators, explorers, adopters, and promoters. In particular, we’re celebrating the work our inaugural group has done. The progress they’ve made in bringing artificial intelligence into their industries. The excitement they’ve drawn from having their names on this list.

The insights from the 2022 AI Visionaries have no doubt made their mark; from conferences to panels and everything in between, their words have been as educational as they have been inspirational. Our Visionaries are humble pioneers, sharing what they’ve learned with their communities. And we are all ears.

So, can we shine a spotlight on them? As we reflect on the year, we’d like to highlight some of the accomplishments of our Visionaries who have shepherded their communities toward AI. (Some even made big career advancements in 2022!)

Sharing Female Perspectives on AI

Take, for example, the conversations between Katherine Lowry, Laura Kibbe, Heather Sussman, Selina Coleman, and Ausra Deluard at the AI Bootcamp for Women in Law in Washington, DC. It was a room full of women, engaging in enriching conversation, where Katherine—head of IncuBaker at BakerHostetler—detailed the struggles of laying groundwork for innovation, in a field with a stodgy reputation and no clear roadmap. Ausra and Selina fielded questions for law firm guests in a room full of breakout sessions.

Breaking Down Barriers to AI

We caught up with a number of our AI Visionaries again in San Francisco during another iteration of our AI Bootcamp, where West Coast professionals had a chance to meet and confer over the application of AI in their work. Several more of our AI Visionaries—Pam Schieffelin, Ron Harry, Briordy Meyers, Bobby Malhotra, Ross Gotler, Josh Kreamer, and Ruby Zefo—served as key speakers. Conversations centered around ethics in AI, being the catalyst in innovation, and AI 101 (we all have to start somewhere, no?).

Ron later spoke to an e-discovery leader at Carvana about his experience as a Visionary:

“Being part of the AI Visionaries has allowed me to connect with some of the brightest minds in the legal AI space. It has provided an increased number of professional conversations and discussions on the topic of artificial intelligence, and more specifically on its place and impact not only in the legal field but, more broadly, in all aspects of our lives. These conversations have helped to round my own perspective on AI, open my eyes to issues I hadn't considered in the past, and allowed for a growth in my knowledge and understanding on the topic. I am honored to be among this honored group of legal AI professionals.”

Briordy Meyers seconds Ron’s gratitude for the AI community, adding “The biggest impact has been the opportunity to meet and learn from so many intelligent and thoughtful people working in the Artificial Intelligence space. Connecting with other AI Visionaries, talking to them, trading stories and making new industry connections has been such a rewarding experience.” 

Leading the Change in the Way We Work

Though perhaps offering a less personal setting in which to discuss how to change the game with AI, larger conferences serve an important role in educating the broader profession and sharing insights from a bigger stage. This kind of attention can help accelerate the pace of innovation in our space, and this year’s AI Visionaries were on top of that mission in 2022. Did you recognize any of them at the following events?

ILTACON, a conference for industry experts and the legal community, heard powerful conversations led by AI Visionaries, such as the “AI Lunch ‘n Learn” panel, where Josh Kreamer, Bobby Malhotra, and Selina Coleman shared insights on harnessing AI-powered solutions. They explored the misconceptions surrounding AI while empowering listeners with the information and practical knowledge to overcome challenges and add more value for their firms.

How refreshing is it when leaders offer more than just talk? These panelists detailed how AI has the power to enable more than we expect—and as it turns out, you don’t need to be an expert to leverage the technology.

Perhaps we should all be taking notes from Electronic Discovery Institute panelists Laura Kibbe and Josh Kreamer, who participated in “reDiscovery: A Changing Function for Changing Times.” With a focus in collaboration, education, and networking, EDI is an e-discovery leadership summit for in-house counsel and it was a delight to see two of our AI Visionaries on this year’s speaker list.

Understanding AI in Security

AI’s use cases in legal are broad, from litigation, to contracts, to research, and importantly, mitigating organizational risk. During our recent user conference, Relativity Fest, Mallory Acheson, partner at Nelson Mullins, led a roundtable with data breach experts and practitioners, sharing “war stories” and advice on utilizing AI to assess data breaches and how to prevent future security incidents.

Mallory was one of several AI Visionaries who held a microphone at Fest this October. With the conference back in person this year, our AI panelists gathered on Chicago soil: on stage, in round tables, in line for apparel. Our Visionaries have continually led our community toward AI and we at Relativity were honored to converse with these folks in the Windy City—and give them a platform to converse with you.

Moves in Professional Development

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to thought leadership and career development. Some of this year’s Visionaries have promotions and job moves to celebrate; please give them a shout out next time you see them in the field!

Katherine Lowry

Lowry, having helped drive cutting-edge solutions to benefit clients, has been named a pioneer for the use of technology in the legal process. Her transformational leadership has led the IS department of BakerHostetler to success and landed her a promotion to CIO at the company.

Jeffrey Salling

Jeffrey Salling achieved a new role as chief of staff and senior director of legal operations at Moderna. When asked how his AI Visionary recognition became part of his professional conversations this year, Jeffrey noted: “I had several people reach out and lend their congrats. It was clear that it was a highly respected award that people appreciated.”

In an exciting milestone for his career, he said, “I did leave my role at Novartis for a much larger role on the legal leadership team at Moderna.”

Briordy Meyers

Briordy Meyers , “I don't know that I would call them advancements, but I certainly have some career augmentations to highlight. My general knowledge base around AI use has grown. My professional network has expanded and become much richer.”

Kelly Friedman (our first-ever AI Innovation Award Winner)

This year also saw a big career milestone for Kelly Friedman, senior counsel and national leader of Beyond eDiscovery at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, who was named the 2022 AI Innovation Award Winner at Relativity Fest.

When we touched based with Kelly, she shared: “I am happily completing my fifth year at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) and heading into 2023 with new service lines for BLG’s Beyond eDiscovery, including a data breach review service line using Relativity’s Text IQ for Data Breach technology.”

Look for more insights from our inaugural Artificial Intelligence Innovation Award winner right here on The Relativity Blog in the coming months.

2023 AI Visionaries

There’s a lot more ahead for this exceptional group—and for a new cohort of AI Visionaries currently making an impact on their businesses and industries.

This year’s AI Visionaries are part of the group selecting the next wave of innovators. Our list of 2023 AI Visionaries is currently being chosen, so be sure to watch for the new names prior to Legalweek next year.

Our team at Relativity is excited to foster more conversations surrounding AI in the year ahead—because it’s more than a buzzword, and it’s critical for the next generation of innovation in legal technology. To support our mission and our customers, we’re listening to and constantly considering the wisdom provided by the AI Visionaries. Professionals like these are truly helping to shape the future of our community, and we can’t wait to keep learning from them.

AI and Legal: Four Trends to Watch in 2023

Celia O'Brien is a member of the marketing team at Relativity where she serves as a copywriter.