Remember when artificial intelligence was the stuff of science fiction? While the recent explosion in the legal technology marketplace may be a very contemporary phenomena, here are the computing breakthroughs that brought us here.

1964 – Xerox invented the first commercialised fax machine (pictured).

1973 – Lexis Nexis invented the little red UBIQ terminal, which permitted lawyers to search case law online.

1973 – Wang laboratories introduced a 'microcomputer' that included word processing.

1979 – The first modern spreadsheet, VisiCalclaunched on the Apple II, (and on the IBM PC in 1981), and gave the computer a clear business application (pictured). 

1981 – IBM released the first personal computer.

1984 – Apple released the first Macintosh computer, and Steve Jobs gave a demonstration of the "computer that changed everything" January 24th 1984 at the Boston Computer Society (pictured). 

1985 – Microsoft released Windows 1.0, a graphical user interface for MS-DOS (pictured). 

1989 – The first world wide web WWW servers outside of CERN were switched on, as outlined in a proposal by Tim Berners-Lee where he aimed to create a 'web' of 'hypertext documents' viewed in 'browsers.'

1993 - The first version of Microsoft Outlook was launched.

1995 – Microsoft released Windows 95.

1996 – Attachments to emails increasingly became widespread, as they were now supported to use non-text files as part of the MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions).

1998 – "Spam" was added to Oxford English Dictionary.

1999 – The first blackberry device (model 850) was introduced as a two-way pager (pictured). 

2006 – Google and Amazon began referring to hardware and software services over the internet as cloud computing.

2007 – The first iPhone was released (pictured). 

2011 – IBM Watson famously won a game of 'Jeopardy!' against two (human!) champions (pictured). 

2016 – IBM introduces world's first artificial legal assistant, ROSS, which is hired by the law firm Baker and Hostetler.