5 lessons from the 2020 US Department of Education Blockchain Summit — from linkedin.com by Johanna Maaghul

Excerpts:

1. Interoperability is the Word of the Day
2. My Diploma is on the Blockchain! Now What?
3. Who Owns My Data? Well, it’s Not Just You
4. It’s only Legit if I am Legit
5. Consensus is Good, but Action is Better

 

Modular, stackable learning — What it means and why it will transform learning in the workplace — from linkedin.com by Anant Agarwal

Excerpt:

One example is by unbundling the traditional learning “packages” — Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees — into more manageable learning chunks that are also tied to real career and life outcomes. This is what we call modular learning, and it’s the foundation of all the programs available on edX. Modular learning enables working professionals to learn new skills in shorter amounts of time, even while they work, and those seeking a degree are able to do so in a much more attainable way. They also earn credentials for the smaller modules of learning, thereby garnering value and positive feedback early in the process of advancing towards full degrees. This early positive feedback also increases motivation for learners to persist towards the full degree, if that is their goal.

 

How technology and law changes for career development — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Manan Ghadawala

Excerpt:

But things have been changing in technology and law over the years. Let us look at these developments in technology and law and also see how technology already [is] — and will — impact legal careers.

Joni Pirovich from Hall & Wilcox explained, “As technology trends are pervasive across all industries, it’s now incumbent upon law firms to ensure lawyers have a good starting language to interpret technology concepts and how they interact with legal principles.”

The increase in law firm technology did surprise some people. Forbes found out that there was a 713% jump in investments in technology for law firms in 2018—almost 1.63 billion USD—bolstered mostly by the arrival of eDiscovery, which is an electronic method for finding important information specific investigations or suits.

#Automation #MachineLearning #AI #BigData

 

 

From DSC:
As some of you may know, I’m now working for the WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School. My faith gets involved here, but I believe that the LORD wanted me to get involved with:

  • Using technology to increase access to justice (#A2J)
  • Contributing to leveraging the science of learning for the long-term benefit of our students, faculty, and staff
  • Raising awareness regarding the potential pros and cons of today’s emerging technologies
  • Increase the understanding that the legal realm has a looooong way to go to try to get (even somewhat) caught up with the impacts that such emerging technologies can/might have on us.
  • Contributing and collaborating with others to help develop a positive future, not a negative one.

Along these lines…in regards to what’s been happening with law schools over the last few years, I wanted to share a couple of things:

1) An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education by Benjamin Barton:

The Law School Crash

 

2) A response from our President and Dean, James McGrath:Repositioning a Law School for the New Normal

 

From DSC:
I also wanted to personally say that I arrived at WMU-Cooley Law School in 2018, and have been learning a lot there (which I love about my job!).  Cooley employees are very warm, welcoming, experienced, knowledgeable, and professional. Everyone there is mission-driven. My boss, Chris Church, is multi-talented and excellent. Cooley has a great administrative/management team as well.

There have been many exciting, new things happening there. But that said, it will take time before we see the results of these changes. Perseverance and innovation will be key ingredients to crafting a modern legal education — especially in an industry that is just now beginning to offer online-based courses at the Juris Doctor (J.D.) level (i.e., 20 years behind when this began occurring within undergraduate higher education).

My point in posting this is to say that we should ALL care about what’s happening within the legal realm!  We are all impacted by it, whether we realize it or not. We are all in this together and no one is an island — not as individuals, and not as organizations.

We need:

  • Far more diversity within the legal field
  • More technical expertise within the legal realm — not only with lawyers, but with legislators, senators, representatives, judges, others
  • Greater use of teams of specialists within the legal field
  • To offer more courses regarding emerging technologies — and not only for the legal practices themselves but also for society at large.
  • To be far more vigilant in crafting a positive world to be handed down to our kids and grandkids — a dream, not a nightmare. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Still not convinced that you should care? Here are some things on the CURRENT landscapes:

  • You go to drop something off at your neighbor’s house. They have a camera that gets activated.  What facial recognition database are you now on? Did you give your consent to that? No, you didn’t.
  • Because you posted your photo on Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and/or on millions of other websites, your face could be in ClearView AI’s database. Did you give your consent to that occurring? No, you didn’t.
  • You’re at the airport and facial recognition is used instead of a passport. Whose database was that from and what gets shared? Did you give your consent to that occurring? Probably not, and it’s not easy to opt-out either.
  • Numerous types of drones, delivery bots, and more are already coming onto the scene. What will the sidewalks, streets, and skies look like — and sound like — in your neighborhood in the near future? Is that how you want it? Did you give your consent to that happening? No, you didn’t.
  • …and on and on it goes.

Addendum — speaking of islands!

Palantir CEO: Silicon Valley can’t be on ‘Palo Alto island’ — Big Tech must play by the rules — from cnbc.com by Jessica Bursztynsky

Excerpt:

Palantir Technologies co-founder and CEO Alex Karp said Thursday the core problem in Silicon Valley is the attitude among tech executives that they want to be separate from United States regulation.

“You cannot create an island called Palo Alto Island,” said Karp, who suggested tech leaders would rather govern themselves. “What Silicon Valley really wants is the canton of Palo Alto. We have the United States of America, not the ‘United States of Canton,’ one of which is Palo Alto. That must change.”

“Consumer tech companies, not Apple, but the other ones, have basically decided we’re living on an island and the island is so far removed from what’s called the United States in every way, culturally, linguistically and in normative ways,” Karp added.

 

A.I. breakthroughs in natural-language processing are big for business — from fortune.com by Jeremy Kahn

Excerpt:

Over the past 18 months, though, computer scientists have made huge strides in creating algorithms with unprecedented abilities at a variety of language tasks. What’s more, these new algorithms are making the leap from the lab and into real products at a breakneck pace—already changing the way tech’s biggest players, and many other businesses, operate. The Natural Language Processing (NLP) revolution promises better search engines and smarter chatbots and digital assistants. It could lead to systems that automatically analyze—and maybe even compose— legal documents and medical records. But some believe the NLP revolution will do far more.

 

 

 
 

From DSC:
I’ll say it again, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

From the article below…we can see another unintended consequence is developing on society’s landscapes. I really wish the 20 and 30 somethings that are being hired by the big tech companies — especially at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft — who are developing these things would ask themselves:

  • “Just because we can develop this system/software/application/etc., SHOULD we be developing it?”
  • What might the negative consequences be? 
  • Do the positive contributions outweigh the negative impacts…or not?

To colleges professors and teachers:
Please pass these thoughts onto your students now, so that this internal questioning/conversations begin to take place in K-16.


Report: Colleges Must Teach ‘Algorithm Literacy’ to Help Students Navigate Internet — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If the Ancient Mariner were sailing on the internet’s open seas, he might conclude there’s information everywhere, but nary a drop to drink.

That’s how many college students feel, anyway. A new report published this week about undergraduates’ impressions of internet algorithms reveals students are skeptical of and unnerved by tools that track their digital travels and serve them personalized content like advertisements and social media posts.

And some students feel like they’ve largely been left to navigate the internet’s murky waters alone, without adequate guidance from teachers and professors.

Researchers set out to learn “how aware students are about their information being manipulated, gathered and interacted with,” said Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, in an interview with EdSurge. “Where does that awareness drop off?”

They found that many students not only have personal concerns about how algorithms compromise their own data privacy but also recognize the broader, possibly negative implications of tools that segment and customize search results and news feeds.

 

From DSC:
Very disturbing that citizens had no say in this. Legislators, senators, representatives, lawyers, law schools, politicians, engineers, programmers, professors, teachers, and more…please reflect upon our current situation here. How can we help create the kind of future that we can hand down to our kids and rest well at night…knowing we did all that we could to provide a dream — and not a nightmare — for them?


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill
A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

 

Excerpts:

“But without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year…”

Clearview’s app carries extra risks because law enforcement agencies are uploading sensitive photos to the servers of a company whose ability to protect its data is untested.

 

The Future of Lawyers: Legal Tech, AI, Big Data And Online Courts — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpts:

In his brand new book Online Courts and the Future of Justice, Richard argues that technology is going to bring about a fascinating decade of change in the legal sector and transform our court system. Although automating our old ways of working plays a part in this, even more, critical is that artificial intelligence and technology will help give more individuals access to justice.

The first generation is the idea that people who use the court system submit evidence and arguments to the judge online or through some form of electronic communication.

The second generation of using technology to transform the legal system would be what Richard calls “outcome thinking” to use technology to help solve disputes without requiring lawyers or the traditional court system.

Some of the biggest obstacles to an online court system are the political will to bring about such a transformation, the support of judges and lawyers, funding, as well as the method we’d apply. For example, decisions will need to be made whether the online system would be used for only certain cases or situations.

Ultimately, we have a grave access-to-justice problem. Technology can help improve our outcomes and give people a way to resolve public disputes in ways that previously weren’t possible. While this transformation might not solve all the struggles with the legal system or the access-to-justice issue, it can offer a dramatic improvement.

 

 

 

From DSC:
This report reminds me of a graphic that Yohan Na and I did 10+ years ago…and the student debt now sits at around $1.5 trillion.

 

 

From DSC:
If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex in your school, consider implementing the idea below.
I’d like to thank Mr. Steve Grant and Mr. Nelson Miller from the WMU-Cooley Law School for their work in implementing/recommending this approach.

If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex, you can use it to share content to displays, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If the professor starts a Cisco Webex Meeting Center session using their own personal room, the students can then join that meeting via their devices. (To eliminate noise and confusion — as well as to reduce bandwidth — the students should mute their microphones and choose not to send the video from their webcams.)

If you were doing a think-pair-share, for example, and you really liked what a certain pair of students had going on, one of the students could share their work with the rest of the class. By doing so, whatever was going on on that student’s device could be displayed by any projectors in the room, as well as on any other devices that were connected to the Cisco Webex Meeting Room.

“So you could project any student’s work as students proceed with in-class exercises. Projecting student work adds another level of accountability, excitement, and concentration to in-class exercises.” 

*********

Also, using the Cisco Webex Meeting Center in your face-to-face classroom not only opens up that sort of collaboration channel, but, via the chat feature, it can also open up a running backchannel to draw out your more introverted students, or those students who have questions but don’t want to have the spotlight thrown on them. 

*********

 

Gen Zers and Millennials More Likely Than Older Generations to Embrace Continuous Learning; Also Feel More Stressed by Pressure to Learn New Skills — from prweb.com

Excerpt:

BOSTON (PRWEB) JANUARY 14, 2020
When it comes to updating professional skills, continuous learning is more important to Millennials and adult Gen Zers than to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to a survey of 1,048 adults, conducted by getAbstract, a company that summarizes top business books, articles and videos.

More than half of Millennials (58 percent) and adult Gen Zers (52 percent) said success in their careers depends on updating their skills and knowledge frequently, compared with 35 percent of Gen Xers and 34 percent of Baby Boomers.

However, younger workers are also more likely to feel stressed about the need to continuously update their skills and knowledge. Almost one-third (31 percent) of Millennials and Gen Zers said engaging in continuous learning stressed them out, compared with 19 percent of Gen Xers and 15 percent of Baby Boomers.

 

Why the traditional US model of educating tomorrow’s lawyers must change — from iam-media.com by Megan Carpenter
Disruption is increasingly affecting the legal services industry but legal education is not evolving fast enough. Greater specialisation in areas like IP, argues Franklin Pierce School of Law dean Megan Carpenter, could improve the training of lawyers and non-lawyers alike

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But the legal education we need today is not the one-size-fits-all model of the past. For 150 years, law schools and the legal services industry have combined to make legal education a precious commodity, bundled in a very specific way. Like the cable industry or print news media of yore, the education that qualifies people for the legal profession in the US has been one-size-fits-all, without regard to particular practice areas or specialisations and without responding to the diversification of the legal services market.

The legal profession should take a page from the playbook of the medical profession here. Under “healthcare occupations”, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook lists 46 professions, from doctors and nurses to physician assistants, medical extenders, technologists and technicians. Yet, under “Legal Occupations”, the BLS Handbook lists only five positions. By failing to adapt like the medical industry has to a variety of roles for different types of legal professionals, including education that fits those roles, the haves and have-nots of legal knowledge have been defined in a way that is not sustainable and fails to reflect the needs of the marketplace.

Law schools should not resist the expanding market for alternative legal service providers and legal tech; rather, they should lead the charge to provide legal education to people who need it, even if in a different form than such education has taken in the past. There should be more undergraduate and community-college programmes that provide appropriate legal training. The University of Arizona College of Law launched the first undergraduate bachelor degree in law in the US in collaboration with the broader university and other schools should do the same.

 

From DSC:
I’ve also been thinking about the need for more specializations within law schools, the legal realm, and in the Bar Exam itself.

 

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