Technologies that enable legal and compliance leaders to spot innovations — from helpnetsecurity.com
COVID-19 has accelerated the push toward digital business transformation for most businesses, and legal and compliance leaders are under pressure to anticipate both the potential improvements and possible risks that come with new legal technology innovations, according to Gartner.

Excerpt:

To address this challenge, Gartner lists the 31 must-watch legal technologies to allow legal and compliance leaders to identify innovations that will allow them to act faster. They can use this information for internal planning and prioritization of emerging innovations.

Also see:
(with a shoutout to Nicola Shaver for this resource)

legaltechnology hub dot com

Also see:

Envisioning the future of law — from abovethelaw.com by Ken Crutchfield
We’ve seen a transformation underway within the legal industry for some time now, and the pandemic is continuing to accelerate these changes.

Excerpt:

We’ve seen a transformation underway within the legal industry for some time now, and the pandemic is continuing to accelerate these changes. From what we have observed in recent months, many of the technologies that were reshaping the practice of law have now become necessary, and resistance to digital workflows is no longer a viable option for many legal professionals. In the midst of this transformation, we can draw some observations about how the industry can cope with what’s next. 

 

Alphabet’s Loon starts beaming internet from balloons in Kenya — from cnbc.com by Ryan Browne

Key points
  • Loon said its balloon-powered internet service will initially cover 50,000 square kilometers in western and central parts of Kenya.
  • It aims to take a fleet of 35 balloons to the skies above eastern Africa “in the coming weeks.”
  • The news represents a significant milestone after years of publicity about the Alphabet-owned venture.
 

Is this South Africa’s best legal online platform using blockchain? — from techfinancials.co.za
The winners of the event, Kagiso, will progress to the second round of the contest, in which a panel of international judges will decide who attends a grand final in New York.

Excerpt:

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) and leading global law firm Baker McKenziehave announced the winners of the South African leg of Global Legal Hackathon 2019 (GLH2019).

First prize went to Kagiso, an online mediation platform that provides a cost-effective and fast alternative to lengthy court processes for civil disputes.

Kagiso uses machine learning to match cases with professional mediators who have the most relevant skill sets to be effective – such as subject matter experience or knowledge of local languages – and stores records using blockchain technology.

The second prize was awarded to Bua, a voice-recognition system that allows victims of crime to record their own statements in their own language in a private “safe space” such as a kiosk or on their own phone.

The majority of crimes in South Africa’s go unreported or prosecutions fail, and a leading reason is that victims don’t feel comfortable giving statements in open police stations, and statements are often badly or wilfully mistranslated.

 

 

The Global Legal Hackathon is a non-profit organization that organizes law schools, law firms and in-house departments, legal technology companies, governments, and service providers to innovation in the legal industry – across the globe. It brings together the best thinkers, doers and practitioners in law in support of a unified vision: rapid development of solutions to improve the legal industry, world-wide.

 

 

From DSC:
Glancing through the awards likely shows where the future of the legal field is going…at least in part.

 

Also see:

 

 

How Blockchain Could Help Emerging Markets Leap Ahead — from hbr.org by Vinay Gupta and Rob Knight

Excerpt:

Much has been made of the potential for blockchain technologies to open up new vistas for business and society. But is there a way for this revolutionary technology to empower the rich and poor alike? We argue that, like previous revolutionary ideas, blockchain has the potential to help developing nations leapfrog more-developed economies.

Leapfrogging — using the lack of existing infrastructure as an opportunity to adopt the most advanced methods — has been a highly effective strategy for developing nations over the last few decades. The most visible example of leapfrogging today is in nations like Kenya and South Africa, which have rolled out near-universal telephone access using 3G networks instead of laying down copper cables, and provided internet access by smartphone rather than with desktop PCs. But it’s not just physical infrastructure that can be leapfrogged.

One of the 20th century’s most celebrated examples of leapfrogging happened in Japan, when the country recovered from the ravages of World War II by embracing sophisticated new manufacturing techniques.

 

Blockchains can also address the most pressing needs of developing-world governments: the modernization and digitization of government functions. The current world leader in blockchain adoption is Dubai, and there is much in Dubai’s approach that could be adopted by developing world nations. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy (disclosure: Vinay is the designer) envisions moving all government documents — more than 100 million documents per year — onto a blockchain by 2020, creating a new platform for innovation and huge cost savings.

 

Because it was explicitly designed to function in an environment where participants cannot necessarily trust each other, blockchain technology is extremely secure. Records held on a blockchain database are immune to being tampered with by third parties, and can thus be authoritative. Smart contracts can provide automatic and predictable execution, again removing the ability for third parties to subvert agreed-upon processes. The benefits for a developing economy are clear: There’s less potential for fraud and corruption, trade becomes more efficient and less costly, government becomes more effective, and local technology hubs can form to build out the infrastructure and export the knowledge gained.

 

Educational records, business histories, health care information, and credit ratings could all be made usable the world over, helping those who want to trade or travel to prove their credentials. Anybody who has ever paid too much for a college transcript or tried to clear a shadow on their credit score can see how systems like this would be helpful in our daily lives.

 

Also see:

Dubai Blockchain Strategy — from smartdubai.ae

Excerpt:

Required documentation, such as visa applications, bill payments and license renewals, which account for over 100 million documents each year, will be transacted digitally under the new strategy. Blockchain technology would contribute savings of up to 114 MTons CO2 emissions from trip reductions, and redistribute up to 25.1 million hours of economic productivity in saved document processing time.

 

 

 



And from another perspective — from Forrester’s 2018 predictions document
Blockchain is a story of rational exuberance. Blockchain promises to fully enable bold platform and ecosystem strategies while defending against increasing cybersecurity threats. And that extraordinary promise is, in part, the problem. The exuberance for blockchain hindered progress in 2017:

  1. Marketers oversold blockchain.
  2. Teams ran narrow tests that delivered underwhelming results against high expectations.
  3. Teams applied blockchain-like approaches to problems that they could have solved with existing technologies.

Eighty percent of projects failed to meet expectations.

In 2018, the combination of rhetoric and enthusiasm will continue to limit blockchain gains. However, 30% of proofs of concept will accelerate blockchain for those companies able to consider its operational impact.

 



 

Addendum on 11/21/17:

 

 

 

 

IBM to Train 25 Million Africans for Free to Build Workforce — from by Loni Prinsloo
* Tech giant seeking to bring, keep digital jobs in Africa
* Africa to have world’s largest workforce by 2040, IBM projects

Excerpt:

International Business Machines Corp. is ramping up its digital-skills training program to accommodate as many as 25 million Africans in the next five years, looking toward building a future workforce on the continent. The U.S. tech giant plans to make an initial investment of 945 million rand ($70 million) to roll out the training initiative in South Africa…

 

Also see:

IBM Unveils IT Learning Platform for African Youth — from investopedia.com by Tim Brugger

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Responding to concerns that artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the workplace will lead to companies laying off employees and shrinking their work forces, IBM (NYSE: IBM) CEO Ginni Rometty said in an interview with CNBC last month that A.I. wouldn’t replace humans, but rather open the door to “new collar” employment opportunities.

IBM describes new collar jobs as “careers that do not always require a four-year college degree but rather sought-after skills in cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, cloud, and much more.”

In keeping with IBM’s promise to devote time and resources to preparing tomorrow’s new collar workers for those careers, it has announced a new “Digital-Nation Africa” initiative. IBM has committed $70 million to its cloud-based learning platform that will provide free skills development to as many as 25 million young people in Africa over the next five years.

The platform will include online learning opportunities for everything from basic IT skills to advanced training in social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection. IBM added that its A.I. computing wonder Watson will be used to analyze data from the online platform, adapt it, and help direct students to appropriate courses, as well as refine the curriculum to better suit specific needs.

 

 

From DSC:
That last part, about Watson being used to personalize learning and direct students to appropropriate courses, is one of the elements that I see in the Learning from the Living [Class]Room vision that I’ve been pulse-checking for the last several years. AI/cognitive computing will most assuredly be a part of our learning ecosystems in the future.  Amazon is currently building their own platform that adds 100 skills each day — and has 1000 people working on creating skills for Alexa.  This type of thing isn’t going away any time soon. Rather, I’d say that we haven’t seen anything yet!

 

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 

And Amazon has doubled down to develop Alexa’s “skills,” which are discrete voice-based applications that allow the system to carry out specific tasks (like ordering pizza for example). At launch, Alexa had just 20 skills, which has reportedly jumped to 5,200 today with the company adding about 100 skills per day.

In fact, Bezos has said, “We’ve been working behind the scenes for the last four years, we have more than 1,000 people working on Alexa and the Echo ecosystem … It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just last week, it launched a new website to help brands and developers create more skills for Alexa.

Source

 

 

Also see:

 

“We are trying to make education more personalised and cognitive through this partnership by creating a technology-driven personalised learning and tutoring,” Lula Mohanty, Vice President, Services at IBM, told ET. IBM will also use its cognitive technology platform, IBM Watson, as part of the partnership.

“We will use the IBM Watson data cloud as part of the deal, and access Watson education insight services, Watson library, student information insights — these are big data sets that have been created through collaboration and inputs with many universities. On top of this, we apply big data analytics,” Mohanty added.

Source

 

 


 

Also see:

  • Most People in Education are Just Looking for Faster Horses, But the Automobile is Coming — from etale.org by Bernard Bull
    Excerpt:
    Most people in education are looking for faster horses. It is too challenging, troubling, or beyond people’s sense of what is possible to really imagine a completely different way in which education happens in the world. That doesn’t mean, however, that the educational equivalent of the automobile is not on its way. I am confident that it is very much on its way. It might even arrive earlier than even the futurists expect. Consider the following prediction.

 


 

 

 

The walled world of work — from economist.com
Youth unemployment is a massive waste of resources

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

France is not alone in having such problems. In the euro area, Greece, Spain and Italy all have rules that coddle insiders and discourage outsiders. Their youth unemployment rates are, respectively, 48%, 48% and 40%. Developing countries, too, often have rigid labour markets. Brazilian employees typically cost their employers their salary all over again in legally mandated benefits and taxes. South Africa mixes European-style labour protections with extreme racial preferences. Firms must favour black job applicants even if they are unqualified, so long as they have the “capacity to acquire, within a reasonable time, the ability to do the job”. Some 16% of young Brazilians and a stunning 63% of young South Africans are unemployed. Globally, average youth unemployment is 13% compared with the adult rate of 4.5%. Young people are also more likely than older ones to be in temporary, ill-paid or insecure jobs.

Joblessness matters for several reasons. First, it is miserable for those concerned. Second, it is a waste of human potential. Time spent e-mailing CVs or lying dejected on the sofa is time not spent fixing boilers, laying cables or building a business. Third, it is fiscally ruinous. If the young cannot get a foot on the career ladder, it is hard to see how in time they will be able to support the swelling number of pensioners. Fourth, joblessness can become self-perpetuating. The longer people are out of work, the more their skills and their self-confidence atrophy, the less appealing they look to potential employers and the more likely they are to give up and subsist on the dole.

 

Over the next decade more than 1 billion young people will enter the global labour market, and only 40% will be working in jobs that currently exist, estimates the World Bank.

 

 

From DSC:
After reviewing the two items below, I think you will agree that there is great potential in the future of virtual reality — and the new affordances it will bring with it. For example, if we use it wisely, virtual reality could help us raise cultural intelligence, promote empathy, and reduce racism.


How might virtual reality change the world? Stanford lab peers into future — from CBS News by Ines Novacic

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Beyond playing entertaining tricks on people’s perceptions, VR has the potential to promote a better understanding of what it’s like to be someone else – a refugee in a war zone, for example. Studying the effects of those uses, and the psychological effects of VR use in general, has always been the main focus of the lab. Bailenson listed how several of his studies that focused on empathy – for example, making someone visually impaired through VR– yielded results that demonstrated the VR experience made participants more altruistic in real life.

“The idea is, I truly believe VR is a good tool to teach you about yourself and to teach you empathy,” said Bailenson. “We want to know how robust that effect is, how long-lasting, because I can see this becoming a tool we all use.”

 

Also see:

 

 


A somewhat related posting:

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Fusing art, culture, and retail with virtual reality, augmented reality, and themed architecture and design, each complex will include an interactive museum, a virtual zoo and aquarium, a digital art gallery, a live entertainment stage, an immersive movie theater, and themed experience retail.

“With virtual reality we can put you in the African savannah or fly you into outer space,” Christopher says. “This completely changes the idea of an old-fashioned museum by allowing kids to experience prehistoric dinosaurs or legendary creatures as we develop new experiences that keep them coming back for more. We’ll combine education and entertainment into one destination that’s always evolving.”

 

An AR-related posting:

From DSC:
This is very sharp Human Computer Interaction (HCI)!  This should unleash some serious creativity. Microsoft is bringing Minecraft to Augmented Reality. Check out this clip!

 

 

 

2011 Year in Review: Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Financial Assistance.

Excerpt:

All around the world, the pace of change in higher education is accelerating. In the face of continued increases in participation, demographic change and – in the west at least – profound fiscal crises, higher education institutions are increasingly being required to raise funds from students as opposed to relying on transfers from governments. Indeed, the pace of policy change is coming so quickly that it is difficult to keep track of all the relevant developments in different parts of the world.

In this, the second edition of Year in Review: Tuition Fees and Student Assistance, we outline the major changes related to higher education affordability around the world in 2011. In order to keep our sample manageable, we have kept our inquiries to a selection of 40 countries that collectively best represent the global situation:

The G-40 consists of: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam.

Marcucci, Pamela and Usher, Alex (2012). 2011 Year in Review:
Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Financial Assistance.
Toronto: Higher Education Strategy Associates.

 

http://globaia.org/en/anthropocene/

 

Also see:

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Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education — from Ted Talks <– from DSC: This is well worth your time!
My thanks to Dr. Kate Byerwalter at Grand Rapids Community College for this item

Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education -- A TED Talk

Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education — the best teachers and schools don’t exist where they’re needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.

Sugata Mitra’s “Hole in the Wall” experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other, if they’re motivated by curiosity…

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