Amazon’s new Fire TV Blaster works with Echo to control your TV, soundbar, cable box and more — from techcrunch.com by Sarah Perez

Excerpt:

Amazon already offers Alexa voice control to TV owners through its Fire TV devices, by way of a voice remote or by pairing an Echo device with a Fire TV, for hands-free voice commands. Now, it’s introducing a new device, the Fire TV Blaster, which extends that same hands-free voice control to your TV itself and other TV devices — like your soundbar, cable box, or A/V Receiver.

That means you’ll be able to say things like “Alexa, turn off the TV,” or “Alexa, switch to HDMI 1 on TV.” You can also control the volume and the playback.

And if you have other TV devices, you can control them hands-free as well, by saying things like “Alexa, turn up the soundbar volume,” or “Alexa tune to ESPN on cable.”

 

From DSC:
How might such Natural Language Processing (NLP) / voice recognition technologies impact future learning experiences and learning spaces? Will we enjoy more hands-free navigation around some cloud-based learning-related content? Will faculty members be able to use their voice to do the things that a Crestron Media Controller does today?

Parenthetically…when will we be able to speak to our routers (to shut off the kids’ internet connections/devices for example) and/or speak to our thermostats (to set the temperature(s) quickly for the remainder of the day)?

 

 

TECHREPORT 2019: Practice Management — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Alexander Paykin

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center surveyed a sample size of 53,252 attorneys regarding the technology and software both available and utilized in their firms. This TECHREPORT analyzes both the responses of these attorneys on a variety of technological developments and changes occurring in the legal industry and the existing trepidation to adopt certain technologies.

The world continues to shift towards a more technological focus, while the legal industry has not followed suit in many aspects. The use of practice management systems has not seen any real growth throughout the last four years despite high satisfaction ratings. There still remains a need for an all-inclusive practice management system that would not require firms to purchase a variety of different programs for specific tasks, and the switching costs of practice management systems remain a concern for many firms—particularly solo and large firms.

Overall, technology continues to be developed for the legal industry in abundance, however, in many sectors of the industry, various sized firms are hesitant to adopt these advancements, leading to steady or declining growth rates for much of these technologies. The size of the firm also has a large influence on the technologies a firm may adopt, and this makes it hard to predict what technologies may appeal to what firms.

Most law technology is still fairly new, and it has quite far to go before being developed enough to displace traditional ways of accomplishing tasks that many firms value now. There still exists a desire for more and newer technologies that will make this switch easier, and without the feasibility to switch to these software programs more efficiently and effectively, the legal industry will still wait to adapt to the evolving technological world around us.

 

FTI 2020 Trend Report for Entertainment, Media, & Technology [FTI]

 

FTI 2020 Trend Report for Entertainment, Media, & Technology — from futuretodayinstitute.com

Our 3rd annual industry report on emerging entertainment, media and technology trends is now available.

  • 157 trends
  • 28 optimistic, pragmatic and catastrophic scenarios
  • 10 non-technical primers and glossaries
  • Overview of what events to anticipate in 2020
  • Actionable insights to use within your organization

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Synthetic media offers new opportunities and challenges.
  • Authenticating content is becoming more difficult.
  • Regulation is coming.
  • We’ve entered the post-fixed screen era.
  • Voice Search Optimization (VSO) is the new Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Digital subscription models aren’t working.
  • Advancements in AI will mean greater efficiencies.

 

 

Drones from CVS and Walgreens are finally here—and they’re bringing Band-Aids — from fastcompany.com by Ruth Reader
With UPS and Google sister company Wing as partners, the big pharmacies are starting to deliver pills, Cheez-Its, and first-aid supplies by drone.

From DSC:
Add those drones to the following amassing armies:

 

 

Discover legal tech by checking out techindex.law.stanford.edu

 

Per their website:

This database is built on a growing community of legal technology companies worldwide. Our Twitter stream gives you a real time glance of what the companies in our database are sharing.

 

Also see:

Blockchain: 5 Ways Cybercriminals Can Hack The Unhackable — from disruptionhub.com

 

From DSC:
Though this posting sounds negative on blockchain, I don’t mean it to be…as I think it may very well have a future. But these postings show that it’s still early in the game here.

 

The Future Ready Lawyer — from Wolters Kluwer

Excerpts:

Leveraging technology as a strategic advantage is characteristics of high-performing businesses and professionals around the world. The same is true for the legal sector. Technology is a differentiator, and will become even more important as legal professionals recognize and leverage the unprecedented insights, capabilities and efficiencies that technology delivers. In addition, the emerging legal ecosystems will demand it, as tech-empowered players outside of the traditional legal profession continue to enter and disrupt the market.

 

Excerpt from the Future Ready Lawyer

 

 

From DSC:
It’s interesting to note how many times the words “technology” (205 times) and/or the word “technologies” (77 times) appear in that report.

 

 

Three threats posed by deepfakes that technology won’t solve — from technologyreview.com by Angela Chen
As deepfakes get better, companies are rushing to develop technology to detect them. But little of their potential harm will be fixed without social and legal solutions.

Excerpt:

3) Problem: Deepfake detection is too late to help victims
With deepfakes, “there’s little real recourse after that video or audio is out,” says Franks, the University of Miami scholar.

Existing laws are inadequate. Laws that punish sharing legitimate private information like medical records don’t apply to false but damaging videos. Laws against impersonation are “oddly limited,” Franks says—they focus on making it illegal to impersonate a doctor or government official. Defamation laws only address false representations that portray the subject negatively, but Franks says we should be worried about deepfakes that falsely portray people in a positive light too.

 

Big money is betting on legal industry transformation — from forbes.com by Mark Cohen

Excerpts:

Law has been big business for decades, but only recently has significant venture capital, private equity, and entrepreneur money been pumped into the legal sector. Last year saw an eye-popping 718% increase in legal industry investment, and this year’s capital infusion through the third-quarter has already surpassed last year’s $1 billion total and could well double it. Capital is turbocharging customer-centric providers that are leveraging technology, process, new skillsets, and data to transform the legal function and the delivery of legal services.


Teaser alert: what’s to prevent Amazon, Google, or some other tech giant from entering the legal space, creating a global platform, injecting billions into infrastructure and talent, creating a global legal services hub that connects consumers with global legal delivery sources as never before imagined? Short answer: the inclination to do so.

 

Legal delivery has morphed into a three-legged stool supported by legal, technological, and business expertise. 

 

‘Goliath is winning’: The biggest U.S. banks are set to automate away 200,000 jobs — from gizmodo.com by Brian Merchant

Excerpt (excerpt):

Over the next decade, U.S. banks, which are investing $150 billion in technology annually, will use automation to eliminate 200,000 jobs, thus facilitating “the greatest transfer from labor to capital” in the industry’s history. The call is coming from inside the house this time, too—both the projection and the quote come from a recent Wells Fargo report, whose lead author, Mike Mayo, told the Financial Times that he expects the industry to shed 10 percent of all of its jobs.

This, Mayo said, will lay the groundwork for, and I quote, “a golden age of banking efficiency.” The job cuts are slated to hit front offices, call centers, and branches the hardest, where 20-30 percent of those roles will be on the chopping block. They will be replaced by better ATMs, automated chatbots, and software instruments that take advantage of big data and cloud computing to make investment decisions.

“The next decade should be the biggest decade for banks in technology in history,” Mayo said.

 

From DSC:
How does this impact entry level positions? How does this help a young graduate who is trying to get out of the Catch 22 with job experience? How are colleges and universities helping young people navigate these quickly changing landscapes?

 

 

IT laggards could lose up to $20 billion in revenue over the next 5 years, says Accenture — from zdnet.com by Larry Dignan
Accenture’s leaders see enterprise technologies as a system compared to independent fixes and bet on cloud, AI, big data analytics and IoT.

Excerpt:

Companies that fail to scale innovation may lose up to $20 billion in revenue over the next five years as enterprises thrive or dive based on information technology decisions, according to Accenture.

Accenture’s report was based on a survey of more than 8,300 companies across 20 industries and 22 countries. Accenture scored companies on technology adoption, depth of technology adoption and cultural readiness. From there, Accenture segmented companies into leaders, defined as the top 10%, and laggards, which represent the bottom 25%.

 

Also see:

 

The 7 biggest technology trends in 2020 everyone must get ready for now — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpts:

  • AI-as-a-service
  • 5G data networks
  • Autonomous Driving
  • Personalized and predictive medicine
  • Computer Vision
  • Extended Reality
  • Blockchain Technology

 

From DSC:
I appreciate this list from Bernard. I would also add voice-enabled interfaces/products (NLP) to this list, as well as more integration of AI into learning-related applications and services. 

For the federal agencies, state representatives, senators, law schools, students in law school, lawyers, legislators, CIO’s, and CEO’s etc. out there: Are you/we ready for these? Given the pace of exponential change, how are you seeking to keep a pulse-check on these types of emerging technologies and their impacts on our society? How are you/we guiding the development of these emerging technologies?

 

The blinding of justice: Technology, journalism and the law — from thehill.com by Kristian Hammond and Daniel Rodriguez

Excerpts:

The legal profession is in the early stages of a fundamental transformation driven by an entirely new breed of intelligent technologies and it is a perilous place for the profession to be.

If the needs of the law guide the ways in which the new technologies are put into use they can greatly advance the cause of justice. If not, the result may well be profits for those who design and sell the technologies but a legal system that is significantly less just.

We are entering an era of technology that goes well beyond the web. The law is seeing the emergence of systems based on analytics and cognitive computing in areas that until now have been largely immune to the impact of technology. These systems can predict, advise, argue and write and they are entering the world of legal reasoning and decision making.

Unfortunately, while systems built on the foundation of historical data and predictive analytics are powerful, they are also prone to bias and can provide advice that is based on incomplete or imbalanced data.

We are not arguing against the development of such technologies. The key question is who will guide them. The transformation of the field is in its early stages. There is still opportunity to ensure that the best intentions of the law are built into these powerful new systems so that they augment and aid rather than simply replace.

 

From DSC:
This is where we need more collaborations between those who know the law and those who know how to program, as well as other types of technologists.

 

Google’s war on deepfakes: As election looms, it shares ton of AI-faked videos — from zdnet.com by Liam Tung
Google has created 3,000 videos using actors and manipulation software to help improve detection.

Excerpt:

Google has released a huge database of deepfake videos that it’s created using paid actors. It hopes the database will bolster systems designed to detect AI-generated fake videos.

With the 2020 US Presidential elections looming, the race is on to build better systems to detect deepfake videos that could be used to manipulate and divide public opinion.

Earlier this month, Facebook and Microsoft announced a $10m project to create deepfake videos to help build systems for detecting them.

 

From DSC:
The two postings below show the need for more collaboration and the use of teams:


 

The future of law and computational technologies: Two sides of the same coin — from legaltechlever.com by Daniel Linna Jr.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

An increasing number of lawyers today work with allied professionals to improve processes, better manage projects, embrace data-driven methods, and leverage technology to improve legal services and systems. Legal-services and lawyer regulations are evolving. And basic technologies and AI are slowly making their way into the legal industry, from legal aid organizations and courts to large law firms, corporate legal departments, and governments.

If we are to realize the potential to improve society with computational technologies, law, regulation, and ethical principles must be front and center at every stage, from problem definition, design, data collection, and data cleaning to training, deployment, and monitoring and maintenance of products and systems. To achieve this, technologists and lawyers must collaborate and share a common vocabulary. Lawyers must learn about technology, and technologists must learn about law. Multidisciplinary teams with a shared commitment to law, regulation, and ethics can proactively address today’s AI challenges, and advance our collaborative problem-solving capabilities to address tomorrow’s increasingly complex problems. Lawyers and technologists must work together to create a better future for everyone.

 

From DSC:
As with higher education in general, we need more team-based efforts in the legal realm as well as more TrimTab Groups.

 

 

Excerpts:

Why does this distinction matter? Because law—like so many industries—is undergoing a tectonic shift. It is morphing from a lawyer dominated, practice-centric, labor-intensive guild to a tech-enabled, process and data-driven, multi-disciplinary global industry. The career paths, skills, and expectations of lawyers are changing. So too are how, when, and on what financial terms they are engaged; with whom and from what delivery models they work; their performance metrics, and the resources—human and machine—they collaborate with.  Legal practice is shrinking and the business of delivering legal services is expanding rapidly.

Law is no longer the exclusive province of lawyers. Legal knowledge is not the sole element of legal delivery—business and technological competencies are equally important. It’s a new ballgame—one that most lawyers are unprepared for.

How did we get here and are legal careers  for most a dead end? Spoiler alert: there’s tremendous opportunity in the legal industry. The caveat: all lawyers must have basic business and technological competency whether they pursue practice careers or leverage their legal knowledge as a skill in legal delivery and/or allied professional careers.

Upskilling the legal profession is already a key issue, a requisite for career success. Lawyers must learn new skills like project management, data analytics, deployment of technology, and process design to leverage their legal knowledge. Simply knowing the law will not cut it anymore.

 

From DSC:
I really appreciate the work of the above two men whose articles I’m highlighting here. I continue to learn a lot from them and am grateful for their work.

That said, just like it’s a lot to expect a faculty member (in higher ed) who teaches online to not only be a subject matter expert, but also to be skilled in teaching, web design, graphic design, navigation design, information design, audio design, video editing, etc…it’s a lot to expect for a lawyer to be a skilled lawyer, business person, and technician. I realize that Mark was only saying a basic level of competency…but even that can be difficult to achieve at times. Why? Because people have different skillsets, passions, and interests. One might be a good lawyer, but not a solid technician…or vice versa. One might be a solid professor, but isn’t very good with graphic design. 

 

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