Per Jane Hart on LinkedIn:

Top 200 Tools for Learning 2019 is now published, together with:

PLUS analysis of how these tools are being used in different context, new graphics, and updated comments on the tools’ pages that show how people are using the tools.

 

 

 

A momentous change in the legal industry garnering little attention — from forbes.com by Hendrik Pretorius

Excerpt:

The needed evolution in legal service delivery may receive a big push in the near future. Surprisingly, this issue seems to be flying under the radar for many in the legal industry.

The California Bar, through its Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services, created in 2018, seeks to “identify possible regulatory changes to enhance the delivery of, and access to, legal services through the use of technology, including artificial intelligence and online legal service delivery models.”

A report commissioned by this task force stated that “[m]odifying the ethics rules to facilitate greater collaboration across law and other disciplines will (1) drive down costs; (2) improve access; (3) increase predictability and transparency of legal services; (4) aid the growth of new businesses; and (5) elevate the reputation of the legal profession.”

 

Herein lies one of the fundamental challenges within the legal industry: viewing the law as the delivery of a legal product, and understanding that this delivery needs to revolve around the user, not the lawyer. There is a real and growing divide between the current model of legal service delivery put forth by a traditional law firm model and what the public wants. Consumers have raised the bar based on what they are experiencing in interacting with other businesses in other industries.

I love what many of these legal tech companies are doing: They are applying standards from outside the entrenched legal industry and changing entire delivery models. This should be a real wake-up call. But how can law firms truly compete and play a role?

 

5 emerging tech trends impacting the enterprise — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpts:

Gartner’s Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle focuses specifically on new technologies (not previously highlighted in past Hype Cycles) that “show promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years.” The five most impactful trends to watch this year are:

  1. Sensing and mobility.
  2. Augmented human.
  3. Postclassical compute and comms.
  4. Digital ecosystems.
  5. Advanced AI and analytics.
 

Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: Applications, Promise and Perils, and Ethical Questions — from er.educause.edu by Elana Zeide
What are the benefits and challenges of using artificial intelligence to promote student success, improve retention, streamline enrollment, and better manage resources in higher education?

Excerpt:

The promise of AI applications lies partly in their efficiency and partly in their efficacy. AI systems can capture a much wider array of data, at more granularity, than can humans. And these systems can do so in real time. They can also analyze many, many students—whether those students are in a classroom or in a student body or in a pool of applicants. In addition, AI systems offer excellent observations and inferences very quickly and at minimal cost. These efficiencies will lead, we hope, to increased efficacy—to more effective teaching, learning, institutional decisions, and guidance. So this is one promise of AI: that it will show us things we can’t assess or even envision given the limitations of human cognition and the difficulty of dealing with many different variables and a wide array of students.

A second peril in the use of artificial intelligence in higher education consists of the various legal considerations, mostly involving different bodies of privacy and data-protection law. Federal student-privacy legislation is focused on ensuring that institutions (1) get consent to disclose personally identifiable information and (2) give students the ability to access their information and challenge what they think is incorrect.7 The first is not much of an issue if institutions are not sharing the information with outside parties or if they are sharing through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which means an institution does not have to get explicit consent from students. The second requirement—providing students with access to the information that is being used about them—is going to be an increasingly interesting issue.8 I believe that as the decisions being made by artificial intelligence become much more significant and as students become more aware of what is happening, colleges and universities will be pressured to show students this information. People are starting to want to know how algorithmic and AI decisions are impacting their lives.

My short advice about legal considerations? Talk to your lawyers. The circumstances vary considerably from institution to institution.

 

Screen Mirroring, Screencasting and Screen Sharing in Higher Education — from edtechmagazine.com by Derek Rice
Digital learning platforms let students and professors interact through shared videos and documents.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Active learning, collaboration, personalization, flexibility and two-way communication are the main factors driving today’s modern classroom design.

Among the technologies being brought to bear in academic settings are those that enable screen mirroring, screencasting and screen sharing, often collectively referred to as wireless presentation solutions.

These technologies are often supported by a device and app that allow users, both students and professors, to easily share content on a larger screen in a classroom.

“The next best thing to a one-to-one conversation is to be able to share what the students create, as part of the homework or class activity, or communicate using media to provide video evidence of class activities and enhance and build out reading, writing, speaking, listening, language and other skills,” says Michael Volpe, marketing manager for IOGEAR.

 

What enterprises intend to do with artificial intelligence — from zdnet.com by Joe McKendrick
Survey shows business process automation and customer support are the low-hanging fruit with initial AI rollouts, but many organizations are moving on to tackle data analytics.

Excerpt:

The leading categories of use cases seeing AI investments and work include the following:

  • Business process automation 49%
  • Customer support/Chatbots 47%
  • Data extraction 43%
  • Contract analytics 28%
  • Voice/video processing/imaging 25%

 

 

Technology as Part of the Culture for Legal Professionals -- a Q&A with Mary Grush and Daniel Christian

 


Technology as Part of the Culture for Legal Professionals A Q&A with Daniel Christian — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and Daniel Christian

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Mary Grush: Why should new technologies be part of a legal education?

Daniel Christian: I think it’s a critical point because our society, at least in the United States — and many other countries as well — is being faced with a dramatic influx of emerging technologies. Whether we are talking about artificial intelligence, blockchain, Bitcoin, chatbots, facial recognition, natural language processing, big data, the Internet of Things, advanced robotics — any of dozens of new technologies — this is the environment that we are increasingly living in, and being impacted by, day to day.

It is so important for our nation that legal professionals — lawyers, judges, attorney generals, state representatives, and legislators among them — be up to speed as much as possible on the technologies that surround us: What are the issues their clients and constituents face? It’s important that legal professionals regularly pulse check the relevant landscapes to be sure that they are aware of the technologies that are coming down the pike. To help facilitate this habit, technology should be part of the culture for those who choose a career in law. (And what better time to help people start to build that habit than within the law schools of our nation?)

 

There is a real need for the legal realm to catch up with some of these emerging technologies, because right now, there aren’t many options for people to pursue. If the lawyers, and the legislators, and the judges don’t get up to speed, the “wild wests” out there will continue until they do.

 


 

An artificial-intelligence first: Voice-mimicking software reportedly used in a major theft — from washingtonpost.com by Drew Harwell

Excerpt:

Thieves used voice-mimicking software to imitate a company executive’s speech and dupe his subordinate into sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to a secret account, the company’s insurer said, in a remarkable case that some researchers are calling one of the world’s first publicly reported artificial-intelligence heists.

The managing director of a British energy company, believing his boss was on the phone, followed orders one Friday afternoon in March to wire more than $240,000 to an account in Hungary, said representatives from the French insurance giant Euler Hermes, which declined to name the company.

 

From DSC:
Needless to say, this is very scary stuff here! Now what…? Who in our society should get involved to thwart this kind of thing?

  • Programmers?
  • Digital audio specialists?
  • Legislators?
  • Lawyers?
  • The FBI?
  • Police?
  • Other?


Addendum on 9/12/19:

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 


From DSC:
This type of thing makes me wonder about the future of the legal profession as well. For example, here’s a relevant quote from The Uberization of Legal Technology by Felix Shipkevich:

In an age when there’s an app for everything, whether it’s to book air travel, rent a car, sell products or start a business, there wasn’t an app that could simply and easily connect you with legal counsel. Giving consumers a tool to book free consultations is the future of law, and the heart of attorney business development. 

Consumers have historically had little access to attorneys for a variety of reasons. First, unlike for doctors and mechanics, there is no annual legal checkup (though perhaps there should be). Consumers may be intimidated by not knowing costs upfront or even knowing if they have a case worth discussing. Assuming that every American will have at least three legal questions annually, there’s an untapped market of over a billion potential legal inquiries every year.


 

And by the way, as legal-related matters aren’t taught much in K-16, that’s an interesting idea:

First, unlike for doctors and mechanics, there is no annual legal checkup (though perhaps there should be).

 


 

 

After 40 Years of Constant Change, What’s Next for the Legal Industry?  — from law.com by Dan Packel
Few could have anticipated the dramatic shift in scope and scale the industry has undergone since The American Lawyer’s founding 40 years ago. We asked some of the law’s brightest thinkers what we can expect over the next 10.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Technology and Upheaval
While it’s easy to conclude that the technological revolution that’s already been unleashed will continue to drive transformation over the next 10 years, it’s harder to pinpoint how.

Expect more and more tasks to become subject to automation—not just contracts and e-discovery but also areas like trademarks and due diligence for mergers, for starters.

Technology and artificial intelligence on their own are noteworthy, but what’s more compelling is the impact they will have on how firms are structured.

“Everything that can be taken out of the hands of subject-matter experts and handed over to the process experts and technologists will be,” says Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Chairman and CEO Mitch Zuklie. “There will be far fewer associates sitting in rooms with documents and more strategic partnerships among law firms and legal tech providers.”

This transition could help chip away at the supremacy of the billable hour.

Not only will technology move up the value chain for litigation, it will also emerge as a greater player on the deal side. Jae Um, director of pricing strategy at Baker McKenzie, expects to see a much greater focus on compliance and regulatory technology in the next five years.

As AI solutions, which depend upon machine learning, are slowly deployed in the marketplace, their efficacy will inevitably grow.

 

How about a little wild speculation to wrap this up?  With more nonlawyer specialists finding professional homes in law firms, it’s a short leap to hybrids between law firms and professional services operations. Imagine consultants and accountants working together with lawyers and technologists to solve clients’ increasingly complex problems. And what about a high-profile merger between a Big Four firm and a global law firm? I wouldn’t rule it out.

 

 

How Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Transforms Video Technology — from datafloq.com

AI and machine learning have many use cases in digital video technology. Here are several of them…

 

Why GCs Aren’t Buying What Legal Tech Is Selling and Why It Matters for Firms — from law.com by Zach Warren and Gina Passarella Cipriani
Legal technology companies have to get out of their own way in vying for law department adoption, and buyers need to know what they want.

Excerpt:

The legal technology industry has some significant hurdles to overcome in its increased push to sell into legal departments, general counsel say. And GCs admit that they are part of the problem.

On the one hand, technology companies aren’t doing themselves any favors by flooding the market with, at times, dozens of the same offerings, few of which solve specific problems the in-house community has, GCs say. But at the same time, general counsel admit to being distracted, budget-constrained and often unfamiliar with the capabilities of the products they are being pitched.

“It’s overwhelming,” says HUB International chief legal officer John Albright. “There are hundreds of these vendors, and most of them you’ve never heard of.”

As Albright sees it, the legal technology industry is “heavily fragmented,” with vendors selling solutions to a discrete issue that doesn’t necessarily solve the full problem he has or fit into the larger organization’s information systems.

 

Also see:

  • Artificial Intelligence Further Exacerbates Inequality In Discrimination Lawsuits — from forbes.com by Patricia Barnes
    Excerpt:
    The legal system just keeps getting more and more unequal for American workers who are victims of employment discrimination, wage and hour theft, etc. The newest development is that America’s top employers and the law firms that represent them are using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to automate their responses to workers’ legal claims, thereby increasing efficiency while cutting costs.
 

Eight tips to thrive in the evolving legal landscape — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Bethany Runyon

Excerpt:

There is no question that technology has changed the way lawyers work, shaped how law firms operate and affected organizational culture. The business of law is more complex and competitive than ever, and it will only continue to evolve as alternative service providers gain ground, pricing structures change and client expectations shift.

To get you prepared, our team at HighQ would like to offer eight tips to thrive in the evolving legal landscape.

 

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system — from fastcompany.com by Mike Elgan
In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.

IT CAN HAPPEN HERE
Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.

 

If current trends hold, it’s possible that in the future a majority of misdemeanors and even some felonies will be punished not by Washington, D.C., but by Silicon Valley. It’s a slippery slope away from democracy and toward corporatocracy.

 

From DSC:
Who’s to say what gains a citizen points and what subtracts from their score? If one believes a certain thing, is that a plus or a minus? And what might be tied to someone’s score? The ability to obtain food? Medicine/healthcare? Clothing? Social Security payments? Other?

We are giving a huge amount of power to a handful of corporations…trust comes into play…at least for me. Even internally, the big tech co’s seem to be struggling as to the ethical ramifications of what they’re working on (in a variety of areas). 

Is the stage being set for a “Person of Interest” Version 2.0?

 

International Legal Tech Conference Breaks Attendance Record — from biglawbusiness.com by Sam Skolnik

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Law firms are cashing in on blockchain through the growth of practice groups that represent blockchain developers and users. Attorneys are also are considering growing their use of “smart contracts,” which are blockchain based.

In addition to seeking continued growth in its membership and conferences, ILTA in the coming year will be focusing on diversity and inclusion within the legal tech sector, said Rush.

Legal tech investments have skyrocketed from $233 million two years ago to $1.7 billion in 2018, according to figures from the Legal Tech Sector Landscape Report by Tracxn Technologies.

 

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