7 legaltech trends to watch in 2024 — from lexology.com by Sacha Kirk

Legal technology, or ‘legaltech’, is transforming the legal sector by automating processes and enhancing the provision of legal services. As we approach 2024, several trends within this field are particularly worth keeping an eye on. These not only promise to streamline legal operations but will also help increase the in-house legal department’s visibility and value to the organisation.

Here are seven legaltech trends poised to make an impact in the coming year.

1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
AI and machine learning remain pivotal in legaltech, especially for in-house lawyers who deal with vast quantities of contracts and complex legal matters. In 2024, these technologies will be integral for legal research, contract review, and the drafting of legal documents. Statistics from the Tech & the Law 2023 Report state more than three in five corporate legal departments (61%) have adopted generative AI in some capacity, with 7% actively using generative AI in their day-to-day work. With constant improvements to LLM (Large Language Models) by the big players, i.e. OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft (via OpenAI), 2024 will see more opportunities open and efficiencies gained for legal teams.


Our top 5 legal technology trends predicted for 2024 — from legalfutures.co.uk

5. ID verification software
With identity fraud on the increase there is a growing demand from the Government for people to be identified with accuracy and they are proposing to pass legislation in February 2024 that will tighten the requirements for the professional organisations involved.  They will promote the use of technology to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions including mortgage fraud where according to Experian’s Report “the greatest jump in fraud cases has been seen …. with fraud increasing from around 41 cases to around 52 cases per 10,000 applications.”


Guest Post: The Year in Justice Tech: 2023 Report and News Roundup — from lawnext.com by Maya Markovich, executive director of the Justice Technology Association

In 2023, the justice tech ecosystem continued to grow rapidly, with a significant increase in solutions addressing access to justice-related challenges for consumers. Justice tech caught the interest of both impact investors, as well as those seeking opportunities to fund the disruption of antiquated systems via technology.


Consulting Giants See AI Shaving Years Off the Path to Partner — from bloomberg.com by Irina Anghel

  • To make it to partner level typically takes at least a decade
  • AI seen freeing up junior staffers to do more meaningful work

Consulting giants and law firms are looking to artificial intelligence to speed up the time it takes junior staffers to make it to the prestigious partner level as the technology eliminates vast swaths of the repetitive, time-consuming tasks that typically filled up their first few years on the job.


Stock Up 10% in December; Unveils Groundbreaking Initiatives — from in.investing.com by Aayush Khanna (India)

Excerpt from DSC — and I’m not out to give legal or investing advice. I just really appreciated the list of legaltech-related innovations:

In the LegalTech realm, QiLegal emerges as a robust cloud-based platform, aiming to digitize the legal framework. Envisaged to propel the justice system with Virtual Courts, Online Dispute Resolution, and AI-enabled Drafting, QiLegal responds to the estimated USD 100 billion global LegalTech market.


The essential role of creator and customer collaboration in legal tech — from legaldive.com by Relativity (sponsored content; emphasis below from DSC)

However, with these high stakes and wide margins for error in hand, the accuracy, defensibility, and reliability of that AI is subject to intense professional and judicial scrutiny. And for good reason: anything less than the thoughtful, intentional development of specifically fit-for-purpose AI applications in this realm can contribute to the loss of millions of dollars, the livelihoods of countless individuals, and deeply damaging miscarriages of justice.


Generative AI and the small law firm: The value of legal domain expertise — from thomsonreuters.com by Mark Haddad
In our new blog series, we continue to discuss how small law firms can leverage their natural advantages with generative artificial intelligence to compete at a higher level

Gen AI presents unprecedented opportunities for small law firms to compete.

The idea that legal Gen AI means turning over legal decision-making to a machine overlooks the importance of the data portion of the Venn diagram above. A properly trained and targeted Gen AI application for legal use will build on the work of lawyers in the form of cases, statutes, briefs and memoranda, how-to guides, contracts, client advisories, templates — all the esoteric and robust data that results from lawyers’ expertise and knowledge.

All law firms, even smaller ones, have an opportunity to leverage their own data assets against competitors at scale once their lawyers identify and curate the appropriate critical data sets from within their firm and embed them within the AI solution. This proprietary data can be combined with larger pools of data from authoritative external sources like trusted legal content sources to further strengthen the responses that the Gen AI tool provides.


AAA® Launches New AAAi Lab Offering Products, Education, Guidance & News Resources — from prnewswire.com by American Arbitration Assocation
Latest Technology Innovation Seeks to Support AAA Users, Arbitrators & Broader Legal Community with Incorporating Generative AI into ADR Processes

NEW YORKDec. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The American Arbitration Association® (AAA) and its international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR®), announces the launch of the AAAi Lab, a web center supporting AAA users, arbitrators, in-house counsel and law firms with policy guidance, educational webinars and tools for embracing generative AI in alternative dispute resolution.


ANALYSIS: Most M&A Attorneys Would Use AI for Due Diligence — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Abena Opong-Fosu

Artificial intelligence (AI) has infiltrated almost every facet of daily life. For M&A lawyers, exposure to AI and machine learning tools likely comes from deals involving the buying and selling of AI companies as well as through the software the lawyers use on a daily basis.

Most deal lawyers who responded to a recent Bloomberg Law survey said that they’re open to using AI at some point in dealmaking.

 

Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc to Step Down after Transformative 20 Years of Leadership — from snhu.edu by Siobhan Lopez
LeBlanc will step down from his role as president in summer of 2024

Under LeBlanc’s direction, SNHU has transformed from a small regional university to an internationally known leader in higher education, having grown from 2,500 students to more than 225,000 learners, making SNHU the largest nonprofit provider of higher education in the country. With his vision to make higher education more accessible, more than 200,000 students have earned their degrees during LeBlanc’s tenure at SNHU. The university also ranks among the most innovative universities in the country and as a top employer nationwide.


One more item re: higher education for tonight:

The Review: Course evaluations are garbage science. — from chronicle.com by Len Gutkin

When the concept of student evaluations was first developed in the 1920s, by the psychologists Herman H. Remmers, at Purdue University, and Edwin R. Guthrie, at the University of Washington, administrators were never meant to have access to them. Remmers and Guthrie saw evaluations as modest tools for pedagogical improvement, not criteria of administrative judgment. In the 1950s, Guthrie warned about the misuse of evaluations. But no one listened. Instead, as Stroebe writes, they “soon became valued sources of information for university administrators, who used them as a basis for decisions about merit increases and promotion.” Is it too late to return to Remmers and Guthrie’s original conception?

 

Introducing Gemini: our largest and most capable AI model — from blog.google by Sundar Pichai and Demis Hassabis
Making AI more helpful for everyone

Today, we’re a step closer to this vision as we introduce Gemini, the most capable and general model we’ve ever built.

Gemini is the result of large-scale collaborative efforts by teams across Google, including our colleagues at Google Research. It was built from the ground up to be multimodal, which means it can generalize and seamlessly understand, operate across and combine different types of information including text, code, audio, image and video.



One year in: from ChatGPT3.5 to a whole new world — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
Happy Birthday to ChatGPT 3.5+. You’re growing up so fast!

So, in many ways, ChatGPT and its friends are far from as intelligent as a human; they do not have “general” intelligence (AGI).

But this will not last for long. The debate about ProjectQ aside, AIs with the ability to engage in high-level reasoning, plan, and have long-term memory are expected in the next 2–3 years. We are already seeing AI agents that are developing the ability to act autonomously and collaborate to a degree. Once AIs can reason and plan, acting autonomously and collaborating will not be a challenge.


ChatGPT is winning the future — but what future is that? — from theverge.com by David Pierce
OpenAI didn’t mean to kickstart a generational shift in the technology industry. But it did. Now all we have to decide is where to go from here.

We don’t know yet if AI will ultimately change the world the way the internet, social media, and the smartphone did. Those things weren’t just technological leaps — they actually reorganized our lives in fundamental and irreversible ways. If the final form of AI is “my computer writes some of my emails for me,” AI won’t make that list. But there are a lot of smart people and trillions of dollars betting that’s the beginning of the AI story, not the end. If they’re right, the day OpenAI launched its “research preview” of ChatGPT will be much more than a product launch for the ages. It’ll be the day the world changed, and we didn’t even see it coming.


AI is overhyped” — from theneurondaily.com by Pete Huang & Noah Edelman

If you’re feeling like AI is the future, but you’re not sure where to start, here’s our advice for 2024 based on our convos with business leaders:

  1. Start with problems – Map out where your business is spending time and money, then ask if AI can help. Don’t do AI to say you’re doing AI.
  2. Model the behavior – Teams do better in making use of new tools when their leadership buys in. Show them your support.
  3. Do what you can, wait for the rest – With AI evolving so fast, “do nothing for now” is totally valid. Start with what you can do today (accelerating individual employee output) and keep up-to-date on the rest.

Google says new AI model Gemini outperforms ChatGPT in most tests — from theguardian.com by Dan Milmo
Gemini is being released in form of upgrade to Google’s chatbot Bard, but not yet in UK or EU

Google has unveiled a new artificial intelligence model that it claims outperforms ChatGPT in most tests and displays “advanced reasoning” across multiple formats, including an ability to view and mark a student’s physics homework.

The model, called Gemini, is the first to be announced since last month’s global AI safety summit, at which tech firms agreed to collaborate with governments on testing advanced systems before and after their release. Google said it was in discussions with the UK’s newly formed AI Safety Institute over testing Gemini’s most powerful version, which will be released next year.

 

Completing College: National and State Reports — from nscresearchcenter.org
With Six- and Eight-Year Completion Rates Dashboards

Highlights

  • Progress in the national college completion rate has stalled. The six-year completion rate for the fall 2017 cohort was 62.2 percent, essentially unchanged since 2015.
  • Six-year completion rates increased in over half of states, with nine states increasing 1 percentage point (pp) or more. This is up from the previous year when only five states had gains of at least 1 pp.
  • Completions rates stalled or declined across all ethnicities, with Native American (-2.0 pp) and Black students (-0.4 pp) posting the largest decreases.
  • The gender gap in completion rates continues to grow and is the widest seen since 2008 (7.2 pp)
  • Traditional-aged students entering college in fall 2017 saw declines in their overall six-year completion rate. Older students continue to make gains, but they still lag behind traditional aged students.
  • The national eight-year completion rate for the fall 2015 cohort declined 0.5pp from 2014. Only 2.4 percent of the cohort completed in the seventh and eighth years.
 

From DSC:
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to gift someone an article or access to a particular learning module? This would be the case whether you are a subscriber to that vendor/service or not. I thought about this after seeing the following email from MLive.com.
.

MLive.com's gift an article promotion from December 2023; one must be a subscriber though to gift an article

.

Not only is this a brilliant marketing move — as recipients can get an idea of the services/value offered — but it can provide concrete information to someone.

Perhaps colleges and universities should take this idea and run with it. They could gift courses and/or individual lectures! Doing so could open up some new revenue streams, aid adult learners in their lifelong learning pathways, and help people build new skills — all while helping market the colleges and universities. Involved faculty/staff members could get a percentage of the sales. Sounds like a WIN-WIN to me.

 

Learning and employment record use cases -- from the National Governors Association

LERs Are Hot. What Are States Going To Do With Them?

Governors and state leaders are concerned about the current labor shortage, occurring during a time when many skilled workers are underemployed or even unemployed. Skills-based approaches to hiring and recruiting can shift that dynamic—making pathways to good careers accessible to a wider segment of the workforce and opening up new pools of talent for employers. They do so by focusing on what workers know and can do, not on the degrees or credentials they’ve earned.

That’s the theory. But a lot hinges on how things actually play out on the ground.

Technology will play a key role, and many states have zeroed in on learning and employment records—essentially digital resumes with verified records of people’s skills, educational experiences, and work histories—as an essential tool. A lot of important work is going into the technical design and specifications.

This project, on the other hand, aims to take a step back and look at the current state of play when it comes to the use cases for LERs. Just a few of the key questions:

  • How might employers, education providers, government agencies, and workers themselves actually use them? Will they?
  • In what areas do state policymakers have the most influence over key stakeholders and the most responsibility to invest?
  • What actions are needed now to ensure that LERs, and skills-based hiring more broadly, actually widen access to good jobs—rather than setting up a parallel system that perpetuates many of today’s inequities?
 

34 Big Ideas that will change our world in 2024 — from linkedin.com

34 Big Ideas that will change our world in 2024 -- from linkedin.com 

Excerpts:

6. ChatGPT’s hype will fade, as a new generation of tailor-made bots rises up
11. We’ll finally turn the corner on teacher pay in 2024
21. Employers will combat job applicants’ use of AI with…more AI
31. Universities will view the creator economy as a viable career path

 

New Podcast and An Update on TPS — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Phil Hill (and Glenda Morgan)
Announcing a new podcast: Online Education Across the Atlantic 

Morgan and I are working to ensure that our coverage of EdTech and online education is more global in nature, avoiding the pitfall of looking only in the US bubble. Yesterday’s post on the OEB conference is one example of this scope.

We’re happy to announce that we are working with UK-based Neil Mosley, who is one of our favorite writers on EdTech, on a new podcast. Online Education Across the Atlantic intentionally takes a broader view of education trends, and it is available with AppleSpotifyGoogle, or any of your favorite podcast players. The links below go to Apple, but you can use your favorite with the links above.

Online education across the Atlantic

 

When Educators and Employers Work Together, Students Succeed — from hbsp.harvard.edu by Joseph Fuller and Manjari Raman

(Emphasis below from DSC)

Last year, in “The Partnership Imperative,” we put forth a set of more than 40 best practices that employers and educators can use to develop a close collaboration. As part of that effort, we identified three main goals and laid out strategies for achieving each.

  1. Partner with each other to offer training and education that is aligned with industry needs. (DSC: Similar to how Instructional Designers want alignment with learning objectives, learning activities, and assessments of learning.)
  2. Establish relationships with each other that result in the recruitment and hiring of students and graduates.
  3. Make supply-and-demand decisions that are informed by the latest data and trends.

From DSC:
Under #1, their strategies include:

Cocreate and regularly update college curriculums so that they reflect relevant technical and foundational skills based on industry needs. Codesign programs that fit with students’ lives and industry hiring cycles. Incorporate classroom experiences that simulate real-world settings and scenarios.

I see AI being able to identify what those changing, currently sought-after, and foundational skills are based on industry needs (which shouldn’t be hard, and vendors like Microsoft are already doing this by combing through the posted job descriptions on their platforms). These findings/results will help build regularly updated learning playlists and should provide guidance to learning-related organizations/groups/individuals/teams on what content to develop and offer  (i.e., courses/learning modules/micro-learning-based streams of content, other).

 

3 Questions for Deborah Dougherty on Higher Ed’s Past and Future — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim
A conversation with the director of the Andison Center for Teaching Excellence at Alma College about higher ed in 2060.

From DSC:
I was hoping to see a bit more from Deborah’s answer to where she sees higher education (including Alma College) might end up 35 years from now. Her answer seemed like business as usual —  the status quo. Nothing will change (hopefully, in her perspective). If that’s the case, many will be shut out of higher education. We can do better. I don’t mean to bash a residential, liberal arts, collegiate experience. I worked for such an institution for 10 years! But it needs to be augmented. New business models. More access. 


Butler University launches two-year college with degrees free to most students — from chalkbeat.org by MJ Slaby

Students can earn an associate degree from Butler University at no cost to them, and continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree for $10,000, thanks to a new program.

On Friday, Butler announced it is opening a new two-year college on campus that will offer  associate degrees in business and allied health. The program will start enrolling students in fall 2025.

The program is focused on Indianapolis-area students from low-income backgrounds, including students who are undocumented. The university said in its Friday announcement that it wants to make college more accessible and affordable for previously underserved students, and help them navigate the college-going process.

 

 

Exploring blockchain’s potential impact on the education sector — from e27.co by Moch Akbar Azzihad M
By the year 2024, the application of blockchain technology is anticipated to have a substantial influence on the education sector

Areas mentioned include:

  • Credentials that are both secure and able to be verified
  • Records of accomplishments that are not hidden
  • Enrollment process that is both streamlined and automated
  • Storage of information that is both secure and decentralised
  • Financing and decentralised operations
 

Can new AI help to level up the scales of justice? — from gtlaw.com.au by Peter Waters, Jason Oliver, and David Baddeley

So asks a recent study by two academics from Stanford Law School, David Freeman Engstrom and Nora Freeman Engstrom, on the potential impact of AI on the civil litigation landscape in the US.

It is against this landscape, the study observes, that champions of legal tech have suggested that there is an opportunity for legal tech to “democratise” litigation and put litigation’s “haves” and “have nots” on a more equal footing, by arming smaller firms and sole practitioners with the tools necessary to do battle against their better resourced opponents, and cutting the cost of legal services, putting lawyers within reach of a wider swathe of people.

But is this a real opportunity, and will AI be key to its realisation?

However, while AI may reduce the justice gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” of litigation, it could also exacerbate existing inequalities.

From DSC:
While this article approaches things from the lawyer’s viewpoint, I’d like to see this question and the use of AI from the common man’s/woman’s viewpoint. Why? In order to provide FAR GREATER access to justice (#A2J) for those who can’t afford a lawyer as they head into the civil law courtrooms.

  • Should I take my case to court? Do I have a chance to win this case? If so, how?
  • What forms do I need to complete if I’m going to go to court?
  • When and how do I address the judge?
  • What does my landlord have to do?
  • How do I prevent myself from falling into a debt-collection mess and/or what options do I have to get out of this mess?
  • Are there any lawyers in my area who would take my case on a pro bono basis?
  • …and judges and lawyers — as well as former litigants — could add many more questions (and answers) to this list

Bottom line:
It is my hope that technology can help increase access to justice.


Also relevant/see:

Virtual Justice? Exploring AI’s impact on legal accessibility — from nortonrosefulbright.com by Chris Owen and Mary-Frances Murphy

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A number of products are already under development, or have been launched. One example is a project that Norton Rose Fulbright is working on, together with not-for-profit legal service Justice Connect. The scope is to develop an automated natural language processing AI model that seeks to interpret the ‘everyday’ language used by clients in order to identify the client’s legal issues and correctly diagnose their legal problem. This tool is aimed at addressing the struggles that individuals often face in deciphering legal jargon and understanding the nature of their legal issue and the type of lawyer, or legal support, they need to resolve that problem.

 

Instructional Designers as Institutional Change Agents — from er.educause.edu/ by Aaron Bond, Barb Lockee and Samantha Blevins

Systems thinking and change strategies can be used to improve the overall functioning of a system. Because instructional designers typically use systems thinking to facilitate behavioral changes and improve institutional performance, they are uniquely positioned to be change agents at higher education institutions.

In higher education, instructional designers are often seen as “change agents” because they help to facilitate behavioral changes and improve performance at their institutions. Due to their unique position of influence among higher education leaders and faculty and their use of systems thinking, instructional designers can help bridge institutional priorities and the specific needs of various stakeholders. COVID-19 and the switch to emergency remote teaching raised awareness of the critical services instructional designers provide, including preparing faculty to teach—and students to learn—in well-designed learning environments. Today, higher education institutions increasingly rely on the experience and expertise of instructional designers.

Figure 1. How Instructional Designers Employ Systems Thinking
.

 

Expanding Bard’s understanding of YouTube videos — via AI Valley

  • What: We’re taking the first steps in Bard’s ability to understand YouTube videos. For example, if you’re looking for videos on how to make olive oil cake, you can now also ask how many eggs the recipe in the first video requires.
  • Why: We’ve heard you want deeper engagement with YouTube videos. So we’re expanding the YouTube Extension to understand some video content so you can have a richer conversation with Bard about it.

Reshaping the tree: rebuilding organizations for AI — from oneusefulthing.org by Ethan Mollick
Technological change brings organizational change.

I am not sure who said it first, but there are only two ways to react to exponential change: too early or too late. Today’s AIs are flawed and limited in many ways. While that restricts what AI can do, the capabilities of AI are increasing exponentially, both in terms of the models themselves and the tools these models can use. It might seem too early to consider changing an organization to accommodate AI, but I think that there is a strong possibility that it will quickly become too late.

From DSC:
Readers of this blog have seen the following graphic for several years now, but there is no question that we are in a time of exponential change. One would have had an increasingly hard time arguing the opposite of this perspective during that time.

 


 



Nvidia’s revenue triples as AI chip boom continues — from cnbc.com by Jordan Novet; via GSV

KEY POINTS

  • Nvidia’s results surpassed analysts’ projections for revenue and income in the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • Demand for Nvidia’s graphics processing units has been exceeding supply, thanks to the rise of generative artificial intelligence.
  • Nvidia announced the GH200 GPU during the quarter.

Here’s how the company did, compared to the consensus among analysts surveyed by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings: $4.02 per share, adjusted, vs. $3.37 per share expected
  • Revenue: $18.12 billion, vs. $16.18 billion expected

Nvidia’s revenue grew 206% year over year during the quarter ending Oct. 29, according to a statement. Net income, at $9.24 billion, or $3.71 per share, was up from $680 million, or 27 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.



 

Why Entrepreneurship Might Save Our Kids—and the Rest of Us. — from gettingsmart.com by Katie Kimbrell

Key Points (emphasis DSC):

  • We need to be asking our students “How did you put your ideas into the world today?”.
  • To be human is to be entrepreneurial.

One of my favorite mom friends asks her young school-aged kids every day, “What did you make today?”

I love how subtly subversive this question is. Not, “How was school today?” “Were you good today?” or, “How’s [insert school subject] going?” But, How did you put your ideas out into the world today?” 

That simple question understands this fundamental truth: to be human is to create, to employ our imaginations and partake in forming the world we want to live in.


Microschool in a Box: Programs Enabling the Microschool Movement — from gettingsmart.com by Nate McClennen

Key Points

  • Microschools are not new. In fact, they are as old as learning itself.
  • Funding and operations can be difficult within a microschool model. Programs and other organizations can support planning, design and implementation.

Microschools are meeting strong market demand for more personalized, more contextualized and more relevant learning for every student. Programs like ASU Prep’s Microschool in a Box make it possible for more learners to become future-ready with access to affordable, relational microschool learning.

Nate McClennen


The Science of Classroom Design — from edutopia.org by Youki Terada and Stephen Merrill
Our comprehensive, all-in, research-based look at the design of effective learning spaces.

Topics include:

  • Light
  • Ventilation and air quality
  • Complexity and color
  • Data walls
  • Nature, plants, and greenery
  • Representation
    • Students can experience representation in classrooms by seeing their own or peers’ artifacts on walls and in shared virtual spaces, or by being exposed to images and references that mirror their interests, passions, and backgrounds.
  • Flexibility
  • Learning differences and neurodivergence
  • Heat
  • Acoustics/noise
  • Seating arrangements
  • Learning Zones

Addendum on 12/1/23:

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian