For many of us in the legal industry, a hot topic of the moment is artificial intelligence – less because we’re actively using it, and more because we know we need to understand it, at least enough to be able to speak about it intelligently with lawyers, colleagues and clients. AI is not new, and once again, legal is one of the industries that’s lagging behind – but you know what that means: it’s rife with opportunity.
With that in mind, a large group of us packed into a conference room at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference to hear a panel of experts talk to us about how AI is changing the practice and marketing of legal services. Before we dive into my recap of the session, though, a little homework for you – head over to Jordan Furlong’s post on Getting Over Technology, and continue to look to him as a resource. The key thing that Jordan says, and underpinned the comments of the panelists at LMA is:
The truest observation ever made about technology remains this one from American computer scientist Alan Kay: ‘Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.’ British author and technophile Douglas Adams famously expanded on Kay’s comment: ‘Anything that’s in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented when you’re between 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.’
These two quotations should be borne in mind anytime you start talking about technology in law firms. Law firms are stuffed to the rafters with technology, and always have been.”
So basically, no, Chicken Little, the sky isn’t falling (my friend, Lance Godard, agrees, even in the face of JP Morgan’s COIN announcement). But AI is here, the pace of change is FAST, and the time for opportunity is now.
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