LawTech.Asia

Southeast Asia's foremost Law & Technology Review

Tag: future

The Future of Law Conference 2017: Charting the Converging Paths of Law and Technology

Written by Amelia Chew & Jerrold Soh

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Singapore Law Blog. We would like to thank Singapore Law Blog for graciously allowing us to reproduce this article on this site for our readers.

Jointly organised by the Centre for Cross-Border Commercial Law in Asia at the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Law and Osborne Clarke, the inaugural Future of Law Conference that took place from 26 to 27 October 2017 brought together leading academics and practitioners from around the world to tackle issues at the intersection of law and technology. This article provides but a snippet of the insights discussed at the conference.

The Relationship Between Humans & Artificial Intelligence

In his opening keynote speech, Professor Ian Kerr (University of Ottawa) spoke about the ethical and legal concerns surrounding delegating previously exclusively-human decisions to machines. Given that we are only at the stage of artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) at the moment, the concern is less about a dystopian future where robots may potentially overthrow humans and more about how we can manage the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and humans. As an increase in machine autonomy correlates with a decrease in human control, it is crucial to establish safeguards to deal with a situation where a machine demonstrates emergent behaviour.

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How Technology Is Changing Your Future Careers

Written by Amelia Chew | Edited by Stella Chen

 

How is technology transforming the legal industry and the practice of law today?

What does this mean for a young lawyer starting out in practice?

More fundamentally, why does it matter?

These are the questions that confronted the panellists at How Technology Is Changing Your Future Careers, co-organised by alt+Law, Asia Law Network and the Centre for Future-Ready Graduates at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law and held on 26 October 2016. Moderated by Co-Founder and CEO of Asia Law Network, Cherilyn Tan, the event saw a diverse panel comprising:

Lee Ee Yang, Managing Director of Covenant Chambers LLC;

Nuraziah Aziz, Legal Associate at Via Law Corporation;

Patrick Dahm, Partner (Foreign Lawyer) at RHTLaw Taylor Wessing;

Andrew Barnes, Financial Controller of the Lantern Legal Group (Skyping in from Australia); and

Alex Toh, General Committee Member of Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA) currently pursuing a Masters in Law, Science and Technology at Stanford Law School (Skyping in from the United States).

Here, we condense the 1.5-hour session into 5 key takeaways.  

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Four Species of Endangered Lawyers

Written by Lynn, David Ho & Lee Ji En

Littered everywhere in the Singapore media is a doomsday prophecy for “young lawyers”. Even if they manage to beat the odds of getting a job amid the ‘glut’ of young lawyers, they are now told to hold off the self-congratulations as junior lawyers’ jobs are on the verge of being cannibalised by artificial intelligence. Last October, the newspaper headline “Technology could oust junior lawyers” brought home the existential threat to young lawyers, through the words of Law Society President Thio Shen Yi SC in the Law Gazette:

“Soon, innovative legal services which mass produce legal solutions may not only be cheaper alternatives to lawyers, but may also become better alternatives as they gain economies of scale.”

But why should the line be drawn between ‘junior’ lawyers and their seniors? In fact, Mr Thio, in his article, explicitly mentioned that “senior lawyers will not be spared either: the development of predictive analysis software has meant that the experience and intuition that we value can now be replaced with a computer’s predictions as to the outcome of a case or its likely settlement value” (read the original article here ). We tend to agree too.

So instead of panicking over the rise of legal tech, or the “glut”, let’s dig deep into how to future-proof our careers — starting by identifying the potential pitfalls if we insist on inertia.

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