It’s time to rewrite the book of law for the digital age BY CHRISSIE LIGHTFOOT
In the first of two articles for Legal IT Today, Chrissie Lightfoot asks what laws will be required to cater for the proliferation of machine intelligence, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and robots. It is widely documented that from now until 2025 there will be seven 18-month “Moore’s Law” generations, resulting in a 128-fold increase in computing power. Coupled with similar progress in other technology fields, this means there will be huge potential for change in many areas of work / business, play / leisure and family – as well as in our social, economic, political and legal structures. We’re living in a world of: • Wearable technology – Google Glass and Apple Watch have already become yesterday’s news; 30
LEGAL IT TODAY
• Experimental chips embedded in human wrists – to open doors and pay for cafeteria food and photocopying, for example; • Various products and services powered by IBM Watson technology, such as a natural language shopping app and ROSS, the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney; • Robot receptionists, robot waiters, robot saleswomen, robot nurses, robot bricklayers and robot sex “companions”; and • Driverless cars and driverless shuttles (some would probably say that
many law firms have been driverless for decades). As social demographic shifts reshape society, the world population increases from seven billion to nine billion by 2050, we live longer, and artificially intelligent machines and robots increasingly make the majority of our current blue-collar and white-collar jobs redundant, not only do we need to question our purpose and meaning in life, we also need to figure out how we deal with all of these issues in law.