Kennedy-Mighell Report

Are Lawyers Ready for Artificial Intelligence?

“Artificial Intelligence is a means of designing a system that can perceive its environment and take actions that will maximize its success.” -Tom Mighell

Developments in Big Data, machine learning, IBM Watson, and other advancements in technology have brought back the cyclical discussion of what artificial intelligence might mean for lawyers. Has anything really changed, or have we just reached another round of the AI debate?

In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell analyze recent discussions about artificial intelligence and lawyers, try to separate myth from reality, and ponder whether AI can take over the work of lawyers. Together, they discuss the definition of AI, robotics, Technology Assisted Review, driverless cars, document assembly software, LegalZoom and how lawyers are assisted or threatened by these technologies. Dennis points out that lawyers are often worried about computer system mistakes but comfortable with the lower success rate of humans. Tom aptly explains that comfort in certain technologies stems from psychological acceptance.

In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom revisit traveling with technology. As Dennis was just in Europe, and Tom is headed there soon, they talk about wireless routers, mobile wifi, headphones, phone chargers, backpacks, and the other various technology necessities to bring on your vacation. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

View transcript

Kennedy-Mighell Report: Are Lawyers Ready for Artificial Intelligence? – 6/23/2015

 

Advertiser: Got the world turning as fast as it can? Hear how technology can help – legally speaking. With two of the top legal technology experts, authors, and lawyers: Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to the Kennedy-Mighell report, here on the Legal Talk Network.

 

Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to episode 154 of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.

 

Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas.

 

Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we looked at invisible apps. I noticed lately that hardly a day goes by where I don’t hear or read something about artificial intelligence, IBM’s Watson, and whether computers and software or even robots will be taking over the role of lawyers. We thought we’d use this episode to enter that conversation and reflect on artificial intelligence and its potential impact on lawyers. Tom, what’s on our agenda for this episode?

 

Tom Mighell: Well Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will be talking about artificial intelligence and lawyers. In our second segment, we’re going to revisit the topic of traveling with technology – one of us has done that lately – and share some recent observations and tips. And as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast it over. But first let’s talk about AI and lawyers. Dennis, I understand IBM held a World of Watson Conference a couple weeks ago to discuss the current – state as well as the future – of artificial intelligence. On the other hand, the last movie that I saw in theatres was Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the bad guy was actually the ultimate in artificial intelligence; kind of scary to think about that. Although some of the work I do touches on artificial intelligence, I’ve got to admit there’s a lot more out there than I really know about. Dennis, do we even want to try to talk about what AI means anymore?

 

Dennis Kennedy: That is the interesting question to me because artificial intelligence – depending on what sources you look at – goes back at least to the 1950’s and then kind of bubbled up at different times, probably at each decade. I remember like even in the early eighties, I was reading about what was happening with artificial intelligence and the types of reverse perspectives and approaches that you had. And I might have even talked to somebody who suggested I fit a candidate for somebody to work on artificial intelligence. But I think that what artificial intelligence is and the definition – I think why it’s slippery is that there is a habit that we humans have of defining what artificial intelligence would need to do to actually qualify as artificial intelligence and do something that humans are uniquely capable of doing. And every time we develop software that accomplishes that, we sort of define it out of what’s uniquely human intelligence. So you can go back quite a way and say, if there was a software program who could defeat anybody in chess, that would be a demonstration of artificial intelligence. Well then it really wasn’t a chess program that could beat anybody, it was a chess program that could beat somebody really good, and then it became who could be the best chess player in the world and then it was beating the best chess player in the world, two out of three, three out of five, that sort of thing. So it always seems like there’s a moving target on what artificial intelligence is. And so what I think has maybe changed now and in the way I like to think about it is there’s sort of the classic approach to artificial intelligence, which is designing the software and systems – because I think that robots do come into play here – that is created explicitly to model how we believe that the humans think and then to work with the logic along that way. So it’s almost like a top down approach versus what we’re seeing now, which sort of gets us into the area of big data and stuff where there are things like machine learning and it’s almost a bottom-up approach where the software and the tools you use look for patterns and do other things in data and get the results they want from that way. So it’s almost a flip over of what we traditionally thought of artificial intelligence. So maybe I’ve gone too far into the weeds there Tom, how did I do in at least trying to set the stage for artificial intelligence?

 

Tom Mighell: No, you kind of went all over the place there but that’s okay. I had difficulty defining it as well. I went out to look for some good definitions of it, I found the stodgy definition of science and engineering of intelligent machines, and that’s clearly not enough. That may have been enough at some point in time but I think that it’s really not enough to see that. Now I found one that is a definition that really, to me, was elegant and pretty well explains the concept to people who might not be able to fully understand. And that is that artificial intelligence is a means of designing a system that can perceive its environment and take actions that will maximize its success. I kind of like that approach, that it’s able to know what’s going on around it and it can adjust to that knowledge, which is a uniquely human trait, and something that kind of is along the lines of what you were talking about as how humans think. I kind of like this way of defining it a little bit better, I don’t know if that gets it closer to you Dennis or is there a definition you prefer to use?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Well I don’t know if I actually have a definition I prefer but I like the definition you gave also when you think about it brings back into notion of robotics which I think there’s a recent robot contest where they were trying to get robots to do these unique human tasks on the fly. And some of them failed spectacularly and there are funny videos about it, but some of them succeeded and it was that sort of adaptive intelligence and then actually practically responding to that. So I think the robotics thing is sort of interesting but it also reflects, like I said Tom. What I first brought up this topic, I said I’m seeing this everywhere I look, and you said “You are? Because I’m not.” And I just found lately that between robotics, podcasts, I know Ron Freedman and others have been writing about IBM Watson, I’ve seen a lot of things on artificial intelligence. I know the international conference on AI and law I think just happened and I’ve seen calls for papers on artificial intelligence and law. And so either I’m just noticing a pattern all of a sudden, or there’s been a surge of interest in AI and I think as in all discussions with AI, it gets to that root fear we have and that big question of is there going to be software that will take away the jobs of lawyers or can do things lawyers think they can do better so that we don’t need lawyers to do those things anymore.

 

Tom Mighell: But you know, is that really the only fear? Because that’s clearly a fear and I want you to kind of talk about how, in what ways artificial intelligence stands to take away jobs from lawyers. But the other thing that I do want to talk about during this segment is the fear that it’s not always accurate. I think when we look at Watson defeating Jeopardy champions, obviously it can get those answers correct, but when we start to turn that information to legal documents and ask it to read it and to make a judgement call about certain things about that document, there is still a great deal of fear out there that the machine doesn’t have the same appreciation of the subtleties of what they might be seeing on a document. And I think that feeds into some level of distrust of artificial intelligence, at least among lawyers.

 

Dennis Kennedy: Right, and I had a number of conversations recently with people about I think that we’re making a tradeoff of giving up our privacy and the big collection of data about us in exchange for getting better information and things that are better suited for us. And I think we’re losing out on that bargain. So when I was at Disney World, Tom, where you figure they’d do a great job of collecting data on visitors and you’re sort of willing to share that because it’s Disney and you figure it’s customizing your experience to you. But they had something wrong with my bill, there were other examples of things that surprised me. I assumed that because I was wearing this wristband that they had this data that would customize to me. So I didn’t know whether there was a lag time in the collection of the data versus the application of it, or it’s just that you don’t have good data. And so I think we see a lot of examples of that in collection of data, the recommendations we get and things like that. There’s promise in that, but it’s not so good in some ways. And I think the question I would raise for lawyers – and I think we’ll circle back to this – is even if it’s not so good, is it good enough and does that come out to be better than what humans do? And I guess, Tom, I’ll just throw this to you, if you look at the notion of TAR or technology-assisted review, isn’t that part of the notion that if we say here are these bored, tired, associated going through documents versus the software working on the same document or data set and it comes with better results. Aren’t we better even if that software isn’t getting perfect results?

 

Tom Mighell: So I’ll give two results, and I think yes, the example you gave is one where that might be an acceptable tradeoff. So both TAR, technology-assisted review – some call it computer-assisted review but I think TAR now is the more accepted term. Predictive coding sort of came before TAR, but they are both ways that humans can use technology to facilitate the review of documents. We probably talked about it a little bit but I’ll give a brief explanation. I think that the general process works by first feeding into the system a sample of documents, a seed set of documents that are in general relevant to a specific issue. That sample is first reviewed by humans and it’s coded, then it’s provided to the tool so it can learn. And most of the time, these documents are going to be coded for relevance with certain terms or concepts that might make a document relevant, and that technology is scanning all these pages of documents for those terms. But TAR also allows you to code for responsiveness for other issues, even to code for privileged documents. If you’ve got the words “privilege” on them or you’ve got lawyer’s names on them, then you can feed them in and you can code them for a number of different ways. The technology learns from this coding but to be successful, it has to be iterative. You have to continuously feed it more information and help it become smarter to make sure that it’s getting everything. And in those cases, I think that it’s acceptable to be misses. It’s not going to be perfect. The people who advocate for TAR say that that’ still going to be more accurate than the average human reviewer is going to be. The fact that courts are now actively ordering TAR as a method of reviewing documents in certain cases is certainly an indication that courts are willing to take those risks that documents may be missing. But let me turn around and look at it from a different perspective. From electronic discovery perspective, I think that makes sense. But let’s talk about it from a record retention standpoint. You’re required to retain certain records for a certain period of time, and there are a number of tools out there that are becoming more popular that will auto classify your records by retention period. And I’ve worked with a company before that they developed their own auto classification tool for email, where the technology would read the email and automatically put the email either into a 3 year bucket or an 8 year bucket, depending on the content that was in those emails. They developed this vast taxonomy of words, and if any of those words showed up then the technology knows which bucket to put it in. And if it’s in a 3 year bucket, it gets deleted after 3 years. If it’s in the 8 year bucket, it gets deleted after 8 years. And this was presented to the legal department, and the legal department was extremely concerned of false positives, that email would be mistakenly identified as a 3 year email and deleted 5 years after it was supposed to, where it wouldn’t be around for litigation, it wouldn’t be around for regulatory or compliance purposes, and they shut it down. They basically said we’re going to keep all the email for 8 years and just be done with it, and they wound up keeping a lot more records than they were before. But there’s still a lot of fear out there that technology might be okay in ediscovery, it’s suddenly not okay when it comes to retaining areas and becoming compliant in certain areas.

 

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, and I think that goes back to compare to the issue where you say you’re really worried about this software getting some percentage of things wrong where I’m perfectly tolerant of tired, underworked, under pressure people making mistakes, not getting around to doing things, stuff like that, so you need to think that through. I don’t think there’s one perfect answer and then obviously, Tom, as you say, movies and popular culture have instilled in us a certain fear of artificial intelligence. At least as far back and probably from farther than HAL, the 2001 movie. So that’s all out there, but there are other things happening that I think we’re finding perfectly acceptable. So if you think about cars these days and how they can figure out if there’s a problem and correct your braking and keeping you from swerving and keeping you from spinning out and even park your cars and soon drive. I mean clearly that’s artificial intelligence of some kind, and then I also think that there’s an aspect of artificial intelligence that we didn’t talk about, is how it sort of evolves and changes itself and so you see those things and I’m comfortable with those systems taking over my car because I think they can react faster than I can and probably do a better job.

 

Tom Mighell: So let me ask, so you’re comfortable with that; are you comfortable to use a driverless car? Google’s testing their driverless cars now. Does your comfort level go that far that you’ll sit in the backseat and let the car take you wherever it wants to go?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Well, if it’s a Honda driverless car, then I’m totally onboard. If it’s an Apple driverless car, maybe I am. If it’s a Google one, not to go back to Google Wave again, but I think I need a little more proof from Google’s. I think we’re a ways off from that but I think having a long commute, I wouldn’t mind having a driverless car and even at this point, some of the driverless cars have to be way better than the people cutting me off on the highway every morning.

 

Tom Mighell: It’s a psychological acceptance is what it is. I think you’re right and if you’ve been reading some of the reports, whatever you think about Google having driverless cars, they are actually sending out reports about how their cars are doing, and it turns out that the only accidents that these cars are having are cars in which the other car was at fault, lots of rear end accidents, or where the human tester took over maneuvering of the car in perception to some kind of danger. So it appears that these driverless cars are actually doing pretty well. And there’s a lot of people who are predicting that cabs and other types of public transportation will be driverless here in 5 to 10 years. And I think that the primary issue about accepting that is psychological. Do I really feel comfortable being the backseat of the car that I have no control over and I think that we can apply that also to a lot of these technologies because I’m giving my control over as a lawyer, which is – in general – a very controlling profession. And I’m letting technology take control over it which I think is a scary thing to a lot of lawyers.

 

Dennis Kennedy: I think what we’ll see in evolution in the driverless cars is what we’ve seen before. In a few years, we’ll start to say that’s not something that’s human intelligence and possibly it’s a point where you say it’s not really a test of human intelligence to drive, that’s really not that sort of thing. So we keep redefining what is human intelligence which is an interesting thing. But let’s focus on lawyers a bit. I sometimes say that part of the general sense of displeasure, I guess, the depression that lawyers have about the job is I sometimes think that we’re doing the work that we should allow machine and computers to do. And I think that there’s a bunch of examples where not computers and software do things that as lawyers, is really to our benefit and really has been helpful to us. I’m talking back in the days where you used to do tax-planning calculations on big paper spreadsheets versus compared to computer software. World of difference and it frees you up from the tedium to actually do the creative work that you associate lawyers with. I think the difference that simple spell checking makes in the world of proofreading, plus the tools like WordRake and stuff like that that can do even more sophisticated things really help us with examples in document review. There’s a whole bunch of examples where I think that the software has come in and there was probably an initial concern that this would eliminate a lot of the billable hours that lawyers did but it works fine. It’s not just part of our standard skillset, so some of that’s going on. So my question is what we’re thinking about artificial intelligence and the talk now, because I think the feeling is that artificial intelligence can make judgement calls, evaluations, make decisions that we sort of feel are uniquely the province of lawyers. And that’s what I think brings lawyers to a lot of unease. Do you think I’m on track there, Tom, or is this just another one of my crazy ideas?

 

Tom Mighell: No, I think you’re absolutely right and I think that that’s where they see all of this going is that they see companies like Legalzoom, like other companies, and they perceive that they are taking work from them that is inherently within the lawyer’s domain to do that. We see accountants doing the same thing, so why would technology not be any different as technology becomes more able to manage certain tasks. On the one hand, it can help free the lawyer up. I argue that the technologies you just mentioned, the spellcheck, WordRake and those, I think that they save lawyers lots of time but I also know that they save them time from having to proofread the document themselves to that extent. But I still guarantee you that they’re going to go through each spellcheck, they’re not just going to trust it, they’re going to go through each one and make sure that it’s correct. So I think that there’s still a great deal of hesitation in the areas where they’re taking away that judgement call that a lawyer thinks is uniquely a lawyer’s to make. And that’s where I think that although we’re getting there slowly, I think that’s going to be the thing that slows us down.

 

Dennis Kennedy: That’s where I have a big hesitation because I think when some preparation – as I was thinking about this podcast, I was thinking, here’s the things I do on a regular basis. I’m looking over some of the things I’ve done in the last couple of days in terms of work. And some of it is boring and it’s tedious and I don’t know how much value I add to it and I can easily see some sort of software or artificial intelligence taking care and eliminating that part of my work and freeing me up to do what I think is the really creative and valuable higher-level legal work I can do. So that’s one factor where I say, why am I scared of artificial intelligence if it springs me up to do better work and eliminates stuff that I don’t need to do? So that’s one bucket of stuff that I think about on this. And then the other is going back to the 80’s. When I was in law school, I was in a class on computers in the law seminar and we spent one class talking about artificial intelligence and law. So it raised the question of what would happen if I knew I had an artificial intelligence program that could weigh all of the evidence in a case and it had the likelihood of getting the right answer 98% of the time? Or I can have a jury that based on what we know about eyewitness testimony, bad forensics lab results and all that sort of stuff, that maybe getting the true and accurate result – to the extent we can define that more like 90% – would i want to be tried by the artificial intelligence or by the human jury? And in the class, two of us were okay with going with the percentages in taking the artificial intelligence and everybody else said, “No, I want the human element because they can make adjustments.” And I sort of think that becomes the proxy of the matter when you say, do I trust the software, do I trust the level of accuracy, or am I giving the human element a free pass even though I know there are problems that I’m choosing to overlook. Got you there, didn’t I Tom?

 

Tom Mighell: No, you did, but I think again that you’re right about that. I will always look at these issues and you went back to the eighties to talk about artificial intelligence. I’ll go back to the idea of document assembly, which is hardly an advanced artificial intelligence tool, but it is designed to make a lawyer’s job more simple. And how many lawyers actively use document assembly? I would argue very few compared to the total population of lawyers. So I hate to be the negative person here, but I just think, as usual, we’re going to see the larger firm lawyers, the ones that can afford to get into these areas, the ones that are already using technology assisted review so they have first-hand experience with it. I think you’re going to see them adapting to it and accepting it much more readily than solo and small firm lawyers who really are going to come to this late and are going to probably be much more skeptical of it because it has the potential to take away their livelihood.

 

Dennis Kennedy: Well I think the other thing is not so much that, Tom. For me, as I say, I look at the people who don’t have access to lawyers – whatever that number is, 80% in the US don’t ever access to adequate legal representation – they need some kind of help. There’s certain types of disputes that are super high volume and need to be handled quickly, whether that’s a sort of eBay type transactions in arbitration on that or small insurance claims and that’s where thing we say wow. Artificial intelligence patches that was done right could be really helpful in these areas. Could work in the area of misdemeanors, things like that. So I see artificial intelligence kind of interesting approach to the access to justice, and then they also see it in my world – in this sort of corporate counsel world – where I say what if we can do some things that we can give us answers that we need so we don’t have to go to a high price lawyers to do that and we get good enough or better than good enough answers really, really quickly. So there’s that bucket and the other bucket is where we referred to Legalzoom and the like, but I think it’s the alternative quasi-legal providers who are potentially doing some interesting things because they route around lawyers who are slow to react to what technology can do. And all of those things I think create an atmosphere where some really interesting things could happen as the technology seems like it’s inextricable marsh of getting better and more powerful.

 

Tom Mighell: Alright, before we move onto our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.

 

Advertiser: Looking for a process server you can trust? Serve-Now.com is a nationwide network of local, prescreened process servers. Serve-Now works with the most professional process servers in the industry. Connecting your firm with process servers who embrace technology, have experience with high-volume serves and understand the litigation process and rules of properly effectuating service. Find a prescreened process server today. visit www.Serve-Now.com. We’re glad you’re listening to Legal Talk Network. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too.

 

Dennis Kennedy: And now let’s get back to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy.

 

Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell. We dedicated a whole podcast a while back to better use of technology while traveling. We invite you to get onto Legal Talk Network’s site and check that episode out. But Dennis just got back from what I understand was a wonderful vacation out of the country, and I will actually be traveling to Europe later this summer myself. So we thought we might revisit the topic of tech and travel and see if we had any updates or new tips that we had. Dennis, we have both been doing some traveling; you’ve done a lot more recently, I’m going to be doing a lot more in a month or so. What did you do for the trip? Any new tips that you had? Any exciting new technologies you tried it out or lessons you learned?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Well, I want to give one feedback from the bag show that we did too, because I took my Tortuga backpack with me to Europe. I really liked it, although I did find on some of the European airlines – which they should’ve been okay on – they did make me check the bag, but no good deal. But other than that, that was a great choice for people looking for a good travel backpack, that’s the Tortuga backpack. But what I found was – and I think in that episode we talked a lot about the accessories, and it’s really amazing to me of how those little things like taking the adapter – which you obviously need in Europe – but having those versatile adapters. Having an extension cord can be great, especially in hotels where they don’t have a lot of outlets, but also the mini extension adapters which give you the ability to plug in three or four different items and also have USB ports as well so you can charge a bunch of things and use a bunch of things, those are great. I experimented a little bit – which I think I’m going to do more of – with a little device called the HooToo, which is one of these little wireless routers that you can take to a hotel room and then connect that to the hotel. It gives you a little more firewall protection, but the great thing is you don’t get into that situation where you can only use one or two devices when you’re with a family, there could be five things. So that’s kind of interesting, a $20 item called a HooToo, I’m just going to call it a wireless router or traveler router; that’s an interesting thing to play with. Also we had a running gag with my daughter who spent the last semester in Switzerland said that when she and her friends travelled to hostels and stuff, people would wander around almost like zombies going“Wi-Fi password, Wi-Fi password, who knows a Wi-Fi password?” And so I found a number of things like that where you depend on those more Wi-Fi over there, so getting access to that made me think more about VPN apps, those sorts of things. So those were some of the things and I also have been traveling without a laptop and just with my iPad, and that’s actually worked really well and the Bose noise-cancelling headphones, I really love them.

 

Tom Mighell: Like I said, I’ve been planning a trip to Europe later this Summer, and I’ll just mention three things that I’m planning to use or looking forward to trying out. And I know that you relied a lot on public Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi when you were over there, but I think that that’s a good reaction to the fact that trying to get a data plan on your server is expensive. It’s not cheap to have data or to use the data on there, and that’s why I’m going to try something a little bit new and see how it works. I may still buy a little bit of data just in case, but a company called XCom Global will rent you a mobile Wi-Fi, and it’s just a Mi-Fi card that you carry along with you and it works in all the countries. You tell them what countries you’re going to go in, they’ll make sure that it works in all of the countries you’re travelling in, and it gives you unlimited Wi-Fi for somewhere around $14 or $15 a day, which wound up being very comparable to just having a limited data plan going over to Europe for both phone and data. And I’m intrigued by it because I can do unlimited. I’m a little nervous about what the speed will be like but I’m willing to give it a shot. The other thing that I’m noticing is is that my new Android phone – I love my Galaxy S6, but I will say that the battery life leaves something to be desired. And since I plan touse the phone a lot, using maps and using my phone kind of as my guidebook because I keep all my information on touring around on the phone, I want to make sure I’ve got a good charger for the phone. And so I found a really nice, slim, fairly lightweight charger from Anker, which I think has great, great tools, great chargers for just about any circumstance that you want to have. And then finally, a couple of weeks ago at the Google developer conference, they announced that Google’s turn by turn directions will soon go offline, so you can actually – while you have a connection – you can save offline your turn by turn directions and then you don’t need to be using a data plan to go and use the map and I’m looking forward to trying that out because I found on the last trip that using Google Maps really worked very well where I happened to be and it was a lifesaver in getting me to places and telling me how far away and being able to do that offline would just be probably all the better because I won’t be using data when it happens.

 

Dennis Kennedy: Just two real quick other things that I found were interesting and then sort of one overall conclusion; so we got a really nice camera for my daughter going over to Switzerland. And it had WiFi and I wasn’t really sure what that meant, and they were taking all these pictures, and I said if anything ever happens to this camera, we’ve lost all these cameras. And what I realized was that it had a WiFi that you could turn on, connect my iPhone to it, pull the pictures off this camera. T iPhone would then sync with iCloud and so I got backups of all the important pictures really quickly, just in a few minutes using the Wi-Fi on the camera. So I think that’s one thing where you say if you take a look at some of the capacities that you have and the specific problems you want address, that you may already have some technology that would do some cool things. I also think traveling is a perfect use case for Evernote. So with Evernote you can make copies of your documents, store them in Evernote. You can keep your receipts as you get them, there’s a document camera there to make that super easy, you can keep the details of the things you need to know, phone numbers, all that sort of stuff in Evernote for your trip, and that is a totally great tool for traveling. But now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.

 

Tom Mighell: So I’m going to keep on the topic of the Google developer conference because easily, the best announcement from that conference was the debut of the new Google photos. I probably have spoken about my quest for a good photo app for a long time and I really think that Google photos has nailed it. What’s really interesting about it is it’s a fairly simple process to get your photos uploaded, but what’s really interesting is that Google’s applying its search and facial recognition and all of it’s amazing technology to your photos. So what’s amazing to me is that once you’ve uploaded photos and given it some time for Google to analyze the content of those photos, the search feature is just tremendous. You go to the search and it allows you to search for either people, places, or things. So it actually can recognize places. I did a search for Great Wall of China when I was there and it came up with all the pictures. I did a search in Google for dogs and it came up with all the pictures that I had in my collection of my dogs. It’ll do facial recognition and it’ll show pictures of just the people that you want to look at. If it doesn’t know their name, obviously, it can recognize them by the face. But it is a truly, really amazing tool to be able to organize and it sometimes will take your pictures and create albums of them if it recognizes they’re all from the same location. It creates these really nice stylized pictures that you can save if you want to, or collages or animations. Really is interesting. I know a lot of people have said that because it’s free, it’s free to use up to 16 megapixel pictures. A lot of people say that if a product is free then you are the product. I don’t really happen to agree with that in this case. I think yes, there’s scanning your pictures and everything, but I think to have that be useful to me and have it be photos that I can easily share, that I can easily access and find on any device that I have, that’s something that I’m willing to deal with and I think Google is good in that regard. But it is great to use so go out and give it a shot, Google Photos.

 

Dennis Kennedy: That suspiciously sounds like artificial intelligence there, to me, from the way you describe it.

 

Tom Mighell: A little bit, a little bit.

 

Dennis Kennedy: So another good potential use of what we might call artificial intelligence. So my parting shot is episode 467 of the HBR ideacast  from the Harvard Business Review. Really nice 20 minute podcast with good interviews and business topics. Episode 467 was with the Evernote CEO, Phil Libin, on what he calls the new way we work. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, but the thing that’s stuck out for me – and there’s a transcript of this now available on the HBR site – he talked about how the different forms that we use technology. And so I would say desktop, laptop, phone and now watch, are differentiated. And so for developers and for users, we need to rethink how we use it. So the example would be when we work at a desktop computer or a laptop, basically we’re looking at tasks that will you probably take us around an hour to do, so that’s like a good time frame for how long we would sit and work on one thing. When you go to the phone, you’re probably looking for something that you can do in a couple of minutes and that’s where the phone makes sense or maybe one minute even. But when you go to the watch, you’re looking about tasks that you would do in a couple of seconds. And so with that framework, that’s how we need to think about how our watch is used, how a phone is used, and how what makes sense, what has to make sense in how do you develop for that. Very thoughtful, really interesting thought-provoking conversation. So definitely 20 minutes of your time or less if you go at one and a half speed or double speed. It will give you some things to think about it and I think give you a more effective way to think about how best to use watches and phones.

 

Tom Mighell: So that wraps it up for this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast; information on how to get in touch with us, as well as links to all the topics we discussed today, is available on our show notes blog at TKMReport.com. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site where you can find archives to all of our previous podcasts. If you’d like to get in touch with us, please email us at TKMReport@gmail.com or send us a tweet. I’m @TomMighell and Dennis is @DennisKennedy. So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.

 

Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy and you’ve been listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an internet focus. Help us out by telling a couple of your friends and colleagues about this podcast.

 

Advertiser: Thanks for listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together. From ABA Books or Amazon. And join us every other week for another edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.

[End of Transcript]