Share this Episode
From Surface Pro to Windows 10 and Beyond: What the Future Holds for Microsoft
Lawyers have been paying attention to the Microsoft Surface Pro and how the combo or hybrid laptop/tablet might be an ideal combination for a law practice. The release of Windows 10 is impending (skipping Windows 9) and some have called Windows 10 the “last release” of the operating system. What does this mean? As lawyers, what do we need to know about these new products?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take a look Microsoft and the Windows platform, what Windows-using lawyers can expect, and the potential pros and cons of using a Microsoft Surface Pro for your practice. Tom discusses the oscillating success of Microsoft operating systems, why lawyers are hesitant to make updates, and what we can expect from Windows 10. Dennis analyzes interface changes and how they affect user experience, the expectations of Windows 10 personal use versus law firm adoption, and speculates about the lack of release interest. Also on this podcast, after having the Microsoft Surface Pro for six months, Tom discusses the pros and cons of using the laptop-like tablet as a lawyer and how it works with apps like OneNote. Dennis mentions several additional benefits including the use of Microsoft Office and ease of use in meetings.
In the second part of this podcast, Tom and Dennis revisit artificial intelligence to analyze what lawyers can do now to avoid technology negatively affecting their futures. Dennis encourages attorneys to embrace technology, learn to use it, and think creatively about how it can fit into the profession. Tom is excited about what technologies like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana, can do, but is skeptical about how it can be applied to lawyering. 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: From Surface Pro to Windows 10 and Beyond: What the Future Holds for Microsoft – 7/14/2015
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 155 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 artificial intelligence and what recent AI developments might mean for lawyers. The episode is notable because I actually left Tom speechless at one point. We wanted to shift gears from the esoteric to the everyday standard and take a fresh look at Windows and the Windows platform, especially the Surface Pro and the coming Windows 10. Tom, what’s on my agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will be talking about the new and upcoming Windows 10 which is slated for release next month, as well as the Surface Pro tablet, my report on how I have been using it in the past six months. And in our second segment will revisit the topic of artificial intelligence. I’ll challenge Dennis to provide some practical tips for lawyers at to prepare for the age of AI. He may again leave me speechless; we’ll see if that works out. 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 is over. But first, let’s talk about the Windows platform. Windows still gets a bad rep, even though it’s far in a way, the dominant computing platform. Although Windows 7 was I think a popular, well-regarded release. Windows 8 was – I think we can all agree – a hot mess. It was so much of a mess that Windows decided to skip over 9 and go straight to 10. Dennis, there’s so much to talk about, Macs, often for you. What do you have to say about Windows these days?
Dennis Kennedy: Well I mean first of all, the numbers don’t lie. The Windows is the dominant platform for lawyers by a huge margin, and I think it’s an important topic and I don’t think that Windows itself is like the era where we just take it for granted because it’s important. Lawyers struggle with it, lawyers are on all sorts of different versions of it. I think that’s sort of the reason that I don’t like to talk about Windows that much is because lawyers are on all these different versions of Windows and it really makes it difficult to speak consistently about it. I remember doing 60 Tips in 60 Minutes back when Windows 7 came out and I would give a Windows 7 tip and everybody in the room was using Windows XP – which I’m afraid still might be the case today. So I think that that sort of makes it difficult to talk about Windows as a platform because people are using it in so many different ways. But I think the importance of Windows just can’t be taken for granted and in the past, there would just be a big uproar and commotion about a new major release of Windows, and I just don’t see the same thing with Windows 10.
Tom Mighell: Well it’s not the same and I think there’s a reason for that, and part of the reason why lawyers are on so many different versions of Windows is the cost. You don’t see that, for example, with iOS. Most people have upgraded to the latest version of iOS for their phones and for their tablets. Most people who are on Macs have upgraded to the latest version of the Mac operating system. And part of the reason for that is one, it’s automatic, it happens, it’s made available and boom, it’s right there. Second, it’s free, and one the one thing that I’ve noticed is that lawyers are hesitant to upgrade anything on their computer that’s going to cost them and they want to get every squeeze, every penny out of whatever it is that they’ve got. And unfortunately, Microsoft just had a history of charging for its operating system. They charge for Office, but I see lawyers who stick around with old versions of Office, they stick around with old versions of Adobe Acrobat, they stick around with old versions of just about everything because they don’t want to pay for new versions of software. And maybe I’m being hard on that but I really think that has a lot to do with why we still see lawyers on Windows XP. I’m assuming there aren’t any lawyers on Windows 95 anymore, but I would guess XP is the current version of Windows 95. But I really would like to see that change here with the release of Windows 10.
Dennis Kennedy: Well I think that Microsoft is going to step up to the plate and deliver on that because the Windows 10 for almost everybody is going to be a free upgrade and it’s designed to be an easy upgrade and I know that makes some people nervous. And a lot of reasons people don’t like to up the Windows is they’re afraid that something’s going to go wrong. So that’s out there and then also I think with probably the misstep of Windows 8, it was fixed somewhat in Windows 8.1 of making really significant changes to the interface. I think that also worries people from taking a step forward. So the good news that I think – and maybe I’ll jump into some of those details later – but that Windows 10 actually addresses a couple of the things that are a big concern. But the free upgrade aspect of it is going to be welcome. I just don’t know whether the conservative IT departments in law firms along with the lawyers inherent conservatism is actually going to move this update very fast.
Tom Mighell: Well, but let’s be clear, the update is only free for personal use, it’s not free for enterprise. So if it’s a law firm and they have an enterprise copy, they’re going to have to upgrade as in the past. That is one place where they’re going to have to pay for their new version of Windows. I’ve seen it happen, it seems that Microsoft seems to do well every other Windows release. Windows XP was great, it was solid, it was stable, people liked it. Windows Vista after that, not so much, people hated it, it just missed the mark. Windows 7 really I think was a solid release but then Windows 8 again fell short and I think the reason why it was a problem was you mentioned user interface. It was too much of a radical departure from traditional Windows. It was really developed I think with the wrong idea in mind. It was anticipating that people would be prepared for a mobile touch environment sooner than they really were. It had small panels on the screen that were called charms, nobody knew what they were. The start menu – this is probably the worst thing – the start menu was nowhere to be seen. When you take away one of the biggest pieces of an operating system, what users are used to seeing, you can really I think expect a backlash. Windows 8.1 didn’t really solve that, the start menu isn’t there. Now Windows 10 is bringing back the start menu and we’re going to talk about some of the other features in a little bit. But the one thing that I think is interesting is you talked about that it’s going to be free to download. I’m going to be really interested about that, because the download day, it’s going to be released and launched on July 29th. I have on my Surface Pro tablet a little icon down in my in my toolbar. It says, “Reserve your copy of Windows 10.” And I pop it up and it says, “This is free for you. Click here and it’ll automatically be downloaded to your computer on July 29th.” I think that’s great, that’s awesome, it’ll be ready for me. But think about this: usually versions of Windows are large and I would say they’re probably in the 3 gigabyte range. Mac does this and they make this available to everybody but the install base, the users who have Macs are, I’ve seen estimates in the low tens of millions. Conservatively speaking, around the world there are hundreds of millions people who probably have Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1. Those of the people who are entitled to the free upgrade. I’m going to be really interested to see when a 3 gigabyte file starts to get downloaded on hundreds of millions of computers simultaneously or within a short period of time on July 29th. I think it’s going to make for a very interesting I use a bandwidth. I don’t know how that’s going to work and whether they’re going to be able to cover that, and maybe I’m just kind of geeking out about the whole idea of them downloading it, but it’s going to be something considerably different than what Apple is used to doing, just by the sheer size of Microsoft’s install base.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah and I think it’s not just the download too, it’s how long does the install take, does it have to be attended, what happens if you don’t have your computer plugged in, if you’re on a laptop. So there’s a whole bunch of different things that I’m sure the Microsoft people have really given a lot of thought to, but there’s a lot of issues. Even on Macs and iPhones, on those OS updates, they can take a lot of time and it’s kind of a pain and you have to sign back in on everything, which I’m sure will happen with Windows as well. So it would be great if they sort of moved things along to make it easier for those types of big upgrades. But I think you have to do a lot of prep and be probably prepared to go for some period of time with your computer not available to you. But in theory, the benefits will outweigh that and will be a minor inconvenience. But I think you touched on something that I think is a really important part of the Windows world of the future, Tom, and that’s your experience with the Surface Pro and this sort of merger of the portable OS with the desktop or laptop OS, so that’s one piece. And this sort of notion of combo device which I think the Surface Pro is sort of tablet / laptop, and typing and touch. So why don’t you talk a little bit about your experience with the Surface Pro which I know it’s been really positive for you and it’s a very attractive I think the business computer option these day. So tell us what your experiences has been.
Tom Mighell: So I think you’re right, it has been a generally positive experience. I really like using the Surface Pro and I’ll cover maybe three or four pros and three or four cons that I’ve seen in the six months or so that I’ve been using. The major advantage is one, it’s slim. it’s lightweight. I put it in my backpack and I don’t sometimes remember that I have a laptop or that I have a computer in my backpack anymore. It’s that much of a difference between that and my old Lenovo laptop that I’m used to carrying around. It’s really nice, I can carry it wherever I’m going. I actually got a carrying case for it and I take it out of a backpack and carry it around. It’s just so mobile and that’s really nice. Again, it’s running full Windows, so I have full Microsoft Office, I have Acrobat, I have all the programs that I’m used to running on my laptop on a combo device. And then again, it’s the nature of a combo device, because I’m used to working with an iPad and touching and scrolling and using my hand to get things done. And being able to do that in combination with the typing is so convenient. It allows me to move around and to navigate and to manipulate documents and to deal with things so much better than using the touchpad or using a mouse. It’s just so handy to be able to do that. Now in terms of what I would call the cons, I think the cost. There’s two Surface Pro that right now. There’s just the Surface which is the more common, I guess you relate that more to the iPad. It’s designed to be the lower cost, less power, less memory, still runs full Windows, but not as powerful as the Surface Pro and then the Surface Pro 3 is what I’m using. It is pricy. If you want to have the good model, you’re going to be paying north of $1,000 and an almost up to $2,000 if you really want the the top of the line, so it is expensive. The two biggest drawbacks that I’ve had to it is the fan tends to run hot often, and I’ve tried several fixes to turn that off and I’ve not had a ton of luck being able to do that. So sometimes, right now I’m feeling the back of it, it feels pretty good it’s not hot, but there have been times where a process has been running really, really hot and heavy on the computer and it’s literally burning to the touch. The keyboard could be better, it’s a little bit flimsy. It’s not as heavy duty as I would like it be, but that’s a trade-off you make for having a light tablet, I think. I guess my other drawback would be that the App Store just is not as good as either the iOS or the Android App stores. There are some Windows Apps that are fantastic, their sports and news apps and the weather Apps are really nice looking and full-featured and they’re really, really nice. But if you try and look up things like Twitter or Facebook or some of the Apps that I’m used to using on the others, they just aren’t done as well for Windows as they are for the other devices, and that certainly talks to the number of people who are using it, they just haven’t spent a lot of time on it. Those I think are kind of the major pros and cons. I still think it’s worth it, I still like using it, I don’t plan to go back to a regular laptop. I think it’s been a good experience.
Dennis Kennedy: You know, it’s kind of funny. I thought that at least for 15 years or more that you always start out with this notion that you can get a computer for under $1,000 or right around $1,000. And every time, by the time I get it to configure the way that I think I really want, it’s going to be $2,000 no matter what. So in a way, that doesn’t surprise me and what I think is interesting about Surface Pro is some of the things that you were talking about; it’s light, easy, it’s a Cloud device. And then I also think, Tom, a couple of years ago you were doing this shootout between your iPad and somebody had an Android tablet and somebody had a Windows tablet – I can’t remember if it was a Surface or something, it was pre-Surface. And the whole argument that the Windows tablet person said – and he must have said it at least 20 times during that presentation – was, “And it runs Microsoft Office,” and QED, what else is there to say? But I think that is an aspect of it. So when I look at it I say it’s a really interesting business computer, because then I can move if I’m in an office from meeting to meeting to conference room to conference room I can plug it into a dock, potentially. I can use it in a lot of different ways. It’s light, I can use the standard Microsoft Office programs that I want, can travel with it, and it reminds me in a way that it fulfills the promise of the old notion of Netbooks. Super light things that really kind of focused on being able to take advantage of the Cloud. So those are the things I like, and Tom, I kind of want to ask this question of you, where I think there’s really interesting promise in this in using Windows OneNote. Because the combination of typing and touch and the OneNote product, especially for lawyers, just seems like the perfect combination, so I hope you’re not going to tell me I’m wrong about that.
Tom Mighell: I am not going to tell you that you’re wrong. I love OneNote and I use it for work all the time, but I probably don’t use it the way that I would want to use it, I’m not using it as much as I could. I will say – and what I didn’t mention before was I think the stylus for the Surface Pro and the handwriting on the Surface Pro just blows away what I’ve been able to do on the iPad. The stylus for the Surface Pro is like a ballpoint pen. It writes like a ballpoint pen, it immediately connects to the tablet and works really well. It works just about in any App that I want, but it really works well in OneNote. OneNote’s designed to accept handwriting that can turn the handwriting into text if you wanted to. If you are a person who likes to write, you will love using the Surface with OneNote, it really is a good experience for that, I have tried it. I think one of the things that I struggle with that the Surface may – and this may be my lack of experience, I just haven’t taken the time to learn how to do it – is the iPad has a good, what they call, “palm rejection.” So you put your palm down on the side of the iPad, of the tablet, and it doesn’t register that something’s there so that you’re not putting smudges or it’s moving things around. I’ve not been able to get that to work on the Surface. I’m sure it does, I’m sure that it has that feature. In fact, if it’s Windows, it’s probably buried in a bunch of menus. I just haven’t had the time to work on it. So I have a good research project that I need to undertake on a weekend, because I really would like to write more in OneNote than I am currently.
Dennis Kennedy: And then I think the other thing that concerns me a little bit about the Surface – and I’ve heard reports of this and I’ve seen this reaction – is especially given the price that you’re talking about, I think it’s going to be a hard sale with this. Again, I say its very conservative IT departments and tight budgets and firms to say we will give lawyers this Surface Pro rather than the standard business Dell, HP or Lenovo, boring, heavy desktop most lawyers seem to be sporting these days. So a fascinating product, though, and like I said, a combination of OneNote, to me, is more exciting than maybe the other Office products. But let’s jump to Windows 10, Tom. Launch date expected, or maybe it’s official at this point, July 29th. Why don’t we seem to be hearing as much about this version of Windows 8 other versions? Where’s the hoopla? Why don’t we seem to be hearing as much about this version of Windows than other versions?
Tom Mighell: Let me come back real quick to your speculation about firms adopting it. That makes sense logically to me too that companies are going to be more interested in buying bulk at cheaper rates at then what Windows apparently – or what Microsoft is apparently willing to charge for the Surface. I will say though, that I have at least two clients and these are corporations, these are firms. But I have at least two clients where I’ve walked in and five people around the table, they were all rocking Surface tablets, and I was very surprised and impressed that they were doing it. So I’m interested to see where that goes because I don’t know that this is going to follow the logic that I’ve been seeing lately. Now in terms of the launch date for Windows 10, I’m just going to speculate here. I’m going to speculate because I think now that Windows is moving to a free upgrade, I think that we’re moving towards more of a subscription model of the download automatic that it’s going to be more of the software as a service type of thing. I think that there’s less of the hoopla, it’s just more of an iteration. And I think that Windows 10, if it’s not the last Windows, it’s going to be interesting to see how that happens, because from here on out, it’ll be less of new releases of Windows and just constant releases of updated Windows. And my speculation is whether they’re getting started with that right now, saying it’s no big deal, it’s coming out. I don’t know. I’m not sure that’s the right answer but it seems logical to me.
Dennis Kennedy: Well that’s the Office 365 model, so there’s a lot of speculation. This is a precursor to a subscription model and that makes sense in the world of Office 365 and I think it’s got to be really difficult for Microsoft to try to support people on all these different versions of Windows and people who stick with it for years and years and years, including all of those people in an office on Windows XP which is a security nightmare at this point and not even supported. But you still see or hear of plenty of people doing that. What about the features of Windows 10? I sometimes have this reaction every time there’s a new version of an OS of, “Oh, it’s just an OS,” ultimately. But what are the features that Microsoft thinks will be attracting enough to get us to move to Windows 10?
Tom Mighell: For one, those of you who are on Windows 8.1, the number one reason – in my opinion – to go to Windows 10, is bringing back the start menu, is that now you’re going to get a little bit of a combination. You’re going to get the start menu that you’re used to but it will also have some of those charms and some of those panels from Windows 8. So it’s going to try to combine the best of both and hopefully it makes a difference. I’m looking forward to having a start menu again, even though I’ve learned to navigate around Windows 8.1. That was a big issue for me. I think it’s going to be interesting that they’re going to start having a notification center very similar to the Mac notifications or notifications you might see on your phone, so you will be able to see that; I think that’s a new thing. Cortana is going to become the -essentially – the search function within Windows the same way that Siri has become the search function for OS and that actually in the new version of the Mac OS, Siri is going to become more closely related to Windows Spotlight or Mac Spotlight search. There’s going to be a new browser. Internet Explorer is going away, I think that’s a huge think. There’s going to be a new browser, they’re just calling it Project Spartan right now. I haven’t seen anything about it but what I’ve heard is they’re still working on it and it’s going to be a pretty bare bone type of browser. The other thing that I thought was interesting is that they’re going to instead of when you press on an App, an actual App within current Windows 8.1 then it goes full screen, it’s hard to get out, you don’t know how to get out of it. It’s very – I won’t call it annoying, but it’s overwhelming and you just kind of feel locked in by the app. They’re now going to make those Apps more windowed, so they’re more familiar to people who like Windows and the App’s going to show up in something that you can resize. You can make it full screen, you can make it less than the full screen you can put two apps side-by-side and look at both your Facebook and your Twitter at the same time if you want to do something like that. To me those are the more interesting features, those are what I find more interesting. Anything else on the list, Dennis, that I left off that you want to talk about?
Dennis Kennedy: No, I think you really covered it. There’s a notion of virtual desktops and then I think the underlying theme of moving us closer to the same experience across all our Windows devices. I know you’re all in on Windows 10. I’ll probably try to talk to my wife about putting Windows 10 on her Windows computer. And I guess my wrap up thought on this, Tom, is my usual thought about the generation gap between work and home. And I think that it’s going to be easy to go to Windows 10, and like you said, it’s almost potentially automatic for people. And I suspect that in the enterprise and in firms, it’s going to take longer to move to Windows 10. And if you say you’re at a firm on Windows 7 and at home you’re using Windows 10 and you’re liking it, that’s a couple of generations of difference. So I think once again this gap of what you’re able to do on a personal computer versus what you’re able to do on a work computer is going to get larger and it’s going to be a more negative experience for many people at work.
Tom Mighell: It might be and I’m going to be interested to see because like we talked about before, I think that I would analogize this to Windows Vista in that lots of firm stuck around on Windows XP for a long time before upgrading to Windows 7, likewise, they have been doing the same thing and not upgrading to Windows 8 or 8.1, waiting for the next version. So I’ll be interested to see how long it take them to actually get up to 10 because I think that there are a lot of good features in 10. I’ll be interested to see if I think that if if history is any judge, you’re right it’s going to take a while. People who are used to getting something at home sooner may be waiting longer at work. I think that can be and will be very frustrating if that happens, but I don’t know. I’ll be interested to see because I think that Windows 8.1 was kind of a jarring reality that a lot of firms and a lot of companies really didn’t want to pay attention to and so they may be willing to bite the bullet on 10 sooner than that
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 ran out of time during our last podcast when we were talking about artificial intelligence. The part that we missed out on was the “so what.” I guess in other words, what should lawyers actually do about AI, if anything. I am going to challenge Dennis to come up with some practical ideas for AI. I’m going to either shoot them down or agree with him. I might come up with a couple of my own but I reserve the right to just sit here speechless again as as I did before. So Denis, show me what you got.
Dennis Kennedy: Okay, so I was thinking about AI in the context of what I did on a couple of days at work. And despite the fact that most people seem to be afraid of AI and how it might eliminate the role of lawyers, I actually found a whole bunch of things that I wish I would just turn over to AI. So there’s repetitive, there’s tedious things, there’s stuff that don’t let you think as much as you would like on the actual problems, you’re just kind of grinding things out. So even though technology helps, you’re still doing a lot of work that probably is not the highest and best work for lawyers. So with all technology, I like to kind of get prepared for that to say, what are the things that I have to do that it’s overtime not going to make sense for me to do that much anymore? And with AI, because it’s some years in the distance, I think you can start to think along those lines. So I think you want to understand some of the developments, do what – Tom, you and I sometimes call technology audit – but it’s almost like a work audit to say what are the things I do and what in the future is going to make more sense for technology to do rather than me to kind of slog through. And as a result, how can I take advantage of developments in AI and other technology to make my work better, to become a better lawyer and to focus on the real value that I bring to my work and to my clients. Or in my case, in-house, to to the company that I work for. So I think it’s this great, almost gives you this space to brainstorm and think what a better work life would be. So that’s one thing, and then other thing I think is it’s important to identify some of the beginning areas where we’re seeing artificial intelligence and experience those things. So in the last episode, I’m just really intrigued by how much of this thinking notion is built into our cars these days. And so I think I’m starting to appreciate that. Look at Siri, Google Now, the other the other voice-aided functionalities; that’s another thing. And just trying to get a handle on some of those things and say how can this start to apply to my legal practice and are there ways to experiment with that. And so I think, not that you need to be afraid, not that you need to be overly defensive, but I think you need to say, how are things going to realistically change and how can I position myself to take advantage of that.
Tom Mighell: Well as usual, I’m speechless. I don’t disagree with you, although I think that you’re first method to some extent applies to any kinds of technology. What things do I do today that technology could solve, and I suppose we can ask that question about artificial intelligence the same way. I guess I’m more skeptical about finding ways that artificial intelligence can help us right now and maybe I’m just not the visionary or the brainstormer to be able to do it, but you bring up Siri or Google Now. I think Google Now is the most impressive Cortana to a certain extent. I think Siri actually runs third place to all of those, but I like Google Now. Google Now are rolling out of version of it where you can be standing in a place and all you have to do is ask Google Now, “What’s the address of this place?” Or, “What’s the phone number of this place?” And it will use its location to tell you where you are and what you’re doing. You could ask questions about LeBron James and you could say, “Who is LeBron James?” And then you could follow it up by asking, “What’s his birthday?” And Google Now would know that you are still talking about LeBron James. And then you could ask a series of questions and it would continue to know who you were talking about the entire time, and you never needed to say the name LeBron James again. And I think that that’s a really intriguing use of artificial intelligence. I’m still not sure how to apply that to the world of law, and Dennis maybe you can suggest some ways. I really think that that’s interesting, but I’m still sitting in the area that looks at artificial intelligence as something that’s great for playing chess, that’s great for doing work gains, that’s great for technology-assisted review. But I’m just not sure how the average lawyer’s going to benefit at least in the near term.
Dennis Kennedy: Well let me suggest something to you then, and you mentioned this on the last episode. So new Google Photos, which you love. So Google lets you upload all these photos and then it identifies them and helps you sort them and you can do searches on them in amazing ways. And to me, that’s an example of where artificial intelligence is all happening at the backend, not where we’re sitting, and it does some amazing things. So you start to see, well what if you think of AI as a service? And so how can I take some of those things and enhance what I do as a lawyer? So let’s take the thing where you could say this is one of the most uniquely lawyerly things you could do. If I’m a litigator, I’m taking a deposition or I’m cross-examining somebody and I’m asking all these great questions and I’m interpreting how the witnesses is reacting to them and I have a list of questions and stuff. But what if I’m able to use some artificial intelligence applications that help me analyze the body language of that witness? what if they help me sequence or suggest new questions that follow up just because they’re seeing patterns? And so I think that there are really some interesting applications, even in the core areas that right now we would say these are uniquely lawyer things and I think that it is possible to say there’s a scenario where this replaces a lawyer. But I think way more interesting is to say this allows us to become even better at what we do and the people who take advantage of this technology first are going to be in a much better place, and so I think that’s really exciting.
Tom Mighell: Well I think that’s awesome, too, but where do they exist in real life, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: All in our imaginations.
Tom Mighell: And there you have it.
Dennis Kennedy: It’s imagination first, and then it comes to real life. But I think that Google Photos and some of the other things definitely point us to the types of applications and we’re seeing a big increase in venture capital and other things in the legal space. So I still say we’re talking five, ten plus years away, but it could happen a little faster then, but certainly some unique applications could happen sooner.
Tom Mighell: I’m with you on that.
Dennis Kennedy: Now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation that you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So one of my favorite Apps on both iOS and Android is the Sunrise Calendar, and there’s a new app for Sunrise and in fact, it’s such a great calendar that Microsoft bought it. Microsoft’s actually buying up all the great apps on Android and iOS. That’s a thing that’s happening, it’s a trend that is happening now and I think it’s important. But there’s a new app that goes along with the Sunrise Calendar and it’s called Meet, and it’s designed to help you schedule things, so it’s actually a keyboard that has your calendar included within it. So if you’re in any App, you can pull up the Meet keyboard and you can suggest times to a person so that they can select times to join for a particular meeting. It makes scheduling a meeting very simple, very easy. I’ve only just started to try it and test it out and I’m very intrigued with how it works. I kind of like the idea of being able to pull up my calendar within a keyboard no matter what App I happen to be in and and I don’t have to multitask and head back to my calendar to look at when I’m available. So I’m not sure if I’m using it long term, but I really think it’s an interesting app and it is free. Meet for Sunrise.
Dennis Kennedy: Sounds cool. I’m putting people to an article by my buddy, Jeff Carr, who’s one of my favorite people to run into and talk to. He’s really an innovative thinker in the best sense of the term. Former, or I guess retired general counsel of FMC Technologies, really did some interesting things there. He has a post, a guest post, on Rod Friedmann’s strategic Legal Technology Blog called Old Law, New Law, Emerging Law, Next Law and Do Less Law. And I really recommend it to listeners of this audience. And so he goes through this notion that there’s four areas to think about, which he calls the old law, which is sort of the billing hours. New law which is lowering cost to solve legal problems. Emerging law which is solving legal problems, doing so efficiently and effectively that may involve alternative billing. And then he says next law, which is the most interesting place to get, is in the business of preventing legal problems from ever arising. And as he says, “After all, unless you’re a law firm, the best legal issue is the one you never have.” It’s a short article, really interesting and thought-provoking article, and I hope it generates a lot of discussions. So Jeff Carr and the notion of both next law and what he calls do less law.
Tom Mighell: That was a great blog post. 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.