While dealing with cords, adapters, battery life, and public wifi, traveling with technology has the potential to be very stressful. In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell offer tips for traveling with technology like iPads, laptops, and phones, including their favorite travel apps. Inspired by Tom’s recent trip to Japan, they discuss using VPNs, acquiring cell phone service, and bringing the right kind and number of adapters. They also answer an audience question about how soon we’ll be able to feel the effects of artificial intelligence. As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
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The Kennedy-Mighell Report
Tips for Traveling with Technology
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… 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 191 of ‘The Kennedy Mighell Report.’ I am Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we discussed great tips and ideas for improving your video conferences. It’s now that time of year when Tom has just returned from yet another fabulous vacation. That means it’s time to talk about travelling with technology so we thought we’d share some of our new best tips and observations about travelling with technology with our podcast audience. Tom, what’s on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of ‘The Kennedy Mighell Report,’ we will indeed be talking about travel and some of our best tips for travelling with technology. In our second segment, we’ve got another question from one of our listeners, 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 up, traveling with tech; as you mentioned, Dennis, I just got back from a wonderful two-week vacation in China and Japan, had a really good time, but you know this year, when I was planning the technology I was going to take with me, it seemed second nature. I didn’t feel quite as stressed out about it. There are one or two things, we’ll talk about that, but for the most part it was a pretty painless process.
Dennis, do you think that there are new things in tech that people ought to know before they travel or is it really more the case that we just need to get better at what we already know?
Dennis Kennedy: I think I agree with you that it does. I’m packing for a trip now and it feels like the tech part of it is actually gotten simpler in some ways, and I think it’s partially because things are smaller. I focus more on like chargers and battery and backup and that sort of thing, so it does seem like it’s gotten a bit simpler, and then we are just kind of – I am fine tuning things. So what’s the right bag, how do I carry cables, do I use plastic bags, do I this, but it’s sort of the more fundamental issue for me, as I think about traveling is that for so many years I would take my personal laptop with me whenever I traveled.
And now, I almost feel like I can get away which is taking the smartphone that will cover me on the most everything I need on the personal side. If I’m going to do work on travel then I will need a work laptop, but that’s the one thing that struck me and for this vacation trip that I’m packing for, I’m like, I think I just need my phone and an iPad which I use as a reader, and so, I think that to me feels like the big difference is that the phone has become so versatile that the laptop has actually become unimportant, and I think that, that maybe what simplifies and it makes it feel like you have less going on when you are actually packing for travel.
So I don’t know if you have the same sense. I know you had to slim down a lot what you’re taking when you went to China and Japan, but I don’t know whether you have the same observation over the last year.
Tom Mighell: Well, I did actually, I mean, I think that if we are talking about vacation, I think you’re right. I think that all I’ve really needed and I say “needed” in China or Japan was a phone. I brought an iPad with me but for the same reason that you did. I read with it and I watched videos, I watched movies, I watched TV shows, I downloaded a lot of stuff to my iPad and I used that because I really didn’t want to watch something on a small screen like my phone, but frankly I could have done it on my phone if I wanted to. When we’re talking about traveling with technology for work though, my take is completely different.
There’s too much that I need on my laptop that I really do need to bring my laptop with me. I know that some have talked about only bringing a phone with them when they travel for work, I think that’s – well, I think that’s crazy. I just think that there is too much stuff you need to do, I would probably not do anything less than bringing an iPad with a keyboard so I can be productive.
But I think that these days, if you are traveling for fun, I think that we all live on our phones now and that’s pretty much all that you need. Although it does really then come down to the peripherals, the hardware, the chargers, the cables all that stuff which really does take a little bit more thought than just figuring out that you just need a phone.
Dennis Kennedy: I think the work thing too that you do have this sense of the need for redundancy. So when you are talking about that. So even if I am not traveling and I am planning to rely on the smartphone, I mean, there’s too many times that you cleverly get on a call or something we are going to be talking about a document, and you think you have covered on the smartphone and you open an attachment and the track changes aren’t visible and people are talking about it, and you go like, that wasn’t the best move I ever made. So, I think that having that backup in a work situation, but I think in the personal situation you can get away with a lot less.
And so, as I’m packing this evening, my notes are things like the headphones, the chargers, the adaptors, the extension chords, the power adaptors, so those are — it’s almost like my focus is on preserving batteries more so than the technology. And then, the other thing that I noticed that I don’t bother with anymore and this is partially because of Dropbox and Evernotes and other online storages that it seemed like in the past I would take — there were times I even would take an external hard drive but always like multiple USB drives, and now, that just seems like the security issue to take.
I wouldn’t want to leave a USB drive behind anywhere, and I as a practical matter, don’t have a need for carrying around documents or other things on a USB drive. So, that’s the part of the bag that was reserved for hard drives and USB drives is kind of empty for me and it probably gets take it up with an extra extension chord these days.
Tom Mighell: This last vacation, I brought two chords for my phone, one chord for my iPad, I brought a charger for the room, but the thing that I used the most and the thing that I was happy that I brought the most was my backup battery, because when you’re walking around, when you’re using your phone all the time to — for either maps or to tell you about this place or to post pictures on things on social media and things like that, my phone started to give out near the end of the day and so it was nice to have a battery, although mine is a little large I think. I kind to go to something that’s got a lot of power, but the Anker line of batteries, they have them in all sizes and I think they are great batteries to take with you and keep stuff charged in.
Obviously having an adaptor in international, in foreign countries is also really critical, but one part for me that was kind of challenging was the data plan and what kind of plan I was going to have. What I found out was, I’m a Verizon customer, and Verizon actually has a new feature called TravelPass. TravelPass lets you travel on your own plan, the plan that you have here in the United States for a cost of $10 a day wherever you happen to be.
And so, I’ve got unlimited data and I could use it as much data as I wanted to while I was over there, except it would start to throttle your speed after you used about 500 megabytes per day and that wasn’t too bad. I really didn’t use that much per day, except one day when I accidentally updated whole bunch of apps and didn’t realize it, so it kind of used the data that way.
But I wound up using the TravelPass in China. I was told that it didn’t work in Japan so I made other arrangements, which is, in Japan the big thing right now — and I think it’s kind of big in other countries, but Japan for some reason, it’s a lot bigger is they have a lot of Pocket Wifi. So, I arranged with a company to deliver a little MiFi device that was connected to a Japanese telephone company and it was delivered to my hotel when I got there in Japan. It was a just smoking fast Wi-Fi thing that I actually didn’t even use my phone the whole time I was there. I just kept it on in the backpack and kept it on in the room. We watched movies from it, we streamed movies from it, it was just amazingly fast and it was unlimited data for about — it was about, I guess, around $15 a day as it what it translated to, which wasn’t too bad if I’ve been paying double from my TravelPass, but that for me, was the most decision-making I had to make about technology on the whole trip.
Dennis Kennedy: When you travel internationally, the adaptors are so key and it just reminds me of the time I was traveling in Austria, and I think I had two adaptors and I was just patting myself on the back because I’d charged these things overnight in hotel and had these things plugged in.
And I went to the meeting I was going to and when I got there I realized that my adaptors were doing a job back in the hotel room and then basically, there was no way for me to plug in, but fortunately somebody was able to help me, but yeah, you realize like, oh my god, I really do need those adaptors everywhere I go.
Tom Mighell: I didn’t realize before I left that Japan’s outlets are the same as United States. So, I didn’t even need an adaptor in Japan, so that was kind of cool and it was nice, I don’t have to worry about in a place.
Dennis Kennedy: And then, I think the other thing that I think about again as I get ready to travel is the Wi-Fi situation and to go back to a recent episode that we did, the whole notion of VPNs and — I don’t know what the right term for it is, I think it was mini routers because they are so small that you can put your own router into the wired connection in a hotel room, create your own Wi-Fi out of that with the router type of firewall using software VPN like we discussed, and I think that gives you a reasonable level of comfort in using public Wi-Fi or hotel Wi-Fi which I think is — a lot of times it can give you a fair amount of concern on the security side. And I guess, Tom, you are sort of like in the classic country where you do worry about security on an Internet connection in China, so I don’t know what steps you took when in that situation?
Tom Mighell: Well, this is where I start to worry about whether I’m going to be allowed to talk about security anymore because I am — in China, some wisdom would tell you to bring a burner phone and to bring a burner ID, iPad and never — and when you’re done with it, toss it and never use it again. I didn’t do that. I went to China three-four years ago and the company that I went with said, we find that as long as you keep it safe for the VPN then you’re okay and keep it with you all the time, don’t let it get fall into the hands of anybody you’re generally okay.
Obviously, I don’t know whether something got on to my phone or my iPad, but I did use a VPN the whole time I was there. The experience was I think almost completely flawless. It worked. I wound up, it’s funny after we had our podcast on VPNs I went and I tried NordVPN because it actually gets — in some places better reviews than ExpressVPN, well NordVPN didn’t work in China. It wouldn’t connect at all in China and ExpressVPN worked flawlessly.
And, I was able to get to all the websites that I would normally get to. I was actually able to stream from sites that would ordinarily let me do that if they knew that I was calling from another country, but it was I think a pretty good process. I’m crossing my fingers that my devices are not compromised but so far I don’t really notice anything.
Dennis Kennedy: So for me, the big thing, I mean sort of the — if you talk to any of the legal technologists we know, you get the feeling that they have about 50 different bags that they’ve tried and that they are always on a quest for the perfect bag. So I think that that’s sort of a key part of my technology tips, it’s like, okay, why are you carrying this stuff in and how is that going to work? I have really going to backpacks rather than shoulder bags and why do you put these things together, do you zippered pockets, I think are important.
But I think there’s always a quest and Tom, believe it or not, I actually bought a new day pack as my — under the seat/technology bag for the trip I am going on, which is an Osprey day pack that I am pretty excited to try, because it’s this combination of small and enough zippered pockets, plus sort of really well-designed as a backpack.
So I don’t know, maybe I am just bag obsessed, but if I am, I am not the only one. So I don’t know, Tom, I think that’s sort of a key part. I know that you kind of drill down more in trying some of the, what I call, like the sub bags or zippered boxes as well in keeping different components or the chargers and the other things organized. So I am more like throw it into a zippered pocket; I think you go more toward the organizational approach.
Tom Mighell: When it comes to bags, I kind of am interested in bags too, but I never can decide what I want, so I go with something and I stick with it. I have been a big fan of the TOM BIHN line, because they are rugged and they last forever, and the backpack I have had, I have had for a bunch of years and you couldn’t tell it, it’s just such a well-made bag, and so I just have that backpack that I brought with me.
Yeah, I have been struggling with the right kind of cord keeper and things like that and I am using one right now from a company called HYPERLINK “http://www.thisisground.com” thisisground.com. Very well-made. It’s very nice leather. It’s huge. It’s massive. I need to find something else. I really like how it looks, and it’s a nice thing, but it’s just way too big.
So I am on the look out. I stopped the GRITIT stuff, because the GRITIT was just taking up too much space, so I kind of want to consolidate, I want to downsize my cords, but I am on the look out now for something new on that.
Dennis Kennedy: Then I think the other thing that I think has been the big evolution over the last few years on technology is the move to apps. That follows from saying, if the smartphone is your key device, then apps become more important.
And then also there is some app management, it’s like picking the right apps and then thinking about how you actually do things. And so, our friends like John Simek and Sharon Nelson, who are really heavy on the security side, I think we learn from them.
I do this thing that’s probably my trait, I don’t like when I am traveling, especially, and definitely when I am on public Wi-Fi to do anything where I am separately entering a username or password, and I definitely don’t like to do e-commerce or do Amazon orders, I am really reluctant to that. So that’s sort of my own quirk.
So traveling, I tend to do a thing where I move the apps that I am going to use more to the home screen of the smartphone, so they are easier for me to get to, and then in some ways I reduce the number of apps that I might use to kind of key apps, so the social media, the travel type apps, those sorts of things, and kind of get a little better organized in what I do.
And then with the iPad, I am more using it as an e-reader, and then something I use in the hotel room more commonly while I might be charging up the iPhone after a day using it as a camera and the other things that I might do.
So Tom, I know that you just had a long trip with this and you use apps for all kinds of things and definitely for planning restaurants and things like that. So I don’t know if you have some new ideas or new favorite apps that you want to share with people.
Tom Mighell: So I do. There are a couple of apps that — and there are some old standbys. I mean, TripIt has been my app of choice for keeping my itinerary and sharing it with my family when I am gone. A lot of people don’t necessarily like to share their Google Inbox with another company, I am okay with that, even if you are not okay with that, you can still forward all of your reservations and confirmations to TripIt and it will keep a very nicely formatted itinerary for you and notify you when there are changes to that itinerary, especially if you are a premium member.
But there’s a new app on the scene that I think is really interesting and I am trying to use it more, it’s called Google, it’s Google Trips. Now, Google, because they have Gmail and if you are a Gmail user like me, they are already looking in your mailbox, they are going to put the same information into itinerary for you. So it basically found all that information, it created a trip for almost all the towns that I went to; it didn’t have all of them, but then for each town you can download a city guide, places to go, tours to take, how to get around town, transportation, incredibly helpful guides that I want to take and make more use of.
There are two apps from the government that if you are traveling internationally I absolutely recommend. The first is the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. You basically tell them where you are going to be, where you are going to stay, and then you will get alerts if something happens in that country while you are there, to where you can either get to an embassy or get help or get something to happen, and so notifying them while you are gone I think is a great idea.
The other one is called — it’s from the Centers for Disease Control, it’s called Be Well, and you plug in where you are going to be and it’s going to give you an idea of the different shots you are going to need, or the different types of precautions you are going to need to take wherever you happen to go.
I wholly recommend having a transit app, so wherever you happen to go, plug in the name of the city and then either type subways, or trains, or whatever. I absolutely used them in Shanghai and Beijing and Tokyo, they were amazingly helpful. I tried to use Google Maps; it wasn’t always the best app to use, so having those transit apps are great.
And then I am going to talk about Google Photos a little bit more in our second segment, but I will say that Google Photos again is proving to me to be just the best photo management tool in the world. I would take photos on my phone all day long. I get back to the hotel room, I connect to the Wi-Fi, and within three minutes all my photos were backed up to Google and they had made some albums for me, they had made some movies for me.
And now, they recently announced that they will create photo books for you, either hardcover or soft cover photo books out of your photos. I have just gotten one from our trip and I want to see how it looks, I will have to let you know on a future podcast if I like the result.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so I have two other thoughts on the apps. So one echoes what you were saying, so one of the things I do before I travel anywhere is I just go to the App Store and just do a search on the name of the city that I am going to be in. And then I take a look at those apps and at least temporarily, because I will take them off, if there are city guides, if there is bike trail guide, if there’s hiking guides, if there are other — local newspaper or maybe a local TV show or a local TV news app, I will just grab those things, because they could be handy, so to just kind of add it to the list.
It’s kind of like one thing you can do really quickly to kind of help you figure out what you might do. That’s really good for like what concerts or shows might be in town, it can help you find that in an easy way, and then you will have that with you. So that’s a really good thing to do with apps along those lines.
And then I guess the other thing with apps is to say, what is it that I am going to be doing, and maybe it’s the time to try a new app. So if I am going to a place where maybe I know I am going to take a lot of photos, I might experiment with a new photo app, or as Tom said, that if you know you are going to take a lot of photos, you might experiment with a new way of storing or posting photos; cycling, other activities. That’s another thing that I look to apps for.
I think the other thing Tom that I find useful is the whole online storage world, Dropbox, Evernote and other online stores, and I think that’s great, especially if you are traveling internationally that you can put up the copies and you can store copies of your passport, credit card information, things like that securely, and if you would have a problem, then you can pull copies of that, keep your itinerary there, important numbers; there are other ways to do that, but those become an easy way.
And if you know there is something that might come up that you need to work on or might have access to, throwing it up on Dropbox or Evernote is a good way that you can reach it, and that’s another way you might store say like articles about a place you want to go to, reviews, that sort of thing. So depending on the one you pick, that can be really useful.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, the one area of apps that I didn’t mention, because I didn’t use them, I would like to, but I just haven’t, I just don’t have the energy to do it. There are a lot of cool journaling apps for trips, one of them is called Journi, but there are a number of other ones that will basically create travel journals for you. You take a picture, it captures where you are, it shows a map, it allows you to write in, here is what I did today, here is how my day was.
If I were more of a writer, if I really wanted to write a lot while I was on vacation, I think these would be really fantastic ways of memorializing a trip that you are on and there are just so many of them out there. I think there is more for iPhone than Android, which is probably another reason why I don’t use them.
And then I guess the other thing that I used quite a bit, at least when it was time to communicate with home, was rather than use the phone to call home, I either FaceTimed over Wi-Fi or when I got to Japan for some reason my phone actually wouldn’t work and so I called — I made a couple of Skype phone calls while I was over there, and again, it’s nice to have a back up way to communicate with people, either because you don’t want to pay for the cost to call people or maybe calling isn’t possible where you might happen to be going.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. And I think the alternative communication is great. So the Skypes, the Vibers, other things that you — where you can tell somebody else to install the app if they don’t use it. Viber I think was really popular. When my daughter was in Switzerland, that was one way that we communicated.
The other thing I think is Password Manager, we recommend for everything. But it’s really great for the credit card information, PIN numbers, hotel programs, things like that, the things that you never have and you need that number, and so you can use the Password Manager to store some of those things. And it’s a great way. It’s a way you know you have your passwords with you, and you have not written them down or done anything like that, but you know it’s sort of in a very secure area.
So, I don’t know Tom, do you want to do like a little lightning round and wrap up with our favorite tips or do you have a couple of other things that you want to highlight?
Tom Mighell: No, I think — and I am not sure that I have a lightning round of tips. I mean, my biggest tip and maybe Dennis, when you talk I will be inspired to come up with some other ones, but really my biggest tip from this trip is, don’t let choosing technology for a trip become overwhelming. Use the technology that you think you are going to need. I think it makes sense to plan ahead of time, figure out what you are going to do, what you are going to need it for. But you don’t need to have an app for every single thing. You don’t need to have technology for everything you might do, because you are on a vacation to have a good time.
Now, for me, having that technology helps me have a good time, so I enjoy it. But if you don’t want to let tech take it over, then choose your technology wisely and say here are the five or the two or the one tool that I want to be able to use while I am over there, and then really make use of that while you are there, but then just focus on having a good time on your trip.
Dennis Kennedy: So two things that I want to mention, so I always mention great headphones and noise cancelling headphones. I use Bose, there’s a number of possibilities out there. I lately think a lot about two services and apps, one called Overdrive and one called Scribd, and it shows kind of the versatility, why the phone and the tablet has become so versatile and why I don’t think you really need a laptop most of the time.
So Overdrive allows you, that if you are a member of your public library, you can download e-books and audio books on a rental basis.
Scribd is similar, but you are paying about $9 a month and then you can get e-books and audio books. So I like the idea that in addition to podcasts, I can download for free or as part of my Scribd subscription audio books, and that gives me another option on the plane if I want to dig into a book that I might not otherwise read and I feel more like listening to it than reading it.
So I think that shows the versatility and it helps you think, I think, in terms of how can I pack even lighter and what technology is really essential and how can I kind of get multiple uses out of the same technology, which I think is — part of travel is that you don’t want the technology to weigh you down or anything else to weigh you down; you want to be able to focus on what you are traveling to do.
Tom Mighell: Well, and you did make me think of the one thing that I didn’t talk about which was the other things. You talked about audio books and regular books and articles and magazines, I wanted to watch TV and movie, TV shows and movies while I was out there. And it is so simple and easy now. If you are a Netflix subscriber or an Amazon Prime Video subscriber, you can go into the store; now make sure you do it before you leave, don’t do it after you are on the road, do it ahead of time, so this is where the planning comes in.
But I went into Netflix and there’s an available for download area and it had a bunch of TV shows that I needed to catch up on. And so I essentially spent all my time on the plane binge watching television shows, both coming and going, and watched 10-15 different episodes of television while I was on there. And it was great. I didn’t need to have an Internet connection, I could just watch it there. Once you start watching it, you have got a short amount of time, you have got like 24-48 hours and then it deletes it from your device. It doesn’t want it. You can’t keep it on there forever. But it’s nice to be able to do that for free as part of your subscription and then take it wherever you happen to be with that Internet connection.
All right, before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.
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Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. We have got another question, but no audio this time. We really like getting the audio questions so be sure to send yours in. Let’s go right to the question. The question is, it’s probably no longer a matter of if, but when, so when are we actually going to be alive when the impact of AI truly starts to be felt?
Tom, you get to answer first.
Tom Mighell: So I am going to answer by talking about Google I/O, which is the annual Google Developers Conference that just took place right before we recorded this episode. And if you read the technology reports of it, the tech journalist reports of it, they will all say that it was not a very exciting conference, but it continued with Google’s mission, which is that AI, that artificial intelligence is the next great platform.
And so the types of strides that Google is making with AI, I think answers the question which is, it’s already being felt. Even if it’s only in small ways or if you consider them to be in small ways, I think Google aside, we are already seeing how Watson is changing the practice of law, several law firms are licensing the tool to do that, but let’s just talk about some things Google is doing real quick.
I mentioned Google Photos earlier, Google Photos is now going to give you the option that if you take a picture with somebody else in the picture, it’s already doing facial recognition, which you may find is creepy and there may be people who don’t like that, but the facial recognition can obviously identify who individuals are.
And then what’s interesting is that if you share that picture with your friend or vice versa, then Google learns that your friend is also on Google Photos, then it actually now has the ability to automatically share pictures with your friends if they are in them. So if you take a picture it’s automatically going to share that picture with your friends, you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself.
Again, there’s no friction, there’s nothing to do on your part. Some people may find that’s a little too creepy, but I think it’s helping manage your relationship with this person by doing something that you may have actually forgotten to do.
But what they are doing in general, and Dennis, you may talk more intelligently about this, is kind of huge with AI. They have a tool and they have a process called TensorFlow, and the best way to describe it in a way that I understand is it’s an algorithm infrastructure for algorithms. So it’s a whole bunch of artificial intelligence recipes that are bundled together and managed by the same kind of recipe that’s smart enough to decide which algorithm in the bundle is going to work best in your situation. So you pose a question or you have something that needs to be solved and it’s going to try to figure out which tool is best for you.
And one way that they are going to make this work is applying it to the products that they offer you. I don’t know if any of you watch ‘Silicon Valley’, the comedy show on HBO, but they recently had an episode where they introduced an app that they called SeeFood, and they said that you just point it at food and it would identify it, and on ‘Silicon Valley’ it didn’t do a very good job. It either said it was a hot dog or not a hot dog; that was the extent of its intelligence.
But a number of years ago Google purchased a tool called Word Lens, which allows you to point your camera at pictures and it would translate them into other languages. And I used that a little bit in China and Japan. But now they are just calling it Lens, so you can point it and it will do all kinds of things. You point it at a flower, it will tell you what kind of flower. You point it at a stadium or a conference venue, it’s going to tell you about upcoming events at that location and it’s going to provide a way for you to buy tickets.
You can point your camera at the sticker on your router and Google is going to identify the network and automatically log you in, which is kind of creepy and is a good argument for having — change the password on your router. But the fact that it can do that I think is really amazing. The fact that it’s smart enough to do it and this is already happening.
So it’s not a matter of in our lifetime, it’s happening right now and I think there’s just going to be more of it. I think it’s really exciting. I think we have a lot to look at, but I am excited by it.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I mean this question kind of expresses the running gag about artificial intelligence that it’s always just around the corner. So artificial intelligence, the term and the idea was kind of coined in 1942, and it’s kind of bubbled up at different times.
I know that in 1982 I was in law school in a class where we were talking about what would be the liability if an artificial intelligence tool made a decision and there was a car accident, like who would you sue? Well, you hear that question all the time about self-driving cars today, which is 30 plus years later. So it’s always been in the ecosystem, and when is AI really going to be here.
And in a podcast we did on AI, we talked about how — artificial intelligence sort of to me unfairly has the goalposts moved on it all the time, so every time it accomplishes something, like beats humans in chess, then it needs to beat a world champion, then it needs to — now it needs to beat them in bingo rather than chess. So it never quite gets to what people are comfortable with.
But we also talked about Kevin Kelly’s book ‘The Inevitable’, where he talks about AI in a way that I really like, which is he talks about, not just one general artificial intelligence, but this sort of notion that there are many artificial intelligences and what he calls artificial smartness.
And so I like to use the example of anti-lock brakes, which can do a lot better job of braking in a difficult situation than I ever could.
So I think we are seeing the filtering out of some aspects of artificial intelligence and so I think it’s a matter of where you look and what you are looking for. So I do think the answer to this one is we are really going to feel a significant impact in our lifetime, and let me be generous and say, put out at least 20 more years for all of us, and probably something significant in the nearer term. And so things like TensorFlow, the Machine Learning, chatbots, combinations of all these things. And then I think the notion of specialized AI and then how that gets converted.
So Tom, when you talk about Word Lens, or as they call it Lens and you are describing what it does, that’s a classic example of augmented reality, and it’s happening on the phone as opposed to saying, augmented reality requires like some sort of Google Glass or something over your eyes.
So really interesting things happening and I think it’s just a matter of saying artificial intelligence, if we kind of move away from this notion, this monolithic general artificial intelligence, there’s some really cool stuff happening in a lot of different areas and sort of changing our perspective, well, let us see, a lot more things are happening and they are probably going to happen pretty darn quickly.
So 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 hat tip to our friend Sharon Nelson for posting this on her blog where I caught it, NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently issued some revised guidelines on password security, and they have some changes here. They basically have admitted passwords are too hard or administrators are making passwords too hard by requiring us to jump through too many hoops with them, saying that if the bad people really want the passwords, they can get to those really complicated passwords a lot easier than hacking through them. And so they don’t require those anymore.
They say that the minimum length for passwords should be eight digits, which seems a little small for me, and they really talk a lot about two-factor authentication as being critically important.
I agree with all that. The one thing I didn’t see there was, well, if we are not doing complicated passwords then what do you recommend for the passwords. I need to read through more of it. I want to see what it is. But I think it makes for an interesting read. We will put a link to it in the show notes.
Dennis Kennedy: And this is sort of a technology issue, but sort of not, and it’s something that we face. So if you think about, as technology, it makes us feel more productive, we have even more of a tendency to say, yes, I will take more things on. And I think for a lot of us it’s hard to say no to things. It’s certainly without feeling guilty and especially in certain situations.
So I am recommending a blog post called How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty, 6 Secrets from the Experts, and we will put a link to the show notes for that one. But you can search on the name. But it has sort of six ways that you can kind of easily say no to people in ways that make sense and they will understand and without offending them, and for me, and I think for others listening too, just experimenting with a few of those and finding that you can clear a little space, so you don’t hear yourself voicing the word yes when your mind is saying no, no, no is definitely worth it.
Tom Mighell: So that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast.
You can find show notes for this episode at HYPERLINK “http://www.tkmreport.com” 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 of all of our previous podcasts.
And Dennis is right, we love getting your audio questions, so please submit audio questions to the Legal Talk Network if you are interested in having us air it on the show some time.
So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. And you have 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 the podcast.
Outro: 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.
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