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Featured Guest
Ron Chichester

An attorney, expert witness, computer forensic examiner, and IT systems auditor who is experienced in all areas of law...

Your Host
Rocky Dhir

Rocky Dhir’s dual interest in innovation and the law prompted him to establish Atlas Legal Research, LP in 2000....

Episode Notes

Technology has become so deeply embedded in our lives that we don’t even notice how much we rely on our phones, tablets, and computers, but how could technology like artificial intelligence (AI), which is in all of these devices, affect the current job market? In this episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast from the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, host Rocky Dhir talks to Ron Chichester How computers have become an integral part of our lives and what this means for the law of computers. They also discuss how lawyers should handle the quick advancement of AI and automation.

Ron Chichester is an attorney, expert witness, computer forensic examiner, and IT systems auditor who is experienced in all areas of law and technology involving computers and networks.


State Bar of Texas Podcast

State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting 2018: AI’s Impact on Jobs




Outro: Welcome to the State Bar of Texas Podcast, your monthly source for conversations and curated content to improve your law practice with your host, Rocky Dhir.


Rocky Dhir: Hello there and this is Rocky Dhir with the State Bar of Texas Podcast. I want to thank our partners at Legal Talk Network.

You know, chances are, you’re listening to this on some kind of a device. Maybe it’s an iPhone, maybe it’s an Android phone or a Samsung, maybe it’s on your computer, on your laptop or on some kind of a tablet. Whatever it is, if you’re like me, you’ve taken for granted the fact that, well, your computer exists and everything just kind of functions the way normally you’d want it to.

There’s a lot of legal issues though behind computers and that’s something, as lawyers, sometimes we don’t always appreciate. We might use computers in our legal practices, but do we really understand the law that goes behind computers?

Well, I know at least one guy who does. His name is Ron Chichester. He’s from Tomball, Texas which is just outside of Houston as far as the greater Houston, so to all the Houstonians, you’ve got a treasure in your midst. We’ve got Ron, what I — I call him The Rocket Scientist. Ron ‘The Rocket Scientist’ Chichester.

Ron, welcome!

Ron Chichester: Hi! Nice to be here.

Rocky Dhir: So, you’re an expert in — it’s not computer law, but it’s the law of computers.

Ron Chichester: Yes.

Rocky Dhir: Tell us about that. What do you mean by the law of computers?

Ron Chichester: Well, essentially, the law of computers deals with essentially any relation or any type of action any person takes with another person that uses a computer.

Rocky Dhir: That’s pretty much everything we do nowadays.

Ron Chichester: Yes. These days and stuff, everything — pretty much everything involves a computer of some type or another. I mean, your cell phone is a computer, your PC is a computer, the Internet of Things, anything that’s in the Internet of Things is also a computer.

Rocky Dhir: Or even what we’re doing now. This podcast, we’re talking using computer technology.

Ron Chichester: Yes.

Rocky Dhir: And we’re broadcasting using computer technology, so —

Ron Chichester: Right.

Rocky Dhir: Everything that we’re doing right now is computer-related.

Ron Chichester: Yes.

Rocky Dhir: So, when you say “the law of computers”, is this a big firm practice? Do you have a solo practice? How do you do this?

Ron Chichester: I have a solo practice. It’s best because of — from a conflict’s standpoint, I used to be an associate with Baker Botts and left the firm for a variety of reasons, but one of the big ones of course was conflicts.

So, in this particular area of the law, you have lots of little cases and if you have lots of little cases, then oftentimes, the firm is conflicted out, so, you need to have a solo practice or a very small firm practice if you’re going to do that type of work.

Rocky Dhir: So, give us maybe an example, and I know it’s probably a very wide swath of types of cases that you handle, but may be give us an example of a law of computers type matter that might come up?

Ron Chichester: Obviously, computer forensics, so if you’re doing e-discovery, then you’re in that. If you’re doing intellectual property, almost always, you’re doing that. So, for e-discovery, you’re getting information off of what we call the file system, either the cell phone or the PC or the cloud. If you’re doing like intellectual property, oftentimes, it deals with trade secret misappropriation.

So, an employee is taking files from the company and taking them somewhere else and using them for whatever reason, trying to trace what happened and things like that. And then you have the straight up intellectual property issues, the padding issues. You’ve done some invention and the invention involves a computer, that’s the same thing. So, you’re using all of those different areas of the law that just happened to involve a computer.

Rocky Dhir: So, we’ve all noticed I think that computers have — I don’t know if they’ve taken over our lives or if they just become — if we just become more dependent on them, but I imagine your practice has probably gotten a bit busier over the years to say.

Ron Chichester: Yeah. It’s changed in character. There’s actually a really good book out there, I forgot the author, but the name — or the title of book is called ‘Trapped by the Net’.

Rocky Dhir:Trapped by the Net’?

Ron Chichester:Trapped by the Net’.

Rocky Dhir: Okay.

Ron Chichester: And so, as computers have become more ubiquitous, they have become an infrastructure.

Rocky Dhir: I used the word “ubiquitous” earlier today. I was very proud of myself that I remembered it. That’s like vocabulary, like on steroids, that’s awesome.

Ron Chichester: Right, and but most lawyers know what that is. So, and as it has become ubiquitous and ubiquitous actually is the best word for it, as it has become ubiquitous and it is part of the infrastructure, then it has been subsumed in our lives, all right? And if you think about it, the sidewalk is infrastructure and you walked on the sidewalk and you don’t think twice about it.

Rocky Dhir: Sure.

Ron Chichester: But, that is a technology that has been around and so much so that store fronts have been built around sidewalks and people walk down the sidewalks in the stores, expect the people walking down the sidewalks to become customers, and it’s the same thing with computers.


People that use computers, and in fact, if you want to pay your bills now, the most common way to do it is with a computer, and 10-15 years ago, that was not the case.

Rocky Dhir: But that’s interesting. You’re kind of drawing this analogy, if you will, between the computer in the sidewalk, something that we use, both things that we use every day and we kind of — we traverse them although – albeit in different forms, right? We traverse both of those.

So, if there’s something defective in a sidewalk and we trip over it, there’s typically a premises liability type claim that we can bring. What happens in the computer context, if something goes wrong with the computer and our bill doesn’t get paid or we’re not able to access information that we needed that was crucial in a particular time, does that bring up issues? Is there a kind of straight analogy between those two areas of law?

Ron Chichester: It brings up issues, but in a different way.

Rocky Dhir: Okay.

Ron Chichester: If the law, as far as, a bad sidewalk is far better established, then the law of the bad software computer or a program not performing or not functioning correctly.

Rocky Dhir: Okay.

Ron Chichester: And so, when you have a bad sidewalk, you can point to either the owner of the property or the city who’s supposed to maintain it. With the software program, all the warranties are disclaimed even for fitness or suitability for purpose, anything like that, and also, everybody expects their software program to have bugs and that the bugs will eventually get fixed, but it’s more of a lousy fair aspect for computer software, much more so than other types of infrastructure.

Rocky Dhir: So, now one of the big issues that we keep hearing about is, I guess you might call them intelligent computers. The computers that are developing their own ability to judge and perform tasks, I guess the term is Artificial Intelligence, AI.

Ron Chichester: Yes.

Rocky Dhir: Have you been doing some work on that field?

Ron Chichester: Yes, I’ve been doing quite a lot of work with that field, and actually, to explain it, I usually say, I usually get the analogy that a software program is a set of instructions that performs a certain operation based on a certain input, right?

Rocky Dhir: Okay, sure.

Ron Chichester: And so, Artificial Intelligence is essentially the same thing with experience.

Rocky Dhir: Okay, so it’s able to do experiential learning?

Ron Chichester: Right. As the program is operated and used, it is actually learning and gathering experience and it uses that experience to hopefully improve its performance.

Rocky Dhir: So, as lawyers, is this an opportunity for us? Is this a sovereign call? I mean, we’re talking about computers now that presumably, there’s a law of computers, but then it looks like computers are also able to learn things that we, as lawyers might be used to just doing ourselves, right?

Ron Chichester: There are several things for lawyers to know. One is Artificial Intelligence. First of all is having an effect on their practice.

Rocky Dhir: How so?

Ron Chichester: Well, the biggest effect right now is more on their client base, that Artificial Intelligence is eating into their client base. It’s for the most part, for many attorneys, it is reducing the number of people that can afford their services, all right? And if you look at the labor participation rate, right now, last month I checked was April and it was 62.08% which is the lowest since, for about 40 years, and a chunk of that, not all of it obviously, but a chunk of that, a big chunk of it actually is automation. The Internet has destroyed more jobs than it has created.

Rocky Dhir: What types of jobs they are? Are these the types of jobs where people could already afford lawyers or — because there’s been talk about how there’s an access to justice problem and people who are maybe below a certain income level can’t typically afford very highly skilled legal services. So, what types of jobs and incomes are being affected by automation?

Ron Chichester: Yeah, any kind of job that is repetitive, that’s subject to automation. Any kind of job that is rule-spaced, that if you have a certain condition, you take a certain act. Any type of job like that is automatable. Any type job that deals with the computer network or deals with the software program ultimately is automatable.

So, car driving, you see driverless cars through AI. So, truck drivers, taxi drivers, their jobs are on the line. For accounts, because they are very rule-spaced and all the data is all on electronic form —

Rocky Dhir: Sure.

Ron Chichester: — so, those jobs are very automatable.

Rocky Dhir: The argument I here about automation is that you’ve got a higher accuracy, when you’ve got an Artificial Intelligence that is running a particular task. It’s cheaper and the number of mistakes is far fewer.

Ron Chichester: Yeah. I have an Uber speech, if you will.

Rocky Dhir: Okay. Oh, sure.

Ron Chichester: Because I go up to New York and — fairly often and I take a lot of Ubers and —

Rocky Dhir: The State Bar is neither endorsing nor making any comment about Uber or —

Ron Chichester: This can be Lyft or whatever.

Rocky Dhir: I’m kidding. I’m kidding. Sure, I know, I am kidding.

Ron Chichester: Yeah.


But just to pass the time–

Rocky Dhir: Right.

Ron Chichester: They asked me what I do and I said, well, I do? I do Cyber Law and Artificial Intelligence and stuff. And they say, oh, am I going to lose my job? And I say, of course, you are, and —

Rocky Dhir: Do they drop you off right there to stop the car?

Ron Chichester: No, they’re very nice. I mean, many of them were just wonderful, which would be a terrible loss for a driverless car because then I would just be looking at my cell phone, which is a bad thing. I enjoy actually the conversations I have. I met a lot of really cool people in Uber and Lyft and all the other ones. So, there really is something to be lost, but it will be lost. And what happens? When I tell them, I say, look, okay, let’s say — because they all say, I’m a better driver than a driverless car, and I’ll say, you’re right.

In fact, you’re probably twice as good. Let’s say you’re twice as good as a driverless car is right now. And they feel good about that. And I said, oh, by the way, there’s something called Moore’s Law and that the computer that is running the driverless car right now is going to have a brain transplant in a year and-a-half to two years and it’s going to have twice the computing capacity that it does now. And oh, by the way, the software is going to be way more than twice as good.

And so, in two years hence, that car will be every bit as good as you. And oh, by the way, two years from hence, that two years, four years from now, it will be four times better, and then eight times better, then 16 times better. And oh, by the way, all these cars and stuff are going to be networked, and so they’ll all be talking to each other, and so, you could easily have a car talking to 10,000 other cars.

Rocky Dhir: To make sure they don’t hit each other.

Ron Chichester: They don’t hit each other, but also to know which street has all the potholes or which street is blocked to get you to your destination quicker, smoother, faster. And oh, by the way, the car doesn’t have a bad day, the car doesn’t have a potty break, the car can run 24/7. Oh, and by the way, if you like the car a lot, you can make 10,000 copies of them.

Rocky Dhir: But as lawyers we’re not drivers, so, you think we’re safe?

Ron Chichester: No. Lawyers are definitely not safe. Lawyers have several things. One is we have to have clients. If our clients can’t afford us because they’re not working, that’s a problem for lawyers

Rocky Dhir: Sure.

Ron Chichester: Okay, then the other aspect is that there are processes; there are things that are done by lawyers. Often time, they are subject to automation, right? And so, when I’m writing a contract for a client and I write a lot of technology contracts. And so, part of what I do is type up the information unto an electronic document, right? And in that process, some of my thought processes are very legal and I’m trying to formulate how to go through and write the license sort of technology agreement for my client. But a lot of that process is simply typing the words into a document and all of that aspect of it is automatable.

And so, the realm of what a lawyer is going to do is going to start shrinking and the good part about a lawyer is being able to take the abstract concepts and take the law and apply the law, and do all the things that lawyers are really good, that’s what we go to law school for. And that aspect of it is relatively safe, not completely safe, but safer than the other aspects that lawyers do, and so the things that lawyers do like counseling clients or taking information in and listening to the clients, more-and-more of that is going to be automated.

Rocky Dhir: So, let’s go into the future. Let’s say we go — you’re envisioning this happening fairly quickly based on your notebooks.

Ron Chichester: Yes. Almost certainly within the practice period of everyone listening to this podcast.

Rocky Dhir: Okay. So now, let’s say we fast-forward 50 years, 30 years, whatever number you want.

Ron Chichester: 10 at the most — 7.

Rocky Dhir: Okay, so let’s say 10 years.

Ron Chichester: Okay.

Rocky Dhir 10 years down the road, there’s Artificial Intelligence that is running almost everything. And so, cars are automated, the practice of law is automated, and there is droves and droves and droves, a majority of the world is out of work. What happens then?

Ron Chichester: The system falls apart.

Rocky Dhir: Okay, do you see maybe there being a pushback because people want to have that person-to-person contact. So, although you alluded to this earlier that when you’re riding in a car, whether it’d be with Uber or Lyft or a taxi cab or whatever, you’re having a conversation with another human being. If that was a self-driving automated car. Number one, if everybody — if nobody has a job then nobody is taking cars anymore. They’re all sitting in once place presumably. They’re walking because they can’t afford the cars. So, you may not even need a driverless car, but let’s just say people are taking a car at some place. Do you envision them wanting that sense of community where they can reach out and talk to another person and have that contact?


Ron Chichester: I always want that when something goes wrong with my telephone service or whatever and I get this automated system.

Rocky Dhir: Right.

Ron Chichester: Yeah, and I’m trying to figure out how I can trick the system so that I can actually talk to a human being.

Rocky Dhir: Right.

Ron Chichester: Right. So that the human being knows how to solve the problem and get myself out of that automated menu.

Rocky Dhir: But theoretically, under your vision, automation is going to get to the point where you won’t dread that automated menu. It’s going to know what to do and it’s going to have a conversation with these. It’s going to be able to interpret and hear your tone and make those decisions, right?

Ron Chichester: Well, you will have the option to go and have a human do something for you. If you really want to do that, there will be a market for humans, but you will pay premium for that, and what often happens, just the same thing with automated teller machines or the machines you have at grocery store, just to self-check the tellers, right? And those are taking out people and might — I always go to a human teller because I want at least some money staying within the community employing people. My wife doesn’t care about that and she will just go to the automatic kiosk and give ATB or Kroger or More Money and she’s actually in a way taking away the teller’s job and that type of automation destroys jobs.

And what happens for her is, she thinks she’s reducing the cost of the grocery bill, which is not right, but what she is doing is she’s able to do it herself and she doesn’t have to have human interaction. It’s the same thing with automated teller machines. They’re more convenient. They’re around. You can run them 24/7, and so that convenience makes up for the lack of human interaction.

Rocky Dhir: So, it’s interesting actually that on the one hand you’re — all of your work is predicting this highly automated feature, but it sounds like you really don’t want that; that’s not where you want the world to go to if you had your —

Ron Chichester: Yeah, if you really want to mess up the capitalist system, then just take it to its logical conclusion quicker with AI.

Rocky Dhir: Okay, but you’re talking about how people lose their jobs and you’re wanting to keep those jobs in the community. So, your individual actions are aimed at trying to prevent AI from taking over, but she still see a future where AI will take over. Is that a fair assessment?

Ron Chichester: Well, the way the system is right now, AI is going to win. And because the people who have capital are going to use AI to reduce their expenditures. And so I had a client that made robots, which I thought were really cool, but they were from many factoring systems, and three years ago, the robots sold for $18,000 each and they would eliminate three people and —

Rocky Dhir: And today?

Ron Chichester: And today, they were $15,000, and last three years they eliminate three or four people.

Rocky Dhir: Okay.

Ron Chichester: Right. So, the cost of the automation is going down and they don’t take vacations; they don’t have potty breaks; they don’t get mad, they don’t form a union, and they do exactly what you tell it to do. Now, sometimes if you tell it wrong, then it will make lots of mistakes, but if you tell it right and get it going, everything works really, really well.

Rocky Dhir: So, what about our role as lawyers? What do we need to do to try to adapt to what’s happening in AI? How can we prepare ourselves? How do we prepare our clients? What’s your prediction to that?

Ron Chichester: The biggest take for lawyers is they need to prepare society for a period of mass unemployment and —

Rocky Dhir: How do we do that? That’s a tall order.

Ron Chichester: That is a tall order and I don’t know the answer to that question. I mean, other than organize, wake up, and see what’s coming down the line because essentially, what you were talking about, that kind of pushback that you mentioned earlier, there was a term for that, they are called Luddites, all right? And Luddites were people that suffered during the first industrial revolution, and we’re seeing essentially another industrial revolution. I mean, the first industrial revolution, you could say, automated manpower or muscle power —

Rocky Dhir: Sure

Ron Chichester: — and the second — this industrial revolution is automating brainpower.

Rocky Dhir: Wow, okay.

Ron Chichester: And so, you’re going to get the same kind of pushback and it took society many years, several decades, to subsume and change the infrastructure and change how people did things and change people’s outlook about what they could do for their future and for their careers. The problem with this particular one is that whole process instead of taking decades is only taking a few years, and so we’re seeing an enormous amount of dislocation; we’re seeing a lot of heartache, we’re seeing a lot of what am I going to do with my life? And the side — and it’s obviously a much bigger society now than it was 200 years ago.

Rocky Dhir: And this will happen to everybody because even — if I am understanding you correctly, even investment bankers will get automated and eventually even the corporate CEO’s will get automated.


Ron Chichester: Well, yeah, actually, right there right now there are things called Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), and for lawyers being that there would be like a.k.a. a digital corporation where there are no employees. And in fact, the reason for that is one of the most expensive elements of a corporation —

Rocky Dhir: The executives.

Ron Chichester: — is the salaries of the executives. So they, by demanding such high salaries and bonuses and such, they have made themselves right for automation. And oh, by the way, if you go compare them to AI, they make fewer mistakes, so the AI makes fewer mistakes.

Actually, I talked to a CEO once and I said, how is it to lead a big company and stuff like that? And his response was, it’s all I can do just trying not to make mistakes. But with the DAO, basically, the whole operation is encompassed in software. There are major companies. In fact, 75% of all software development is by companies for themselves. Most of the companies here in Houston and elsewhere in Texas and stuff having millions and millions of lines of computer code that run their operations that are called mission-critical applications. And these operations run, and without them, the company could not function, and eventually, those are the things that are giving attention and developers will add more-and-more capability to that software and need fewer-and-fewer people.

Rocky Dhir: Now, as these automated systems continue to grow and adapt, is it possible that they learn the wrong things and make mistakes or go the wrong direction?

Ron Chichester: Yes, certainly. If they’re taught incorrectly, they will make mistakes.

Rocky Dhir: Or if they just learn incorrectly.

Ron Chichester: Well, actually, a case I was handling up in New York with a New York client, they had a situation where they were using AI to make a decision whether or not to loan people money. And one of the factors — and AI needs data.

Rocky Dhir: Sure.

Ron Chichester: And then in fact, all the cell phones and all this information that people are churning out or generating and stuff that is being picked up by the Googles and Amazons and all those other companies that they get the data, is this data sold? And this was the case with the bank. The bank had all the information about how many were nonperforming loans and the government required that they track, the racial profile of who is buying, where, and all this other stuff. And so, the AI had that data available and subsumed it into its learning process.

Rocky Dhir: And then made biased. Who do you think are biased?

Ron Chichester: Well, it didn’t know it was a biased decision. It didn’t have any of the knowledge of the racial tones or issues about that. It’s just said, well, that was a factor and —

Rocky Dhir: I guess it was — what do you call a disparate impact.

Ron Chichester: Right, and it did have a disparate impact and the jurisdiction would basically say, you can’t use race as a factor of making that decision.

Rocky Dhir: Right.

Ron Chichester: So, the AI had already learned all this stuff and it had race built into the AI. And so, the company was like, well, how do we get this AI out or how do we excise it? And the answer from the engineers was, we can’t excise it out without ruining it. It would be just like giving the AI a frontal lobotomy, which is be a zombie at the end. They won’t work. And so, the company didn’t want to ruin the AI for other jurisdictions. They didn’t have that problem. They didn’t have that restriction. And so, they wanted to keep their AI because it was very useful, cut down their non-performing loans; it was very beneficial to the financial institution. But these issues with different jurisdictions were popping up, and so we actually — the way to get around that, at least in that case, was we had to add some extra AI at the end for those specific jurisdictions to try to un-bias it out.

Rocky Dhir: But that took humans to add that AI in —

Ron Chichester: Right, right.

Rocky Dhir: — which is ironic.

Ron Chichester: Right, yeah. But you still had to understand how the AI worked. And there’s quite a specialization. I mean, it’s not that easy to do this. I mean, if you’re going to write AI, you have to know Linear Algebra; you have to know Calculus; you have to know several other — it’s mostly Math.

Rocky Dhir: I learned most of that in second grade.

Ron Chichester: Right. And so, most of us learned in late high school or early college.

Rocky Dhir: And, I’m just good like that.

Ron Chichester: Yeah. And so most people don’t have that kind of a technical background.

Rocky Dhir: I must say, it’s a disturbing topic but it’s a fascinating one that you’re coming out within. This isn’t that you want automation to take over. You just say that it’s happening. It’s what’s going to happen based on your research of the world as it were.

Ron Chichester: Right, but for lawyers, it’s going to affect the profession much more profoundly because when you use AI and let’s say the AI is doing some type of 24:41. If it were a human, it would have been giving you legal advice, but since you were using a software program, it’s not the practice of law.

Right? And so, there’s going to be software programs out there soon, in fact, which will go in and you will tell an agent –- it will be an artificial agent that you want to strike a contract with somebody and you don’t care who, just somebody who fulfills certain requirements and you say, what you want and also what you will live with>


And the agent will go in and essentially like a reverse auction go around and find other agents that are selling these services and actually strikes the contract and automatically put that contract into code that can sit on a server and administrate the contract or put it on a blockchain so that it all can be viewed and all the monetary transaction and such can be subsumed into the blckchains through a cryptocurrency.

Rocky Dhir: Wow. Okay.

Ron Chichester: So, for a transactional attorney, that’s an anathema; that pretty much puts them out of business. And that contractual work is an %80 billion a year business.

Rocky Dhir: But then wouldn’t that be unauthorized practice of law?

Ron Chichester: No, because you’re using a software program.

Rocky Dhir: Okay. So, that’s the work around.

Ron Chichester: That’s the work around. And so, you could have a corporation like — I’m not saying Google is doing this, but think about it. If Google wanted to go in and say, look, the actual cost of getting a contract is so low now because of AI, it’s not worth trying to sell our legal services to draft a contract. Another business model would say, here, we’re on this Google contract and I don’t mean to pick on Google or whatever but they can do this.

Rocky Dhir: Right.

Ron Chichester: So, Google contract and so businesses say, oh, I’m not going to go to a lawyer, I’m going to go to a Google contract, and Google contract has this reversed auction contract site.

So, Google makes money by knowing these two companies are making this contract over this stuff, and oh, by the way, since the computer is doing it, it’s not privileged, so the companies don’t get any kind of confidentiality but they pay for that through the fact that the service is free.

So, it doesn’t cost Google very much money to go and draft a contract because it’s all automated but they get the information about who’s doing — selling what or doing what, which for them is vastly more valuable, and so there’s a business model there, right? Entirely done with AI, no lawyers.

Rocky Dhir: So, let’s say we’ve got some lawyers that want to contact you to find out more about this, maybe learn about this field or see how they can adapt or what they need to do. If there’s somebody wants more information, how they get a hold of you?

Ron Chichester: I have a website — actually I have two websites, I have, which I do a lot for my AI work and software development work, but I also have my law firm website which is

Rocky Dhir: That might be easier to remember, Ronald — well, let’s spell out Chichester, C-H-I —

Ron Chichester: C-H-E-S-T-E-R, Chichester.

Rocky Dhir: There we go. We did that like tag team spelling.

Ron Chichester: It’s right.

Rocky Dhir: Yeah, like if we could do like a double spelling bee, we might actually be able to win, you and I together. We can beat some of those eighth graders who keep winning every year.

Ron Chichester: I don’t think it works that way.

Rocky Dhir: Well, maybe we can develop an AI that will beat them. Is that a better idea?

Ron Chichester: Yes, but do it quick because —

Rocky Dhir: It’s already happening.

Ron Chichester: Well, for Texas lawyers, the way it’s going to work is, if you know how to do AI you can get a competitive edge right now. If you don’t do AI, you will be at a competitive disadvantage quickly and in about five years hence if you don’t understand AI and are unable to apply it, you won’t have a job at all.

Rocky Dhir: Well, then they need to get in touch with you to find out what they need to know.

Ron Chichester: Yes.

Rocky Dhir: So, all AI — it’s going to be just like electronic evidence or whatever. It’s all going to be subsumed and it’s all going to be expected. So attorneys, if you look at how the practice of law has not kept paced from an automation standpoint with other industries then the legal system is lacking.

Look what happened with education. Education had lagged the automation process for many years and now you have Mass Online Classes (MOCs), right? Where you’re learning differently, you’re learning online, but there you have one teacher having hundreds or thousands of students.

Rocky Dhir: Sure.

Ron Chichester: Okay, there was like MIT OpenCourseWare. The same thing is going to happen with lawyers where instead of billing your time for one client, you’re going to have to build your same time for many clients. And computers can handle that one-to-many relationship.

Right now humans cannot because the practice of law and the way the legal system is set up, it is forbidden to do a one-to-many relationship. The computers will able to do and that alone is going to have a huge impact on whether or not you’re going to be look forward to practice.

Rocky Dhir: This is a fascinating stuff. Well, this is been an eye-opening episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast, so Ron, thank you for joining us.

Ron Chichester: Thank you.

Rocky Dhir: It was a lot to chew and a lot to impact. We want to thank our friends at Legal Talk Network for joining us and for helping to make this happen. Please do check us out at


If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, if you find it fascinating and helpful to you, please go on to Apple Podcasts, rate us or go on to Google Play or your favorite podcast app and let us know how we’re doing and let us know what we can do to bring you some more useful content like what you just heard here today.

Ron, I thank you for coming on this ride into the future of AI, and remember, life’s a journey, so thank you for tuning in.


Outro: If you’d like more information about today’s show, please visit, go to Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and RSS.

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The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by the State Bar of Texas, Legal Talk Network or their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives. shareholders, or subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.


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Episode Details
Published: June 27, 2018
Podcast: State Bar of Texas Podcast
Category: Legal Technology
State Bar of Texas Podcast
State Bar of Texas Podcast

The State Bar of Texas Podcast invites thought leaders and innovators to share their insight and knowledge on what matters to legal professionals.

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