The iCyborg Lawyer Is Near?

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by Chrissie Lightfoot

iCyborg lawyers – full feature article available here now.
This article was first published in Managing Partner magazine on 21st September 2011 and is reproduced by kind permission.

Artificial intelligence (AI); nanotechnology; genetics; social networking; web 2.0 > 10.0; global economic effects; emerging economies; population time-bomb; employment time-bomb; working patterns and lifestyles; consumer sovereignty. Just a few things to consider for those of you who may wish to join me in playing ‘join the dots’. When you do, my prediction that the iCyborg lawyer is near may not seem so ridiculous…

Universal truth?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lawyer worth his salt must be worthy of employment for his lifetime. Do you reckon? I put it to you that no matter how fabulous a lawyer you are intellectually, you will meet your match and be superseded by iCyborg lawyer within the next two to three decades. Huh? Guffaw. Groan. Harumph. No doubt just a few reactions to my statement.

Well, I’ve recently returned to England after delivering a couple of keynote sessions at the Australian Legal Practice Management Association in Melbourne, Australia. As the theme of the conference was ‘Adapt, Innovate, Inspire’, I duly spent the final 30 minutes of the closing session looking at the present and future of the legal profession, industry and role of the lawyer. My intention was to encourage the delegates to think, feel and act on what I shared, hoping they would leave the event feeling inspired, eager to adapt, embrace more technology and to innovate by re-inventing themselves, their teams and their businesses in preparation for the bold new legal world.

Legal beagle booties…

However, in sharing my vision and prediction from present day up to the year 2045 I fear a number of the delegates may have departed the conference quaking in their legal beagle booties…

Why? Well, err-hum. I posed the question “is the iCyborg lawyer near?” and then proceeded to suggest that due to the ingenuity of man – supported with evidence – the answer is indeed a resounding ‘yes’.

I’ve written a full feature on this subject in Managing Partner magazine; available here now as featured on the cover of the October issue, first published 21st September 2011. Highlights of what I share in the article include my belief that we’re already transitioning toward ‘two faces of the law’. Two dominant umbrella business models have come to the fore in relation to what, where, why, when and how we serve our clients: Face to Face and Interface. Nonetheless, ‘WHO’, will be doing the serving in the future may well be rather different due to ‘machine systems’ coming into ‘their’ own. In the feature I talk about the humanization of lawyers, the impact of nanobots and brain computer interfaces and suggest that come 2045 iLawyers will transcend biology.

Utopia or road to hell?

Actually, by this time, in a utopian world (if we so choose it to be and manage not to destroy the planet in the meantime) I predict there will no longer be a need for us ‘purely human’ lawyers. Also, from now until 2045 it will be interesting to see how powerful pulsed magnetic fields which inhibit the ability to lie will impact our legal world. Time will tell whether this will be a godsend or the road to hell. Perhaps Susskind’s suggestion in his provocative book entitled ‘The End of Lawyers?’ may actually come to pass.

Undoubtedly, with Steve Jobs passing we have lost one of the world’s greatest technological innovators of our time. When we look back over the past 35 years and marvel at the impact Steve Jobs has had on advancing technology and introducing artificial intelligence positively into our world perhaps as we look ahead to the next 35 years the iCyborg lawyer may be closer than we dare imagine?

Fact or fiction, virtual reality or reality, one thing is for sure, as we continue to join the dots our world (and its technology and artificial intelligence) will inevitably evolve at an accelerating speed for “ours is the species that inherently seeks to extend its physical and mental reach beyond current limitations” (Ray Kurzweil).

Thank-you Steve Jobs, for dedicating your life to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, for being brave enough to think differently, bold enough to feel and believe you could change the world, and extraordinary talented and spiritually gifted to actually do it.

Chrissie Lightfoot
The Entrepreneur Lawyer, CEO EntrepreneurLawyer Limited.
Author of The Naked Lawyer: RIP to XXX – How To Market, Brand & Sell YOU!

Please do feel free to comment on this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Intrigued to hear more on this subject? Read The Complete iCyborg lawyers Feature Article Here NOW.
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