Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Interesting approach: the mistake made by journalism when adopting new technologies may help justice/law to avoid those mistakes.
Original authors and publication date: Kristian J. Hammond and Daniel B. Rodriguez – Sept. 28, 2019
The legal profession is in the early stages of a fundamental transformation driven by an entirely new breed of intelligent technologies and it is a perilous place for the profession to be.
If the needs of the law guide the ways in which the new technologies are put into use they can greatly advance the cause of justice. If not, the result may well be profits for those who design and sell the technologies but a legal system that is significantly less just.
We have seen this same type of fundamental change play out over the past 20 years in the field of journalism — another arena in which the power of technology and the needs of people in a democracy are deeply intertwined. Decisions made early in that transition, driven by what the technology could do rather than what journalism should provide, have had a profound impact on the types of information citizens receive.
The lessons learned about mistakes made in the early days of the transformation of journalism provide an exceptional opportunity to understand and shape the future use of technology in the law.
An important element of journalism is called relevance. Before the web, relevance was provided by editors, and it came in the form of op-ed pages, articles that provided background, long-form pieces that explored other angles of a story and pieces about contrasting points of view. A reader would learn not only the issue at hand but other information and views relevant to it.
When online journalism went to scale, the technology could not provide relevance, but it could provide similarity, and as a result, similarity became a proxy for relevance. Start with a set of words, or a document and your favorite search engine will find you others that are like it.