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Marlene Gebauer 0:17
Welcome to The Geek in Review. The podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.
Greg Lambert 0:24
And I’m Greg Lambert. Marlene listeners know that I love asking guests to pull out their crystal ball and tell us about the future.
Marlene Gebauer 0:32
Who doesn’t love that?
Greg Lambert 0:34
I know Joseph Raczynski is a futurist who works with Thomson Reuters. So he came prepared with a crystal ball and was ready to answer our questions on the future, and what it has in store for us here in the legal industry. So we even got into the red pill blue pill matrix, when it comes to how AI and emerging tech can go for good or for evil. And so you know, it’s a great interview when the matrix somehow works its way into the discussion.
Marlene Gebauer 1:02
That’s right. So stick around for that. But now let’s get to this week’s information inspirations.
Greg Lambert 1:14
So I have a couple of I know this will surprise you, Marlene, but some smart alecky sayings when it comes to when we
Marlene Gebauer 1:23
Greg Lambert 1:26
This in this case, it’s when companies or organizations are wanting to bring in consultants to help advise us. The first saying is, and I usually use this at a conference when someone asks a speaker to answer a very specific set of facts that really only relate to that person asking the question, and I always say, you don’t need a conference, you need a consultant to help you out on that. And my other saying when it comes to bringing in consultants is that we do that to validate to the powers that be in the organization that the idea that we’ve actually presented to them is a good one. So that’s those are my two. But my friend, Tim Corcoran has actually has for much more realistic and somewhat less snarky scenarios that he talks about, in why businesses tend to hire consultants.
Marlene Gebauer 2:21
And he is he is a consultant. So he has to he can’t know snarky about it,
Greg Lambert 2:26
He would know. So his first one is that consultants help speak truth to power. And again, that’s that less sarcastic version of the example I just mentioned. But sometimes in internally generated ideas, great, it just needs to get that validation to give us some traction. Tim goes on to say that consultants can provide an extra set of hands when getting a project rolling or completed. The third example is that consultants can bring in domain expertise, there may be times when an organization needs to handle specific issues, but which traditionally lie outside their wheelhouse. And a consultant is a good way to kind of fill this need, when it’s needed. And then to move on when it’s time to move on. And the fourth one that he had is there’s a need to bring in a consultant for complex issue analysis. And Tim says that this is probably the highest value proposition for a consultant because the consultant can get the organization moving in the right direction much, much faster. So it’s good. I know a lot of us were challenged sometimes when when we think it’s time to bring in a consultant. And I think Tim’s article, which is entitled, “When and Why Clients Hire Consultants” is a good starting point for someone that may be thinking about bringing in a consultant.
Marlene Gebauer 3:45
Copyright is back in the news. This time it is jury instructions. Our friend Carl Malamud at public resource.org tweeted about a debate going on in Minnesota about whether the Minnesota jury instruction guides civil and criminal are protected by copyright. A freelance journalist Tony Webster sent a letter to the Minnesota district judges Association, hoping to win them over arguing the instructions are government iidx used to instruct jurors on how the laws to be applied and therefore not protected, and that the jury instructions should be available to the public for free. Well, the MDJA was not won over and stated that the instructions are guides only. Judges are not required to use them and can instruct however they see fit. They also noted that the appellate courts have ruled that their instructions are not binding and in fact may not even be a correct statement of the law in Minnesota. Well, okay, that’s a problem outside. You know, maybe you ought to look at that. But you know, let’s keep in mind that the claim of copyright is by a judge. All the authors of the instruction are judges, and the MD JA is located in the Minnesota judicial center. Also the MDJA is a 501c(6) trade associate that publishes the instruction for money and therefore restricts access. So this copyright argument may be a bit harder to prove than with state laws based on the claims here. But as Carl says, we are definitely not done with this issue.
Greg Lambert 5:14
Yeah, I’m curious to see how this goes. Because I think anyone that has ever served on a jury knows that that those jury instructions feel pretty darn binding when you’re making your decision. So I am behind Carl on this one to try and get those out into the public domain. So well, my next one really doesn’t count as an inspiration, Marlene, but if you want to see something really entertaining, take a look at the Twitter thread from this week’s press release from a UK company called Luminance Tech where they make the Kira systems acquisition by Litera sound like Kira was leaving the legal industry all together and it’s just an amazing
Marlene Gebauer 6:01
They just packed up and left.
Greg Lambert 6:03
Yeah, it’s it’s it’s an amazing press release. But there’s this great great quote in this in his very bizarre press release, where they saying “the remaining rump of Kira was disposed of in a sale to a third party.” This alone brought out some very fun responses on Twitter from a number of legal tech folks, my my favorite one was Jae Um, giving a video of your Rumpshaker from the 90s video remember that? So and and I threw in a quote, because we were wondering whether or not this was good publicity or bad publicity and and I pulled out the old PT Barnum quote, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” So it’s it. If you want to entertainment, go go check that out.
Marlene Gebauer 6:54
Yeah, that’s funny. I don’t care who you are. Like, I think I need to add some some peach emojis. What do you think?
Greg Lambert 7:03
Marlene Gebauer 7:04
So in keeping with my court theme, I just learned about an information tool put out by Paul Hastings that tracks court closings, reopenings and restrictions during COVID. It’s broken down into five sections, US District Courts, US appellate courts, the Supreme other courts and administrative agencies and various state courts. So I filed those last two under and more. But seriously, this is a sweet little resource for checking on what’s going on in your court complete with a summary and links to all the orders should you need the official documentation. Thank you, Mike Earl for the heads up.
Greg Lambert 7:37
Alright, and that wraps up this week’s information inspirations.
Marlene Gebauer 7:45
Today’s guest gives us a peek into a future where some estimated 85% of the jobs of 2030 don’t exist today. Well, that might sound a bit scary to most of us. This future is says there will be plenty of new opportunities emerging for those ready to take on a more decentralized world. We’d like to welcome Joseph Raczynksi, technologist and futurist and manager of technical client management at Thomson Reuters. Joe, welcome to The Geek in Review.
Joseph Raczynski 8:14
It’s great to be here. Thank you.
Greg Lambert 8:16
So Joe, you have a very unique role. And in fact, you have several unique roles there at Thomson Reuters, it’s seem to play into your mantle of being a futurist. So let me just start off by asking how do you describe what a futurist is? And why is having a futures in the legal space? important?
Joseph Raczynski 8:37
a great question. So it’s, it’s a tough one sometimes. But the way that I break it down is trying to look at the way that the world is developing, not just the legal industry, but everything. So as a kid, I would spend a lot of my time sort of breaking open things might be like a remote control, how does this thing work? How does it connect to my TV? And so it’s like playing around with just the basic things trying to get your head wrapped around that. And then when you start looking at other things, and this is gonna be a little weird, but when you start looking at things like in the medical industry, the financial industry, nature, even nature, and saying, Okay, if I can extrapolate out how something works in nature, can I pretend to look like how that will look within the legal industry? Let me try to give you an example for that. If we start looking at how things change with regard to saving information, might be like, Okay, well, we know that information right now is stored on a chip. Information is pulled down in ones and zeros and stored on a chip silicon chip. The way that we’re starting to see that change, probably four or five years ago, IBM came out with something where they’re now storing information on organic materials. So you can actually store information on a tree at the cellular level. So imagine all Have your libraries and all the information they’re in, stored at the cellular level on a tree? Why would you want to do that?
Greg Lambert 10:09
It’s almost I would do it just so I could say the tree of knowledge.
Marlene Gebauer 10:13
I would say like if you’re going on a picnic, you know, just kind of hanging out in the park and you want to like scan and like you can’t you can have a book on your your personal device and just read it.
Joseph Raczynski 10:23
Totally. So it really is. It’s about like, looking at how things work from my vision. And then extrapolating out on top of that, what’s going on in other industries? What is science doing, and trying to pull some of that back in to see what we might envision going forward within the legal industry. I’ve kind of seen this over the last, I would dare say five or 10 years, and it’s it’s happening. And there’s many examples on the ground, the roadmap, but I’ll hold off for now.
Greg Lambert 10:49
Well, just to go back to your original comment of when you were a kid, you would take apart things to see how they work. I did the same thing except my dad would just call it breaking stuff, because I could never get it back together. taking it apart and
Marlene Gebauer 11:02
you put it back together because that’s that’s the difference is the key. Joe, we had April Brousseau from Clifford chance on the podcast not too long ago. And she told us that Clifford chances strategic vision involves looking 30 years into the future to be ready for and be an integral part of that future. you’ve highlighted the findings of the Law Society future world 2050, which is also looking at challenges in the legal profession over 30 years. Can you tell us about the group and its mission and approach?
Joseph Raczynski 11:33
Yeah, that’s a great question. So it’s an organization over in the UK that’s really trying to understand the trends and what we’re going to see going forward. So one of the things they did was they worked with Acker TAs, which is part of Thomson Reuters to try to understand what we’re going to see going forward. And what was neat about it, is that it wasn’t just looking at the legal industry, which is, which is always what we tend to do, right? We, we spend so much time and it’s totally understandable in our own kind of silos. But we’re starting to see people break out of that. And what they did was they looked at various business and economics groups, of course, he looked at the legal industry, like 30 30% was them, healthcare, technology, international relations, environment, finance, even Arts and Design. And so what they tried to do is pull in about 15 to 20 experts in all of those areas. And they said, Here are some some thoughts, here are some concerns that we have, where do you see this going? And they sort of bucketed under for larger groups, and one is AI in emerging technology, which is where I spent probably too much of my time talking about with my team and the organization and in customers. But then they started looking at other areas. So what’s the geopolitical dynamics that we’re going to see going forward? What’s the data ethics and trust components of this? And then lastly, the environmental. So those are like the four big buckets. They toss out ideas, and there was like a grouping of question and answer. And then it was this, everyone getting together and sitting down with a dialogue? Where do you see things going? What’s going to happen from your lens, within the environmental area, from within the futurist area within the legal area? Where are things going to be impacted? When we’re talking about AI and emerging technology or China? What potential Do we have with China going down the road not to get the political at all. But if we think about China being the number one world power in 2025, so surpassing the United States, we think about their philosophy in terms of how they they rule their people, interactions that they have with their individuals, their the laws, regulations, all of that sort of thing. The social credit score, like so if Greg was were to walk across the street in Houston, Downtown Houston, and he was jaywalking, because he was, you know, he had to get over to two visits with somebody. They have cameras, like many, many cameras, in fact, I think it’s over 2.6 million cameras in Beijing alone. And so if they were the same sort of thing happening in Houston, they would see his his image, they’d see his face image recognition, it knows that he jaywalked and it would hit his social credit score. So that if he did that a number of times, then his social credit score would drop, and he might not be able to
Marlene Gebauer 14:19
talk to him anymore. If Greg
Joseph Raczynski 14:26
says those at its core, that’s what we’re talking about when we break this down. I think it’s an amazing paper. And it really helps encapsulate some of the stuff that I’ve been working on for years and years and years. But I love how they took a data-centric approach towards this in interviews and bubbling a lot of these ideas up.
Greg Lambert 14:44
For Joe, you’ve spoken about a matrix sort of universe where we as a global society can take the infamous red or blue pill approach to technology. And for those scenarios, you paint either a positive or negative picture. So can you explain how you came to this type of model and maybe give us an example?
Joseph Raczynski 15:08
So the world potentially is two paths forward. The paper outlines some of this. But I think it’s kind of fundamental to the way you both I’m sure, think about just the bigger picture of things. It’s a world that could be kind of scary or one that turns out to be a little more positive. It’s the same thing that I described with technology. I think technology is amazing. There are so many incredible things that we can do. But there are people that are adapting and using it, early adaptors are adopters. And they may use it for ill reasons, like horrible reasons, things that are very, very troubling for society. So the greater picture, the greater picture around this is almost future world A versus future world B. And then those models, let’s think of a future world A as something where the things that we talk about today in the news, or the news that we care about, as human beings turn out well. So let’s think about technology, AI and emerging technology, and various scenarios. So future world A is this idea that technology fills resource gaps. So we can see that in, oh, maybe let’s look at a discovery. But if we look at the discovery model, we think about over the years, people are applying more algorithms to look for that seeds. That’s you get your seed set of information, you look at what’s relevant, of course, and the machines can now do most of that, let’s say 70% of the work instead of having 200 attorneys, young associates, right out of school, spending 80 to 120 hours a week, calling through all this data to try to find that. So of course, now you could have a machine do that. So it’s machines understanding data a little bit better, and helping people find answers so that they can use it elevates their knowledge to do things that are a little bit better and easier and more fruitful for maybe their client, or their customer, whatever the case is. Future World B is a time when we start to think about applications of technology, maybe even inclusive of AI, automation, radically reducing the need or the demand for the human workforce. So highly compensated individuals could the ones that we think about, and we’re not going to name them, but the ones that we think about is at the highest end, the apex end of the spectrum, in terms of using their brains, their ability, their skills, in doing something day in and day out. That could be automated, that’s a little bit more of a difficult conversation and one that I’ve started having a little bit more with some firms across the globe, because in the beginning, we talked about augmented intelligence, and that’s machines, algorithms calling through data and surfacing up. So this is the most likely scenario of what it could help you out with, then you have things that are getting more evolved, advanced, that make it so that you can sort of advance the ball and make it so that at some point in time, you will have machines moving in the direction of that. It’s a little troubling for some. But the one last thing I’d say about this is that there are so many new things that are coming out that many people are not aware of, that are providing the legal landscape, immense opportunities, like ridiculous opportunities that are coming, that will fill the void for some of this stuff.
Greg Lambert 18:23
Well, my mind’s blown I’m
Marlene Gebauer 18:28
well, you know, and I’ve talked to you about this to Joe’s, like, you know, how do we, you know, how do we influence the decision, like, you know, how do we as a society, you know, move towards the positive outcome, when we know there’s going to be forces that are moving us towards the less positive outcome.
Joseph Raczynski 18:46
It’s a tough one in the way that I think about this is that I think most of us, including myself, sometimes we keep our head down, we have our tasks, we have our jobs that we do every single day. But a lot of the things that we do every day have an impact. And I think sometimes for me, personally, I need to lift my head up, almost pull off the blinders a little bit and say, Okay, what I’m doing right now can potentially have a much bigger impact on people around me, society, maybe my community, whatever the case is, even in what I’m doing day to day, at the firm, it can have a much broader perspective, if you think about it. So like, the environmental part that we talked about. So one of those four, you know, what are we doing day in and day out within the job that has an impact on the environment? Some of the challenges there that come up? And I don’t know if we want to go down this road or not, but it challenges the firm the essence of the firm itself, that who they take on as a client, if we think about firms taking on maybe big oil, so it could be I don’t know firms doing this, but I know many firms that may have clients as Exxon Mobil, maybe Philip Morris. So Going forward, is that something that they embrace? Do a deeper dive on? Yes, we work with these organizations, and they espouse X, Y and Z, and we’re good with that. There’s gonna be other firms have decided no, what we’ve decided to go down a different road, we’re going to be going in this area, which is away from that away from maybe the fossil fuels away from whatever. And that’s part of what firms are gonna have to think about what individuals, as they choose to where they work, will also have to think about. So it’s not just the day in and day out grind of what you’re doing. But there’s this bigger picture that I think people are starting to adapt and understand and, and bring on as a personal aspect of their job and who they are.
Greg Lambert 20:40
Yeah, and I think you see that in other industries, especially finance. And so I think the, you know, the California Teachers Retirement Plan, has decided that you know, how they’re going to set their investments have based on that environmental category as well. So I mean, it’s, it may be outside the thought process for legal but the other industries that are already ahead in that game, so I can see where we need to play some catch-up?
Joseph Raczynski 21:09
Yeah, I think you’re, you’re dead on with that.
Marlene Gebauer 21:11
So, Joe, I moderated an AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) session with you. I mentioned that earlier about the future of law. And you know, it was an absolutely fantastic session. And so listeners, if you can, I highly recommend that you queue it up. Now, we’ve said that there are a lot of people out there talking about the future of law, but your take is different. You know, it’s much broader. And can you give an overview of the themes that you touch upon?
Joseph Raczynski 21:36
Yeah, so I think the key to this is definitely, as you said, bigger and broader than what we’re normally looking at. I’ve spent probably the last 10 years of my existence at the company, really specializing in emerging technology. So artificial intelligence and thinking about AI in and of itself. When I first went and spoke with firms. I even remember one of my first days, our first trip was to visit with you, probably 15 years ago. I went with Tommy Williams, I know.
Greg Lambert 22:12
Back when Marlene was a teenager. That’s right.
Joseph Raczynski 22:18
It was so funny. It was with Tommy Williams and Natalie brand cine we visited you in New Jersey, I believe. And it was it was great, because it is so neat, and the dialogue in the conversation. And then I fast forward a little bit and five years after started introducing the idea of love artificial intelligence, and not from you. But from a lot of people in history and totally understandable. People gave a lot of pushback. They’re like, No, no, there’s no way that AI will ever have a place in the industry.
Marlene Gebauer 22:47
Just like email.
Joseph Raczynski 22:49
Yes, yes. So it was one of those things where it’s difficult for people maybe and myself included, to wrap our heads around something like that. But then you move in the direction of Okay, yes, incrementally, we’re going to see this chip away. And that’s where we’re at right now. So like this middle stage of Yes, it’s having an impact on different aspects of the business or the practice of law. And it’s going to advance in that space. We’ll see how fast and how far that goes. But it is definitely neat to see. So the emerging tech, of course with AI and blockchain and now cryptocurrency, and I love talking about NFT’s so non-fungible tokens as the perfect entree for the legal industry to get a better understanding about what we’re going to see in that space when it comes to, oh, computational contracts. So the entire reworking of the transactional practice, which is in and of itself, may be a separate conversation, but something maybe? Yes. So yeah, that was one area. Then, of course, we talked a little bit about the environmental space, which is huge geo geopolitical dynamics. So of course, with the previous administration, and not to get political, we saw how things switched and the philosophy of one administration versus another administration, the current and Biden administration, and how we control information, how we have access to information, all of those pieces are a big part of it. We talked about the environment I know. And then lastly, the data, the ethics and the trust component. So how do we trust the information that’s coming? And both of you know this, this last thing I’ll say about this, you know this with perfect certainty, you all receive so much information that you have access to volumes and volumes of terabytes, petabytes of information that’s around you. How do you know that it’s accurate? How do you know it’s it’s true? There’s so much again, that’s disinformation. There’s information that you’re not sure where it comes from. You may see it on a web set, but how can you trust that lots of things at play here that people have to start with Thinking about, but those are those four topics. All right, well,
Greg Lambert 25:03
let’s let’s jump into the the first one of those themes, which is the AI in emerging tech, you said that about 85% of the job concepts in the year 2030 do not yet exist. So I’m going to ask you to pull out your crystal ball and see, you know, what would you tell professionals in the legal industry about how to prepare and what you think are the areas of growth? Wow. Okay. So it’s an easier question just Yeah,
Marlene Gebauer 25:33
right. He’s a futurist, he must have a crystal ball.
Joseph Raczynski 25:38
Of course, of course, let me pull that out. So as the smoke that’s around the ball is sort of dissipates, so I can actually see this. And I hum to myself, so I can actually get to the point of trying to see it even more clearly, the way, the way that I would sort of extrapolate out some of the things that I’m seeing personally, personally that have unquestionably an area that I firmly believe, but we will see, the legal industry having to lean into is around decentralization. So we’re all familiar with centralization because that’s what we’ve, we’ve been born into. Everything that we have is centralized, our banks, our government agencies, everything in that space is working through an entity that says yes or no, that is the ultimate authority for yes or no, which it works really well, for the most part, until you have something like the crash of 2008 2009, where you had banks that have been around for 200, I’m sorry, 120 140 years, go under overnight. And then the ripple effect of that throughout the entire globe, not just the United States, but the entire globe, in the financial industry, the subsequent downturn of the economy, of course, the bankruptcies and everything that’s, that’s dealing with that. So what you’re starting to see, and part of this 85% of new jobs will be surrounding a whole new world around decentralization. So leveraging overly stated blockchain, distributed layers of Ledger’s that allow people to interact with and this is where it gets creepy, interact with computers that ultimately are unbiased, hopefully unbiased, running software that that does that yes or no, that says aren’t we’re going to store this information, could be a contract, could be money on this system that says, okay, Marlene, gave me this information. It could be a document, it could be some money. And it’s stored in this particular machine. And it’s just decentralized. So it’s in 1000 10,000 100,000, computers, they’ve all verified that cheats, she’s given me this information. It’s stored there. It’s secure. It’s immutable. And once that’s there, then you. Sadly, for better, for better or worse, depending on your angle, you disrupt and change entire dynamics, the entire banking infrastructure could be impacted by this. You’re talking about loans, you’re talking about all the different stocks and bonds, leveraging buying real estate, buying your car deeds to properties, all of that stuff can be decentralized. It’s working. Now, there are working models right now that that do this sort of thing, that are essentially smart contracts that bake this sort of information onto the ledger that’s provable executable, you can put those into written documents that an attorney would drop in the US lawyer would drop in the UK or wherever. That is a massive space in and of itself that people have not really played around with unless you’re in that probably 10,000 people in the world that have really started to play around with that. But that’s coming very, very quickly. So what one last thing is, it’s called what areas called decentralized finance, so defy for short. If people want to investigate that or talk about it, I’m happy to do so. But that’s an amazing space to be in.
Marlene Gebauer 29:10
So your second theme is geopolitical dynamics. You say economic changes are on the horizon and will significantly impact how we do business and with whom, generational changes, globalization, remote work, social movements, and national sentiment will all play a role. Now, this seems like an area desperate for the touch of an information professional. So much is happening and it needs to be corralled into something actionable. What role do lawyers and information pros play here?
Joseph Raczynski 29:43
So this is another one that’s going to be fascinating to watch play out. So the role for attorneys and lawyers and information analysts and providers and librarians and everyone in that space people curating information is that we’re going to see this bifurcation In the splintering of the internet, it’s already started to happen. So what we’re all used to right now from, I would say, when I first started getting into this in Bolton boards is again dating myself, Bolton boards were to have to go the library, and I would get a magazine in the back of the magazine, people would have phone numbers. And those phone numbers were numbers that I would dial in with my modem to connect to a bulletin board, on those bulletin boards on the predecessor to the worldwide web was this ability to interact with people about concepts or thoughts or ideas. That was a fairly unified way of interacting on the internet then became the worldwide web and everyone basically had access to it. So with different philosophies, be it China, or be it, North Korea pretends or Iran or, or a country like that, they are now developing their own internets that are completely and totally closed off, for the most part, from outside interactions. They’re segmented, they’re firewalled. And so part of that is something that we’ll have to either come to grips with, how does an information provider, maybe it’s a country, that sort of borderline that interact with that country or work with that country, or look at the data provisions that they have in that country, or the rules or regulations, the laws in that country? If it’s something that they have a client that needs to sort of work with? That’s part of it, then it’s just the philosophies behind them. So how do we, how do we engage as a firm decide to interact with clients that are going to be bridging those spaces, or to become more segmented? So it’s just Europe, in certain parts of Asia, the Americas that are dealing with certain things? It’s, it’s starts to get a little bizarre and surreal in that world, I think,
Greg Lambert 31:45
yeah, I could see where things like nationalism would play a major role in that. So let me move on to the data and ethics and trust portion. And it’s something that we’re actually grappling with right now. And with things emerging that you hear and read about, like public mood monitoring and implantable tech, you know, I think it’s just going to get more complicated as we go along. So what questions do you see law answering and through what means and how do we information professionals play a role in this?
Joseph Raczynski 32:21
So I guess that I mean, it’s a fundamental it’s a really interesting question, if you think about this because all of these components so that the data, where are we getting data? And as we see much, much more of it out there, then you applying, you’re applying ethics on top of that, and trust. So are you trusting that data? Are you trusting the algorithms, they’re helping you try to bubble up what’s most important to gather from that to serve up if we’re talking about augmented intelligence, helping you make decisions about something because some people say that there are no experts in the world anymore, which is crazy to think about. Because there’s so much information generated, it’s almost impossible for any one of us to be an expert in everything, because there’s, there’s just too much coming down the road. So I think the way that I personally look at this is going to your trusted sources, hopefully, it’s maybe it’s one of your vendors, maybe it’s it’s the agencies, the government agencies that you’re working with, to pull data from them. That’s at its at its core, the most important aspect about this, man, there’s something called GP three out there, GPT, three out there, that is Ilan musk project, he’s got so many projects out there, love them or hate them. He’s got many different things that he’s playing around with. And what he essentially has now is the largest store of information in the world. I mean, it blows away I believe, what Google has, or what any other of the biggest companies has in the world has this information. And then on top of that, are the ability for any one of us to tap into that using algorithms that they built on top of it. So you can craft the algorithms you can play around with them. I always call these algorithms cartridges, you pull off the shelf. And back in the day, when I would put them into a play a cartridge, play a game, Video game, I’d put the cartridge in, and it would do something. But now you have the ability. And I think this is where I talk with lots of people in the research space research analysts, the librarians, lawyers, and attorneys in this too. We’re at a point now, where the algorithms and some of the vendors that are out there are producing algorithms that you can tweak yourself. You don’t necessarily have to be a programmer. You don’t have to be a data scientist. But there are now gooeys or general users that are able to go in and play around with these tools and tweak them. So you have it call through the data. Maybe it takes a few minutes. Maybe it takes a week because it’s a huge data set. And it brings back this information. And it’s like a supervised learning model. It brings back the information you’re like Yep, that’s great. All right. Now, you Well, machine, what the heck did you just come up with, you know, back to work, and then you send the machine back to work. And then hopefully, it surfaces back up to you with additional information that helps you make your job easier. So that data and then then, you know, in your ethics, the ethos of your company, your firm, and trusting the data that’s coming is all part of that’s sort of is intertwined. I think.
Greg Lambert 35:26
I just wonder, though, with this, can the law keep up with this constant transition? And I would say, as an information professional, will we be able to understand, you know, something that, that we shouldn’t trust until it’s too late? I mean, it just seems like, it may just be so far ahead of us that we’re going to always be paying playing catch up on this. And I, Greg, I
Joseph Raczynski 35:53
think you’re absolutely right about that. I mean, there’s always an element of playing catch up in almost any one of these spaces, I spent a lot of time in cybersecurity front, and back in the days being a little bit more of a white hat hacker. So I would try to break things, try to understand them from, from how I could help whatever organization was doing something. So trying to break into something just to show them, Hey, you got to patch this, you got to fix it. Some of these technologies, people are always going to be just ahead of us. So it’s a matter of being nimble being adaptive to see what’s happening, be at the algorithms be at the bias in the algorithms with a bias in the data. And being open to to looking at these things, to getting the hands-on with them as early as possible. And then I’m seeing it right now within the bill. It’s about to pass for I believe the transportation bill. That’s that’s in progress right now. Not too far away from me in DC. And part of it is it’s a 2000 page bill. And it’s people trying to understand what’s happening, what they’re trying to put out, and what they’re trying to do. And part of that is being in mashed in what is happening and what’s going on and understanding the trends understanding a little bit of the technology, you have to understand at the code level of understanding some of these things, and then trying to extrapolate Okay, what impact could this have on my daily job? What impact does it have on my clients, all of those things start to come together, when we take a bit of more of a macro level with some understanding of the micro stuff that’s going on under the covers, so to speak.
Marlene Gebauer 37:28
You know, it’s interesting, Greg, Greg’s question and your answer. And, you know, I just remember back in the day and in library school, I mean, and, you know, early on in my career, it was very important to point out trusted sources. And you know, the fact that okay, you know, we’re always going to be a little bit behind, I think it becomes even more important to essentially highlight that we are a little bit behind, and here are the things that you need to watch out for. When you’re you are going to look for information,
Joseph Raczynski 37:56
perfectly stated. Absolutely. Right. Yeah.
Marlene Gebauer 37:59
So I think many worry that we’re not addressing or keeping up with environmental change and its impact. And, you know, I know I speak for myself that I’m one of them. I imagine regulatory work plays a key role here, as well as business advice to clients and advocacy as well. Should lawyers have an ethical obligation to advise in a green way? How do you see law making a significant contribution here?
Joseph Raczynski 38:27
Wow. It’s, you know, in a perfect world, you would like to say yes, and I’m, because you told me about,
Marlene Gebauer 38:34
like, you know, maybe maybe choosing your clients, you know, in sort of an ethical way. So this, this sort of plays into to that discussion.
Joseph Raczynski 38:41
It does in, I don’t know what’s going on with his world, where once in a while, I get prospective attorneys thinking about going to law school or in law school, and they reach out to me, they’re like, Hey, you know, what do you think about this? And again, I don’t know what they’re thinking, reaching out to me. But what I, what I sometimes say, and what’s so cool about talking with people that are at that phase of life, is they’re already keenly keenly aware of what’s going on with the environmental impact far more so than probably that, you know, I’m not going to get into the ages and thing, but different people at different stages, some are more in tune with it, just because it’s part of them, or maybe it’s not maybe hasn’t been a focus for them. So you see this switch. And that’s what’s so impressive and cool and promising for the future is that people that tend to be going into law school now or just coming out of law school or just starting their careers for a second, third year, whatever it is, are already thinking about this. And I’m extremely fortunate to be part of ABA Council on it on innovation. And they have an amazing team over there. One, one guy in particular, Joey Gardner, who is thinking about things in the big and thinking about what the ABA needs to think about because I respect the ABA and what they’re doing but There’s a lots of moving parts. Someone once told me, and I’m not sure if this is 100% true, but that there’s maybe 9000 groups inside the ABA. Again, I’m not 100% certain That’s true. But there’s a lot of groups like fighting for different things, different concepts and different ways of doing things. So one of the things that I think people are starting to think about is exactly what you just described. And the question in and of itself is, should this be a part of the way that people think about the practice and what they’re doing? And should this be part of their education or a mandate that’s put out by the ABA, for someone who’s practicing in the United States as part of the core components? I would think that in time, yes, it should be if it isn’t already. It should be. But that’s just my personal perspective, my lens.
Greg Lambert 40:50
So now that we have a futurist on the show, I want to make sure they take the opportunity to pick your brain and asked you, do you see any fun, cool tech that we’ll be engaging with in the coming years?
Joseph Raczynski 41:06
There’s a ton. So let me first talk to something that I think will be relevant to your listeners, especially, maybe knowledge management, maybe in the data side, librarians research, all of that fun stuff that people are definitely not talking about. I went to a meeting of the minds and I was just a guy on the wall, and just watching what was happening, and it blew me away. So one thing that’s coming down the road that I want, everyone I guess to be aware of is something and it gets very technical. So I will not go through it all. But it’s called zero knowledge proofs. zero knowledge proofs are it’s cryptography, that’s been around for quite some time. But what it allows people to do is share information once the information has been sanitized. It allows people to share information, be it sensitive information, or on sensitive information, PII or not, and share that with people very easily, very cleanly, without, without sharing the essence of that information. So like, let’s say it’s my full name, and my social security number, I can prove that I am who I am. Without giving that information out. I can give you almost like a coated piece of information might be a bunch of ones and zeros and x’s, but it proves who I am. And you can without a doubt proof that that is who Joe is through this bit of information. And what we’re going to see is that move into a lot of different spaces when it comes to data management, the cleansing of data, making sure that it’s accurate, making sure it’s provable. So z KPS zero knowledge proofs are coming down the road, especially in this particular part of the industry, I think is worthwhile mentioning. But then, of course, we couldn’t go without talking about, I don’t know, smart toilets. I will not go down that road. But you can imagine what a smart toilet could do for you.
Greg Lambert 43:06
That will be for Patreon people that don’t have to pay for that one.
Marlene Gebauer 43:12
I was interested in like the smart dust and sort of the the implantables that basically having chips implanted into people and then the smart dust which is literally like these tiny chips, just you know, floating around.
Joseph Raczynski 43:27
Yeah, so this smart dust is so fascinating. It came out. It’s a Hitachi piece of work. And basically, it’s little pieces of looks like das probably as big as when you you tap down your pen to make a.at the end of a period, whatever period at the end of the sentence. It’s as big as that. And there are probably hundreds or 1000s of these things. And you can rub it on. I don’t know a car or rub it on a shirt, and what they are GPS enabled chips. And yes, there’s some significant problems there with privacy. But you could track things. I mean, there are clearly good use cases for that. But net hits on all different sides. So there’s wonderful use cases for it to track things. Maybe it’s your dog, or maybe it’s your kid who you let out for the day, who’s seven years old, down, one block down to go to the park, you’re able to track your kid very easily. They don’t have to worry about it. It’s on their shirts on a device they have to hold on and lose or break. It’s on them. But you’re able to do that. But then you have the people that are doing that maybe with their girlfriend or right these horrible things, which you only want to think about the implantables is freaky that
Greg Lambert 44:33
Yeah, what about the implantables?
Joseph Raczynski 44:36
So the one that I think is most fascinating, and I talk about it almost every time that chance that I get to do so. So I apologize for anybody’s already heard this, but there’s a PhD student now fully a doctor at MIT. And he came up with this idea of a device that wraps around his his ear goes along his chin and goes just below his lips. It’s got force sensors on it, it looks extraordinarily Goofy, and have a picture of it somewhere. What it allows him to do is interact with any IoT connected device. So any internet connected device, he can use his mind to, to communicate with. So, as you all probably heard that you’re like this, Joe is that is, is another, like, What is he talking about? This is ridiculous. You’re not saying it, but you may be thinking about it. So our brain works, obviously in a ways that the synapses are clicking, and then it sends things to our lips, it sends things to our tongue to our muscles. So those four sensors that are along his face are actually picking up on that before he utters the words. And so as they pick up these, these impulses, it’s then translating that into actionable items that it’s converted into the IoT device. So if I’m sitting on a couch, I’m actually looking at looking at the TV and I want to change the channel. I’m saying in my head, changed the channel for I don’t say it, I don’t word it, it then changes the channel. So you can imagine, maybe husband and wife or two partners that are have these on their heads. They don’t have to talk but they can hear their their internal thoughts from the other person. That’s a scary world. Yeah.
Marlene Gebauer 46:14
I don’t understand why you don’t do the dishes.
Greg Lambert 46:21
Yeah, probably best if we don’t have those in my
Marlene Gebauer 46:26
to figure out how you turn them on and off.
Greg Lambert 46:28
There you go. There you go. Well, Joe Raczynski. From Thomson Reuters. I really appreciate you taking time and and talking to us about the future.
Joseph Raczynski 46:38
Yeah, my goodness, Greg, and Marlene, thank you so much. I really appreciate the time, it was a lot of fun.
Marlene Gebauer 46:45
Well, how fun was that conversation? Greg, I mean, far reaching that, you know, like, so many times, I’m just like, wow, wow. And like really made me think about how some of these things that don’t really seem connected to law, really are connected, or really are going to have an impact and influence on how things move forward.
Greg Lambert 47:08
Yeah. And it’s in it’s good to have someone that’s that’s looking out there. And I think he’s right. I think a lot of especially the decentralization that’s coming. And I know the the non fungible tokens are kind of a big and fun thing right now. And somewhat expensive. But I think it’s, you know, that’s the crack or the, you know, the opening of a door to that decentralization. And I think, you know, I think he’s right. There’s a few people that are thinking about it right now, but it’s very few. And kind of like, what April Russo taught us last week, was that, you know, you’ve got to be ahead of the disruption. And I think right now, we’re probably behind on the disruption.
Marlene Gebauer 47:52
Yeah, yeah. I mean, again, like you said, a few people maybe are there but now we have some catching up to do for sure. So once again, we want to thank Joseph Raczynski for visiting with us and telling us what the future holds.
Greg Lambert 48:07
Absolutely. Thanks, Joe.
Marlene Gebauer 48:09
If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media or leave us a voicemail on geek and review hotline at 713-487-7270. And as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca. Thank you, Jerry.
Greg Lambert 48:25
Alright, thanks, Jerry. Talk to you later.
Marlene Gebauer 48:27
All right, bye, Greg.