Is it ironic to recommend books to someone looking to read more about technology? We hope not. Anyway, there’s always e-readers. Last week we discussed some of the best courses for learning about tech. From UX design to coding, there’s something for everyone out there. But what if you prefer setting your own pace? This week we’re looking at five books for tech savvy lawyers. Some are about the future of the legal profession. Some are about the future of humanity. All of them should keep you entertained during the miserable autumn weather.
The Future of the Professions: How Technology will the Work of Human Experts, 2015: Daniel & Richard Susskind
Is a reading list for lawyers every truly a reading list without an appearance from Susskind? Most would argue not. Whatever your thoughts on his arguments that robots will replace lawyers, this is a fascinating read. Susskind examines the reasons why the legal profession is likely to change. Better still, it also examines how increasing digitisation will change our fundamental interaction with lawyers. But, many critics have pointed out that this book fails to address issues like privacy and confidentiality. Either way, it’s a great introduction to the legal tech field.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 2016: Yuval Harari
For those who feel strongly about privacy, this book makes up for what Susskind lacks. Many of you will have already read Harari’s previous novel, Sapiens. For those after a look forward instead of back, Harari offers up Homo Deus. The heart of the book wraps around a simple but chilling idea. That human nature in the 21st century will be transformed because intelligence is uncoupling from consciousness. In essence, robots with feelings aren’t going to appear any time soon. Instead, we will live in a world where Google knows our next step before we do. For anyone working with technology, then, this book is fascinating. Only time will tell if it is a cautionary tale. For an easier read but an evenly scary one, you could also read the Circle by Dave Eggers.
Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer, 2015: Chrissie Lightfoot
This book acts as a follow up to Chrissie’s first, The Naked Lawyer. As with the first, Chrissie emphasises the importance of personal interaction to combat increasing digitisation. “Going naked” as she calls it. However, this book takes a step further and examines the future of the legal profession itself. Big Law will find her news heartening. Their investment in technology and brand are likely to make the difference in the future. But smaller firms may find her advice useful. Particularly when it comes to exploiting their agility.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2011: Daniel Kahneman
Thinking, Fast and Slow was published in 2011, but remains highly relevant. This book focuses on the “dual-process” model of the brain. You have “System 1” and “System 2”. The first is intuitive, fast and cannot be switched off. The second is slow, deliberate and requires effort. You have to actively use it. For those wondering what that means, head to The Invisible Gorilla and follow the instructions. The book goes on to examine just how much these systems affect our lives. From inserting meaning where there is none, to the importance of chance. Not an easy read, but worth the investment! If you haven’t already read it, what are you waiting for?
The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive, 2012: Brian Christian
In a bid to prove Alan Turing wrong, Brian Christian sets out to compete in a Turing test and prove computers unable of fooling humans into thinking they are real people. Its a simple premise, and one that proves gripping. In order to find out how to identify the machine, Christian must identify how humans have been tricked by machines before. What follows is a fascinating examination of AI, computers and humanity. How, if asked, would you prove your humanity? This book intends to find out.