The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness

I have been looking for an excuse to pay my homage to the wonderfully eclectic band, The National, from whom I borrowed this blog’s title. 

The rest of the chorus works quite well for our purposes here:

The system only dreams in total darkness

Why are you hiding from me?

We’re in a different kind of thing now

All night you’re talking to God

Many have been seen to scratch their head with many developments in the tech world as many had wondered exactly what was meant by the National’s song; a mystery to some.

Singer and lyricist Matt Berninger told Pitchfork

“That one’s less about relationships than it is more of the strange way our world and our idea of identity mutates – sometimes overnight, as we’ve seen recently. It’s an abstract portrait of a weird time we’re in.”

Fair play, we can agree about the weird times and that there is considerable mystery in the world of technology for most people and no more so than the much heralded Artificial Intelligence. For many that system, whatever it might mean, does seem to dream in total darkness and beyond many users’ comprehension. We think we love it and need it and it might be a force for good but is it? 

AI certainly seems to engender both excitement and fear in equal measure. Investors and many businesses believe that its increasing role in current future technology roadmaps is inevitable and to be encouraged. For the average punter, trust is not so easily won and certainly, there have been some classic examples of why in particular AI applied to the legal industry does not always provide a good outcome.

Forget artificial intelligence for a moment and perhaps we should consider what makes the intelligence of a human work and deliver the outcomes that can be trusted. Yes of course there is a level of intellect that can be applied to digesting information the brain receives and the ability to assess and order the thoughts that result in opinion, recommendation and decision. Assuming that there is a capacity for this that can be both trusted and consistent, there remains the thorny question of the information all of this is based.

It would seem therefore in the simplistic form that AI is very dependent on the information or data it ingests. Yes, that old mantra if you put garbage in you get garbage out. Now I realise that this vastly underplays the ability of the technology being developed in the world of AI to go well beyond that prima facie statement. Not least the ability to challenge and extrapolate extends well beyond the simple reordering of facts accessed through the data sets provided.

So here is the challenge for any working in the legal tech world and indeed outside it, how do we integrate AI into the process of the law to make it accessible, truly affordable but ultimately 100% trusted?  

Springer is excited by the work that we are now engaging in to meet our prime objective of delivering our Revshare legal service to a massive market that feels that it is underserved and overcharged. There is great work being done around the world on the process of bedding in AI and other emerging technologies to reach these goals and we are delighted to be part of it.

We remain very interested in talking to others on this journey whether they are tech, legal or user parties. Feel free to contact us. We can learn from each other.

As a side swipe, I am still coming to terms as a putative composer as to the opportunity for myself and others to create genuinely original music from the many wonderfully smart pieces of AI-based composition software. It does not feel right, whereas in making the best RevShare deals it does. 

Umm to be pondered. Until next time, as summer hopefully finally gets into the swing of things the sun is shining and I get back on my music hobby horse.  As the man says it is: “Just bees and things and flowers’’.