The Law Society’s Future Worlds 2050 project gathers a group of thinkers for raw, frank and honest discussions. About future client needs, to postulate the legal business models that will meet them in the future.
A rise in resources directed to the use of data. The lack of a clear ethical framework guiding AI development. Continuing mixing of cultures. Exponential increases in the exchange of ideas… All these trends create new possibilities for the practice and application of law.
But what will be the key trends to shape the world of tomorrow? How will the future world impact and change the legal profession?
Changing geopolitical dynamics
One of the subjects in the Future World Project is how there will be a shift of power dynamics between the world’s leading nations. By 2050, E7 nations will overtake the G7 in terms of economic strength. Nationalist superpowers are shifting. China overtakes the US as the world’s biggest economy by 2026.
Countries are realizing that their supply chains are international dependent and vulnerable. During Covid-19 and now with the war in Ukraine, it has been proven how uncertain this dynamic is. We will replace global supply chains with regional networks.
Another huge dynamic change will emerge from generation Z. We’ll see a generational gap in allegiance and identity. The impact of Black Lives Matter and fighting against climate change are just a few of the social movements that will dominate future generations.
Emerging technologies and the ethical questions that follow
We can expect that by 2030, AI will contribute $15,7 tr. to the global economy. New technology is created faster than ever, and it’s inevitable that it will only become larger part of society. Particularly, our work tasks will change rapidly as the traditional jobs are taken over by machines and AI. In 2030, 85% of all job concepts are still unknown. They simply don’t exist yet.
Soft skills like empathy, creativity and problem-solving will be the most important qualities to master for humans. Merely having great knowledge on a subject will not count for as much in the future. It will be possible to transfer experiential knowledge from one organism to another via an ‘experience chip’.
As it develops, our use of technology only expands. And we’ll only become better and better at using it. But how do we make sure to use it right? Ethically, fairly, without bias? GPT-3 and open-sourced AI are speeding up this development.
The increasing use of personal data raises important questions of who will be able to own, access and use data in the future.
Algorithms that are addictive and exploit harming content have the potential to cause serious damage. At an individual level but also in the credibility of institutions. The pace of development and the application of AI and other emerging technologies will raise challenges in terms of potential for breach, harm, freedom of speech and liability. The current Twitter discussion with Elon Musk is a great case in point.
The future of law with a changing environment
How will climate change influence future law practice?
Climate change will have disastrous and far-reaching effects. Food, water, and energy sources will eventually empty out if we don’t take serious measures soon. But our international ability to fight climate change together will be held back by our geopolitical difficulties and too often, we overlook the role of the law. So how do we reach the Sustainable Development Goals?
The report made by the Law Society’s Future Worlds research aims to provoke discussion. To identify challenges and present opportunities in the profession of law. It will help to predict and prepare for a new legal ecosystem. Raising difficult questions for further debate. When clinging to the status quo, what must the profession be ready to supply to meet shifts in client demands?
Want to read more about the Future Worlds 2050 project, the legal sector and emerging disruptions and uncertainties?
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