In addition to the main topics of jobs, income inequality, women and health care, which were discussed at the World Economic Forum at Davos, the impact of technological trends on politics, economies and societies was debated among the worlds top technology experts. To what extent the digital revolution will ultimately be a help or a hindrance to industries and societies is just beginning to be examined.
From the first slice of pizza sold online in 1994 to todays thriving e-commerce industry, there is no doubt that the Internet (or more precisely, Tim Berners-Lees Worldwide Web coupled with Secure Sockets Layer [SSL] encryption) revolutionized retailing. But as the dotcoms came to dominate brick-and-mortar enterprises, the effect on jobsespecially those provided to the lower socioeconomic sectorresulted in wage cuts, then layoffs and now a badly shrinking retail job market altogether. In this sector, the digital disruption has become a digital doomsday.
The AI Effect
The computerization of so many tasks heretofore performed by humans in both manufacturing and research has led to more employment opportunities for Artificial Intelligence than for Human Intelligence. Automation threatens to erode even white-collar jobsincluding in the service industryas businesses strive to increase their margins to stay ahead of the competition. The chairman of the worlds most popular search engine warned that the race for automation is a race between people and computers [that] people need to win.
Proponents of the emerging trends in technology counter that rather than being a disruption, the advance of technology is akin to the Industrial Revolution and holds much promise for reshaping both businesses and communities. Veteran enterprises and start-ups together will need to find new ways of joining forces to develop new products and services, and such harmony can only benefit mankind. They further argue that the spread of technology has brought down political and physical barriers, giving everyone an equal playing field for marketing their products and services globally. Indeed, a survey released last week disclosed that a majority of people, especially in developing countries, believe that technology will improve their economic well-being.
Regardless of which side of the debate will win out, one outcome has already become clear: As the march of technology outpaces the march of management in the telecom, media, energy and other high-tech sectors, companies are turning to takeovers to acquire the products, services and markets that they do not have time to develop on their own.
David draws on 20+ years’ experience in both legal practice and in business services delivery since his own call to the Bar in 1989. With several years in the startup environment, including as a co-founder in the legal tech space specifically, he brings a unique and timely perspective on the role of data, automation and artificial intelligence in the modern and efficient delivery of services for legal consumers. Having been both a corporate buyer of legal services and a services provider, he identifies the greater efficiency and value that can be achieved in legal operations for corporate buyers especially.
An attorney, David worked for law firms Pinsent Masons and Linklaters in London before moving to New York to join Credit Suisse. As CAO, he helped negotiate & execute the relocation of Credit Suisse into its new NYC global HQ. Subsequently, David directed major global outsourcing, shared sourcing, HR operations & process efficiency initiatives including the digitization of records, the global roll-out of PeopleSoft HRMS & Y2K. David has worked extensively in the UK, US, Philippines, India and China markets in the areas of data management, human resources and business process outsourcing.
Most recently, David has been successfully investing in and serving as an advisory board member of several legal services start-ups including a cloud-based solution for legal process automation and e-filing; and a technology solution for large-scale capture of court and other public data used for litigation analysis, among others.
David graduated from the University of Manchester with Honors in Law and Bar School (College of Legal Education) in London, and has been a member of Middle Temple since 1989. He is the founder and former Chairman of The Global Sourcing Council.
Member: Bar of England & Wales, ABA, NYCBA, ACC, DRI