The Mindfulness Blog

subscribe to RSS feeds

« back to all blogs

Going Off Grid

Innovation is all the rage, these days. Especially when it comes to integrating new technology into our lives--both personally, and professionally. But how do we integrate new technology? How do we
interact with it?

What exactly is this Fourth Industrial Revolution that we've heard so much about, and is it only about technology, or artificial intelligence? What about us -- how do we fit into the mix? What is our role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Do we even have a role?

In April of 2016--three years ago-- the American Bar Association ("ABA") published an article heralding the influx of technology and artificial intelligence, and declaring that it would change the legal system--which it certainly has, and continues to do.

Query: What is our relationship with the ever-evolving technology and/or artificial intelligence that we are using to practice law? Will that relationship change, and if so, how? Are we doing anything to insure that we--the human beings who are currently the master of the relationship--continue to be relevant and necessary?

Spoiler alert: I am not a doom and gloomer. I am not skeptical of the idea that the advance of technology and artificial intelligence is a good or useful thing. I am, however, a proponent of the notion that human beings need to be mindful of the role that we must continue to play in the administration and enforcement of something as complex and subtle as the law--the rules by which we choose to govern ourselves.

It should come as no surprise that I'm an advocate of mindfulness and meditation as ways to manage the evolving relationship between lawyers and technology, or artificial intelligence--they're more than just brain-training, as important as that may be. Mindfulness and meditation also encourage--dare I say, nurture--curiosity.

Curiosity can no doubt be targeted by programmers and replicated to a degree, but at root, I believe the quality of curiosity is fundamentally inscrutable. It's the human "X factor" that inspires technology and artificial intelligence, and cannot be replicated.

Is searching the vast universe of published wisdom, an important function of curiosity? Of course. Is connecting or recognizing relationships between hitherto unconnected thoughts or information, an important function of curiosity? Sure. Is extrapolating new insight, an important function of curiosity? Absolutely. But are those the only metrics that matter?

Searching, connecting and extrapolating are all important skill sets that an effective lawyer must possess, and if those particular skills are delegated to technology or artificial intelligence--because they can discharge those tasks better or more efficiently than a human being--then so be it.

But don't forget about us--the men and women who technology and artificial intelligence are intended to serve. Our knowledge--and, our curiosity-- makes the legal profession uniquely important. And making time for ourselves in the course of a typical busy day--if only for a few brief minutes--can help us preserve the innate curiosity that makes us who we are, and our profession what it is.

Breathe, take a walk, meditate--go off grid--and nurture your curiosity!


Categories: uncategorized
« back to all blogs



Name (required)
E-mail (required but not shown)


Blog Articles