South by Southwest Headwinds for Tech
This week’s South by Southwest is one of the biggest tech events in the world, boasting 75,000 delegates and 5,000 speakers.
Lawyer jobs being taken by robots is a popular media theme these days. However, after having attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference last week, I think the robots may, in fact, be needing us. In the next few years, technology will take us to a level of complexity that is almost unimaginable. That complexity will stretch our existing legal frameworks and require highly skilled lawyers to navigate outcomes.
SXSW is one of the most important technology events on the global calendar. More than 75,000 delegates descended on Austin, Texas, to hear over 5,000 speakers ranging from IT company execs, Hollywood celebrities and no less than six 2020 presidential candidates, including Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz. The big tech companies pay millions to completely transform sleepy restaurants into “Experience Spaces” to capture the eye of SXSW’s young “influencer” crowd. In fact, the event has been called the “Millennials’ Woodstock.”
The big theme from the event was the ubiquity of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Eminent futurist Amy Webb was asked at the end of her session on tech trends — attended by more than 2,000 people — why she had not mentioned AI. She said the answer is simple: “AI is in everything and every industry, now and in the future.” AI was everywhere at SXSW — in sessions from healthcare, transport and finance, all the way to storytelling. So too was the concern about bias in AI, with at least six sessions dealing with this topic in whole or in part.
On February 14, 2020, the People's Bank of China, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (the CBIRC), the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the Shanghai Municipal Government jointly issued the Opinions on Further Accelerating the Establishment of An International Financial Centre in Shanghai and Supporting the Development of Economic and Financial Integration in the Yangtze River Delta (in Chinese 《关于进一步加快推进上海国际金融中心建设和金融支持长三角一体化发展的意见》) (the Opinions).
Legalization of cannabis is a recurrent topic in France, which has reached a new milestone under the pressure of the changes underway in other European countries.