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.
Since our last update, the growth in climate change litigation globally has continued. While cases against the fossil fuel sector continue to be brought, there are also claims against defendants in a wider variety of high-emitting and resource-intensive sectors.
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill 2022 (Bill) was introduced in the House of Commons on September 22, 2022. The Government describes it as effectively the second part of a legislative package to prevent the abuse of UK corporate structures and tackle economic crime, following on from the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, which received Royal Assent in March 2022.
A sale of shares and the related share purchase agreement commonly provide for warranties given by the sellers to the buyers. The warranties are statements of fact on which the buyers rely in making their decision on the acquisition.
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