We are delighted to welcome Nicholas Carr as the keynote speaker for ABA TECHSHOW 2015.
Formerly the executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, Carr has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Business 2.0, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Industry Standard, and more.
Carr is also the author of several tech-focused books that have rocked and influenced the IT world.
Switching On The Cloud
My own first exposure to Carr’s work was his 2008 book The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google when I was just getting my head around the concept of cloud computing. Carr’s comparison of the cloud to the evolution of the electric grid helped me understand the practical purpose behind the ethereal “cloud” that everyone was talking about. The book clarified for me how cloud computing was in the process of changing the business world.
For example, Carr poses this potent point in the book:
Where’s the computer chip that processed your last Google search? You don’t know, and you don’t care – any more than you care which generating station produced the kilowatts that light the lamp on your desk.
My Brain Feels Shallow
I’ve also enjoyed reading Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains that grew out of a question he posed in an 2008 article for The Atlantic: “Is Google making us stupid?”
The Shallows provides a fascinating tromp through the history of how we’ve studied the human brain. Carr then explores how computers, technology, and the Internet are now changing the way we think and function.
For example, Carr recalls when he first started using word processors that he would print out each successive edit, mark it up with a pen, then go back to the word processor. He eventually found himself just working directly on the computer without ever printing anything out.
And Carr muses how he used to work in his school’s library, surrounded by thousands and thousands of books, but he never felt the overwhelming sense of “information overload” that many of us experience today when we use the Internet for research.
The Shallows was a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist and a New York Time bestseller.
Your Lawyer Is A Robot
Most recently, Carr authored The Glass Cage: Automation and Us which explores humanity’s reliance and obsession with automation.
As Carr posed in a November 2014 essay for the Wall Street Journal, Automation Makes Us Dumb,
As software has become capable of analysis and decision-making, automation has leapt out of the factory and into the white-collar world. Computers are taking over the kinds of knowledge work long considered the preserve of well-educated, well-trained professionals
Not too many lawyers today are concerned about losing their job to a robot, but there are some corners of the profession that are utilizing automation (e.g. e-discovery, decision-making trees, etc.). The Glass Cage is just as relevant to the legal profession as any other profession.
We’re excited that Nicholas Carr is coming to TECHSHOW and I am confident you will find his talk inspiring and thought-provoking.
Please join us in Chicago for the ABA TECHSHOW, April 16-18, 2015. Nick Carr’s presentation will take place on Friday, April 17, 2015.
Chair, ABA TECHSHOW 2015 Planning Board