My wife still keeps a paper diary. As she grapples for a stronghold on the banks of the river of technological advancement, the outlook is grim. The tide is rising. She will inevitably succumb to its flow. An iPad for Christmas - its grip tightening around her like the Kraken’s tentacle. The pages of her paper diary, her only life-raft, are dispersing in the wind like the seeds of a dandelion. The anguish of a failed upgrade of her laptop’s operating system mustering only temporary strength to resist the swell.
In the legal profession, commentators are predicting automation will leave hundreds of thousands of lawyers high and dry in the next 20 years. So do we need to batten down the hatches? I accept technology has made (and continues to make) some of us more efficient and productive and, consequently, has raised client expectations about our availability and productivity, which many may argue is not a good thing. However, I’m hopeful my clients have needs that will never be satisfactorily met by a robot. Legal advice and services are intangible commodities. As our services become more automated, personality will be the only feature distinguishing ourselves from each other. Then again, perhaps affability will be secondary to app-ability.
Now (assuming there is one) to the point. How soon will body corporate management companies deploy robots to run meetings? The possibilities are limitless. Imagine attending your AGM and being greeted by a machine that knows your name and whether you’re eligible to vote; has instantaneous access to all records, information, procedures and law (hang on, that can’t be good!); prepares budgets and sinking fund forecasts; finds the most competitive quotes for work and insurance in an instant; records votes; films meetings (to the extent “meetings” might still be necessary to attend in person); projects holographic images and videos to entice owners to actually consider explanatory material; distributes minutes to your inbox before you leave the meeting... see, its not only us lawyers who are in deep trouble in this futuristic Nirvana.
We’re working on a prototype. We’re calling it the Colin 5000 – in honour of the Godfather of strata. It’s formidable in stature and demeanour. If you’d like to invest in our private equity drive, please register your interest with me now.