Modern technology can be an incredible resource for the legal profession, but it is not a panacea. Discrimination lawyers would likely be the first to point out that today’s technology also has a dark side. Discriminatory practices can quickly overshadow any benefits.
Lawyers don’t have to become modern luddites waging war on technology, but they should be aware of its shortcomings. In today’s social climate, it is particularly important to understand where discrimination and technology intersect. Here’s what you need to know about this problem:
Discrimination in the technology sector
The technology sector these days is seldom far removed from discrimination lawyers. The industry has a well-documented history of prejudice and prejudice, especially against women. About 66% of older women in Silicon Valley say they were excluded from major events because of their gender.
Some of the best known cases of discrimination in technology have focused on gender bias, but there are also racial issues. While 50% of black workers in non-STEM areas report having experienced racial discrimination at work, this figure rises to 62% for STEM. Problems with prejudice are noticeable everywhere, but especially poignant in technology.
Many of these trends stem from deep-seated implicit prejudices in American culture that can spill over into technology itself. Perhaps most notably, Amazon noticed in 2015 that an AI recruiting algorithm was biased against women to punish resumes containing the word “women”. Since the developers trained it on mostly white male resumes, the machine learning program taught itself to prefer them.
As AI becomes more prominent, such problems are likely to become more common. As an attorney, you may need to investigate possible bias within machine learning machines. While technology is not inherently discriminatory, it carries the implicit prejudices of the people who make it.
Impact on the legal profession
The most obvious impact of this trend on the legal system is an increase in technical discrimination cases. Some of these will be relatively simple, like biased hiring systems, while others will be more nuanced, like companies that use biased AI. In these cases, as a lawyer, staying up to date with the latest technology will help.
Cutting edge technology like facial recognition and AI can enter the courtroom. Given the discriminatory nature of these technologies, this could lead to debate and even legal action. For example, because face recognition is less accurate on people of color, it can lead to false arrests, trials, and convictions.
Technical approach to tech as a lawyer
Discrimination attorneys representing minority clients should be careful about how the technology has affected them. You may see other cases where a company relied on an algorithm that was racially or gender biased. When dealing with customers who work in the technical field, think of the industry’s historical problems with discrimination.
A tech company may count its immigrant employees to benefit from the CARES Act payments even though they are not eligible. With the industry taking advantage of migrant workers in the past, you may have a precedent to blame them for.
When it comes to using technology in your practice, it is best to be careful. Some technologies, such as B. social media, can provide helpful resources, but also lead to invasions of privacy. Always read the precedents and regulations for using technology before relying on it.
Remember, technology can be more biased than humans. As tempting as it is to use AI to streamline some tasks, these systems are prone to failure. The last thing you want is to get caught in a discrimination case yourself because you trusted the technology too much.
Technology can be a double-edged sword for the legal profession
On the one hand, technology is a boon for discrimination lawyers. It can help find evidence and will likely lead to potentially more profitable cases. On the other hand, you should be careful not to rely too heavily on cutting-edge technology. Some tend to expand rather than prevent human prejudice.
Above all, it is important to keep up to date with technological developments. Understand how it can harm or help you and your customers. Knowing how using in a process before it is finished can distort justice. You don’t have to avoid technology, but you should be careful with it.