Book Review: Automating the Professions?

L.A. Review of Books, March 15, 2016

U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-21

17 Pages Posted: 6 May 2016 Last revised: 7 May 2016

Frank A. Pasquale III

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project

Date Written: May 4, 2016

Abstract

Richard Susskind (and his son Daniel) offer a technocratic, neoliberal, and techno-utopian outlook on the future of the professions. Thanks to these ideological priors, a persistent mistake undermines their book: they conflate the professional role with the delivery of expertise. Thus they fail to seriously address two issues at the core of professional identity. First, there is some degree of self-governance among professionals. They primarily work with clients or patients, for example, and not for bosses or shareholders. Second, the main reason they enjoy this autonomy is because they must handle intractable conflicts of values that repeatedly require thoughtful discretion, negotiation, and personal attention and responsibility. In isolation, these factors damage the Susskinds’ case; together, they prove fatal to it.

Keywords: robots, future of the legal profession, future of professions, automation, artificial intelligence

Suggested Citation

Pasquale, Frank A., Book Review: Automating the Professions? (May 4, 2016). L.A. Review of Books, March 15, 2016; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2775397

Frank A. Pasquale III (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States
410-706-4820 (Phone)
410-706-0407 (Fax)

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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