Lights, (drone) camera, and action

JD Student Kit Mun Lee reflects on what he learned during his summer spent working with PwC’s new digital and technology law team headed by Cameron Whittfield. During the MLS initiative to develop a new cutting edge subject in Technology, Innovation and the Law, Kit found a pathway that brought his experience in technology and law together with his passion for collaborative film making production.

Kit Mun Lee Kit Mun Lee on the set of his film The Messenger.

During my placement I conducted research on various subjects on disruptive technology and its relationship with the law for the New Technology Law unit. To give a sense of the kinds of topics this research led me to, I learned about Blockchain, smart contracting and the crypto currency Ethereum; Start Ups; Artificial Intelligence ('AI'); Drones; and my personal favourite, The Internet of Things ('IoT'). From my research, I made two main observations.

The first is that all of these topics have incredible implications for law, both disruptive and beneficial. The initial article I read explored the contractual implications of IoT: a fully cloud-connected home in the future would rely on access to Big Data privacy and security, impact third party liability and even unfair contract terms issues. When I wrote a research brief on the ethical implications of AI, the most prominent issue was the widespread clarion call for AI to be regulated before the tech was advanced any further. It was interesting to note how technology is necessarily accompanied and checked by legal implications. This clearly has bearing on lawyers in all parts of the industry.

Secondly, I came to the realisation that everyone will be impacted by every topic on that list. Society will begin to see incredible changes in the next few years: homes through the interconnectedness of IoT; financial institutions through smart contracting; and our world through AI.

I have a passion for making films in my spare time, so to provide a tangible personal example for the extent to which I see this technology impacting every day life, I considered the relationship between drones and film-making heading into the future. Modern day drones outfitted with decent camera equipment are now affordable enough to blow open the doors for us in terms of cinematography.  Advancements in drone technology enable amateur film-makers, like myself, who are otherwise limited by logistics and small budgets, to create shots high above or far away that give the audience a broader view of the setting without, say, a crane.

In previous films I’ve recorded — DayOne and The Messenger — to get a moving shot, I filmed out the back of my hatchback with our cinematographer perched perilously in the open back of the car. Now, instead of worrying about all the possible tort liabilities of those endeavours, we could just use drones!

I believe this little anecdote demonstrates that no matter what your area of interest, understanding major technology is important because its implications are inevitable, far-reaching and much closer than it seems.

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