Interview with: Piotr Kochański, Advocate

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What is the stage of Polish companies’ transition to Industry 4.0?

Piotr Kochański, Advocate, founder of K&P business law firm: Industry 4.0 with its artificial intelligence and cloud computing has become the heart of Kochański & Partners (K&P) strategy. Two years ago our law firm decided to focus on such changes and we are now at an advanced stage of their implementation.

We are currently analyzing changes that are becoming more and more intense and will soon completely dominate industry and services. The term Industry 4.0 was coined by the Germans and announced at the Hannover Fair in 2011, when the German government acknowledged that the world was changing at an impressive pace and decided to appoint a team of experts to assess the effects of the changes brought about by advanced technologies. Their diagnosis was that the third industrial revolution, namely computerization, had ended. As a result, in 2014 they announced their plan for the fourth industrial revolution, which meant the digitization of manufacturing and service provision processes.

Industry 4.0 means the fusion of the physical world of production machinery with the virtual worlds of the Internet and high technology. This new economy will dominate the entire value chain. These processes will provide, on an unimaginable scale, access to any useful information, at any time, from any place, while opening up new opportunities for the production of tailor-made products and short batches, i.e. the so-called mass customization.

We, as Polish managers, should tailor our response to these changes as soon as possible. A Polish characteristic is that the service sector is more digitized than the industry, one of the reasons being the use of the Internet of Things. Studies show that 22% of Polish companies have already started to implement automation and Industry 4.0-related solutions, but to me this sounds rather optimistic.

How will Polish companies have to change due to Industry 4.0?

We should not waste time thinking that Industry 4.0 only concerns the technological competition between the USA and China and that managers from other countries need only observe the changes taking place. The Industry 4.0 revolution is happening right in front of our very eyes.

The Americans believe that the Chinese, due to their language barrier, do not understand Industry 4.0, and are already moving their manufacturing processes from China to Germany, a country more advanced in its transition to Industry 4.0. In China this process would paradoxically take more time and be more expensive.

The technologies already available theoretically allow for the automation of about 50% of professions. Companies using the highest technologies, including artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, already employ 70% less people. According to a report by McKinsey, by 2030, 75-375 million people will have to change their profession and acquire new skills. And this is an enormous challenge, also for family businesses.

Managers find themselves in a peculiar situation as they are inundated by too many choices, and are often lacking a strategic vision to define the right course of action. This is really challenging – there are endless possibilities for action, thousands of options.

What will a law firm of the future look like?

We focus on providing automated legal advice using artificial intelligence. We have our own source codes of a system enabling us to ensure data security to our clients in the context of transferring information from our digital archives according to our own protocols.

This system provides comprehensive support for business processes and enables us to share project data, manage cases and settlements, maintain a document repository, provide online and marketing services, and manage IP cases and also allows for faster action whilst cutting costs.

How do you want to use AI?

For due diligence investigations, verifying correctness and cohesion of documents, predictive analysis, expert systems and contract analysis. With predictive analysis, artificial intelligence algorithms scan historical data to determine the probability of a specific judgment being issued by the court.

Based on natural language processing and machine learning a system imitating a lawyer – expert in a specific field (expert system) can be developed and, drawing on a large amount of data received, the computer expert is able to propose solutions to a given legal problem.

Contract analysis also employs elements of solutions such as machine learning and natural language processing. What is essential here is the degree of accuracy of the legal analysis made by AI. While other solutions only made it possible to select documents in terms of their relevance to a given case, contract analysis now allows AI to work freely within document content.

I find it fascinating that the legal industry can become a market innovator.

Will customers have any concerns about the security of their data?

The threats are immense. 50% of the world economy will be attacked by hackers in the near future. It is estimated that only 25% of hacked companies will survive. Only those who can minimize the risk will win. And this also applies to law firms.

We specialize in cybersecurity. We work in interdisciplinary teams, consisting of lawyers with experience and expertise in the field of technology and security, advisors, technology analysts and implementers, coaches and lecturers from renowned universities, and we also cooperate with a company certification body (also providing ISO certification). Our goal is to increase the level of security and information flow and to enable the certification of our clients’ companies.

Moreover, we are the main legal partner of the working group at the Polish Bank Association, currently working on a set of good practices (Whitebook) towards the implementation of cloud computing solutions in the banking sector. We also provide assistance in the work of the Cloud Expert Forum at the European Banking Federation. This project will revolutionize the banking sector in Poland to an extent comparable to that of the PolishAPI.