October 2, 2019

Digital Trust: Fact Or Fallacy?

By: Larry Bridgesmith

As a lawyer for over 40 years, it is clear that “the rule of law” has been the goal that legal systems have promoted for the benefit of human commerce, culture and society.

However, state sponsored systems of justice have failed to deliver as hoped. Bias, distrust and irrelevance are more commonly the phrases used to assess the state of law today. In May 2019, the World Justice Project published its most recent global analysis Measuring the Justice Gap. Our progress toward “justice for all” is far from desired. The U.S. fares proportionally little better than the rest of the planet.

A treasured colleague, Tamar Frankel (Professor Emeritus Boston University School of Law) has dedicated a long and illustrious career to the study and teaching of how trust in human systems is furthered by the rule of law. However, a lifetime of work has left as many questions as answers and little confidence that the rule of law has generated hoped for levels of trust among humans as they deal with each other. The Rise of Fiduciary Law.

Enter AI.

Can dispassionate machine analytics provide greater trust in human interaction than legal systems have achieved?

Our binary mindsets are always searching for the “either/or” certainty of one approach as opposed to another.

Instead, as quantum physics is leading human thought into “both/and” thinking, perhaps the better answer is how humans and technology can work together to improve the state of trust. The perplexing concern for trust in others, institutions and transactional integrity deserves no less.

The recent MIT SMR publication Data, Analytics, & AI: How Trust Delivers Value provides great insights into how humans and AI working together can improve the trust factor in significant ways. The accompanying SAS infographic is very informative:

In summary, the more a business achieves an integrated enterprise strategy for its collection, access and reliance on quality digital information, the higher the trust factor the company can create for customers and its workforce.

“Fostering a corporate culture of data and experimentation” separates industry leaders from the rest.


Mr. Bridgesmith has over 40 years experience in legal professional services and numerous business ventures involving digital technologies. He has represented, trained, and consulted with organizations large and small in most industries. He is currently a Managing Partner of Accelerate InSite with a focus on AI Strategies and Implementation.