Thursday, March 23, 2017

Artificial Intelligence and the Legal System

The advancement of artificial intelligence is constantly impacting the jobs of Americans. The cause of this is usually because it is cheaper in the long run, more efficient and one robot or computer can do more than one human can. Now artificial intelligence is taking steps further into the legal system and the work force involved. In the past they have been used to help organize and identify legal documents. But now with artificial intelligence getting smarter and smarter it is making its way into all aspects of work. The advancement of this intelligence is also allowing data analytics to grow and that will now have a major impact as well once incorporated in the work place.

 This advancement has allowed companies like IBM to introduce robots who can answer legal questions and give analytic answers and other companies, like Premonition and Lex Machina who have used data analytics to create artificial intelligence capable of predicting the outcome of a court case before it’s even fought in the court room. The technology doesn’t end there. Companies have also developed artificial intelligence that can replace lawyers instead of aiding them. Chatbot lawyers are on the rise and they are just getting started. A chatbot called DoNotPay, developed by a British teenager, has helped to fight parking and traffic tickets in major cities like Seattle, London and New York. This type of intelligence is a plus because it saves people the trouble of representing themselves and losing while trying to fight parking tickets and it also isn’t limited to just one country. This type of artificial intelligence is good for smaller level legal activities that do not demand much time, research and educational background like parking tickets. These type of chatbots are beneficial in fighting more court cases and giving quick and affordable access to those who are at disadvantage which can help represent the underrepresented in the future.


            Overall I think that artificial intelligence and the legal system can have an exciting relationship, but it should be regulated, due to the importance of the legal system. Being able to predict the outcomes of court cases opens up a new betting pool which the article begins to hint at. If betting makes its way into the legal system, it can change the fairness and treatment of those involved which is why regulations are needed. I personally feel that if artificial intelligence wants to make an impact in the legal system, the focus should be on developing software that can find loopholes using historical data and ways to organize data to help lawyers and law firms. Being able to find loopholes will help lawyers in the court room and the organization of data will allow for cases to be fought in a timelier manner. A big reason artificial intelligence won’t make it into the court room is because human to human connection is vital in swaying the jury.  Artificial intelligence isn’t smart enough to connect with humans on an emotional connection yet.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/rise-of-the-robolawyers/517794/

4 comments:

Bryce Carrasco said...

While I do think you make several valid arguments regarding artificial intelligence in the legal environment, I disagree with the assertion that the litigation process will become primarily automated. I do think you make a good point that the paper work and tedious aspects of the judicial system will be automated with relevant software that can ultimately lead to a more efficient and speedy court process. One of the fundamental principles of the judicial process in the United States is a speedy trial- as pointed out in the Bill Of Rights, therefore automating paper work and other tasks will be openly accepted by the people.

The argument that artificial intelligence will soon become advanced enough to replace lawyers and provide more effective and powerful legal representation is one that I disagree with. For one, when people are looking to be represented in court they want the most personal and specialized legal representation possible. They want someone who has been in the courts for years representing them- knows the judges, has worked similar cases, can appeal to a jury, among other things that only humans are capable of doing. I do not ever believe that a computer will be able to replace a lawyers because no matter how advanced the technology becomes, a machine can never access those parts of our brains that make us human. There are many things that i think can be automated and benefit by doing so and this is not one of them.

If the legal process were to go in the direction of automation, the whole judicial landscape would be completely changed. That leads to the question that if lawyers are replaced by machines, then do judges have to be replaced in the same manner to maintain consistency in the courts? That would effect everyone from the supreme court down. In my opinion law is too unique to be automated.

That is not to say that it can not happen. There are plenty of things that people argued were crazy throughout the years and turned out to revolutionize the world as we know it. Innovations are constantly being made in today's world and nothing is impossible, so It is hard to say that computerizing the legal system is entirely implausible. Ultimately, I think it is a matter of people's willingness to except such a drastic change in a very cemented traditional system that has existed since our country was founded.

Bobby Austin said...

I agree with your notion that the legal system will become more automated in the near future. Lawyers will be able to efficiently mine and store data for future use, which will make their job much easier in terms of researching/obtaining facts from prior cases, etc. In the future, potential clients could research lawyers that are the best fit for their specific case. I think that automation will be an incredible asset for research in the legal system. However, I agree with Bryce regarding how lawyers should never become automated. In my opinion, regardless of how advanced technology gets, machines will never be able to develop the same mental capacity which make humans 'human.' Automation in the legal system will be used to "augment a lawyer's abilities and knowledge, and provide better service in a more timely fashion"(Monahan), and not to actually replace the lawyer.

The automation of the legal system has raised some questions, specifically concerning job loss. "Some elements of it could certainly replace the work lawyers have traditionally done, and this may frighten lawyers into feeling they are being automated and replaced. This is particularly true when you hear about computational models of argumentation, decision making, legal reasoning, etc." While there are certain concerns regarding technology in the legal system, I think it will be "offer the chance to move the routine to the machines, freeing up lawyer time for creative and high value tasks" (Monahan.)

http://www.americanbar.org/publications/youraba/2015/october-2015/5-questions-on-automation.html

Justin Friedlander said...

I read the post about new uses for artificial intelligence in the legal sector, and I was amazed at the possibilities that it proposed. I agree that there are major benefits to having artificial lawyers that can detect and find loopholes and other legal pieces of support for people with smaller incomes to utilize to defend their case. Bots that are able to easily access legal articles and pass on helpful information to individuals in lower level legal cases saves time in the legal process and ultimately helps people in civil/criminal justice be more productive. However, I believe that just because artificial intelligence has not advanced to be making major emotional and social connections with humans yet is not a major reason to dismay from keeping them out of major court settings. A major part of the justice system is the ability of a jury and judge to make decisions based off the facts alone. The main purpose of artificial intelligence is to analyze facts and provide answers for humans. I think these two pieces of evidence give reasonable support to the increased presence of artificial intelligence in the legal system. Of course, I am not saying that a piece of artificial intelligence should act as a prosecutor or defense lawyer, but I believe their objectivity and ability to draw conclusions solely from facts cannot be overlooked. Overall, I am excited to see what future limits and regulations people will create regarding artificial intelligence’s influence in the legal sector.

Brian Silard said...

It’s no surprise that artificial intelligence is expanding into sectors such as the legal system. After reading the article posted, I was somewhat dumbfounded at the abilities and expectations of current and future robots. The fact that artificial intelligence has the capability to answer legal questions and analyze legal documents during the litigation process, shows how smart programmers are. The people that code these robots have to develop numerous amounts of code in order to make sure that the robot has multiple capabilities. At the same time, I believe that artificial intelligence is extremely limited in a legal system. Yes, smaller issues like parking tickets might be able to be fought off by robots. It can be cheaper, and people can save time. Personally, if I were to receive parking tickets that I felt needed to be fought, I don’t know if I would trust a robot to fight my battle. To add on, any judge would take a robot much less seriously than a person, and it would also make it seem like the person had little concern for the result of their battle. This debate about eh use of AI is mostly a matter of opportunity cost when evaluating who is going to fight the litigation process.
I don’t think that artificial intelligence will develop to a degree that these computers are able to fight a serious legal battle. As we know, artificial intelligence systems lack emotion and they wouldn’t be able to pick up on small details that lawyers seek when talking to witnesses.
To any lawyer, it would be more than silly to worry about a robot taking over your job. The use of artificial intelligence is simply an asset that lawyers will be able to use in court to litigate.