A court hearing in February is set to make history when a defendant is advised by artificial intelligence (AI) during the proceedings. The technology, provided by DoNotPay, a company founded in 2015, was initially developed to help people appeal parking tickets. The AI will be accessible to the defendant via their smartphone and will provide instructions on what to say during arguments based on its analysis of the commentary it hears.
According to New Scientist, the location of the courthouse, the charges against the defendant, and the defendant’s name have not been revealed. The AI has been trained on factual statements in order to minimize legal liability. The creator of DoNotPay, Joshua Browder, has also programmed the AI not to immediately react to statements made in court, but to allow the offense to finish their discussion and then present a solution after analyzing the comments. Browder believes that this technology has the potential to eventually replace lawyers. “It’s all about language, and that’s what lawyers charge hundreds or thousands of dollars an hour to do,” he said. “There’ll still be a lot of good lawyers out there who may be arguing in the European Court of Human Rights, but a lot of lawyers are just charging way too much money to copy and paste documents and I think they will definitely be replaced, and they should be replaced.”
DoNotPay’s website states that its technology can also be used to fight corporations, beat bureaucracy, find hidden money, and sue anyone. In addition to offering advice on consumer and workplace rights in the US and the UK, it can also connect users to pro bono legal representation for more serious cases.
China has already begun using AI in its courtrooms. Last July, it was reported that the country is using the technology to improve its court system by recommending laws, drafting documents, and alerting judges to perceived errors in rulings. It is not yet clear how the use of AI as a legal advisor in this upcoming court case will be received, but it is certainly an interesting development in the field of law and technology.
Source: New Scientist, Business Insider