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Justice by Robo Judges: A Scrutiny

In the past few years, Artificial Intelligence has become a prominent tool that automates tasks viz. untangling the large volume of legal documents and keywords. Legal professionals all over the world are using technology to perform complex and redundant tasks for them like searching for legal concepts, thereby reducing the amount of time required to determine the relevant documents in a case.
Written by:
Shivi Gupta
Published on
24-Jul-18

In the past few years, Artificial Intelligence has become a prominent tool that automates tasks viz. untangling the large volume of legal documents and keywords. Legal professionals all over the world are using technology to perform complex and redundant tasks for them like searching for legal concepts, thereby reducing the amount of time required to determine the relevant documents in a case. 

Apart from helping in preparing lawyers in cases, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also able to predict how an argument or a case would hold up in the court. It has become possible as AI employs natural-language processing to the colossal number of court decisions and spot trends and accepted decisions.

In common parlance, AI is used to define the machine that mimics human intelligence and functions like learning and problem-solving. Through this revolutionary feature of AI, the concept of ‘robo judges’ is slowly becoming a reality. 

It is expected from AI judges to resolve the huge backlog of cases that have accumulated over the years. AI or robo judges would be able to produce shorter case judgments which would speed up the process of legal research and reduce the workload of academics.

Artificial intelligence software employed to create these ‘judges’ can find patterns in highly complex decisions to predict a taste in films, TV shows and music with an unmatched accuracy. Used in the European Court of Human Rights in 5 cases, the AI judge has reached the same verdicts as judges in cases involving torture, degrading treatment and privacy.

It is expected that petty crimes committed in Britain could soon be convicted and sentenced by a computer in an effort to streamline the justice system. Such a system would need to be structured to avoid discriminating against the elderly, disabled or people whose first language is not English, who may not have the necessary digital skills or computer access.

 

However, the researchers predict that the computer judge is not likely to replace human judges anytime soon. Nonetheless, it could be used to help them out in prioritizing cases that are important or need to be heard promptly. At the current rate of technological developments, it is likely for AI judges to be used in high-level courts in the future- to determine breaches of human rights, breaches of contract or the granting of warrants.

However, it is likely that not all legal matters would be handled by an AI judge. Areas of law such as criminal, family and tort law require better handling by an actual human being since they require the subjective judgment of a human being.

Unlike other industries where AI and automation have made groundbreaking successes, the legal industry has more issues as it is not just a case of automating the process. The application and interpretation of the law requires a complex mind and ultimately, sentience. Hence, having an AI is not the end all for problems in the judiciary, but just mode of assistance to the legal professionals in making quicker decisions.

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