AI and law

Legal systems across the world have been slow and inefficient ever since their conception. For example in 2017 there was a backlog of 297000 outstanding cases in UK Magistrates Courts, which is just one of many examples of poor resource allocation in the justice system.

Ii could be the remedy to these issues by providing support and giving insight into specific cases, as well as increasing overall reliability of the systems.One of the tools that will facilitate the spread of AI into the legal system is Microsoft's new Azure platform, which brings all the advantages of AI to smaller businesses and now to the legal system.

A large portion of wasted time is due to the large amounts of documents and information courts have to sift through on a daily basis.This process could be made a lot simpler using the recently developed fields of speech and text recognition which in theory could summarise a lot of legal data and collate it into readable material for judges and lawyers.It could also find more specific information, eg finding evidence for/against a case.With the ability to search the internet for images (people and objects) / scan both typed and handwritten texts.By shifting this workload to AI systems it will lead to an increase in the reliability as there are smaller chances of human error in interpreting data, this is of large importance in their industry due to sensitivity of certain cases and the consequences of errors on all parties involved.

Typical US Courtroom

Typical US Courtroom

AI could also be used in providing better translations in court.This could be of the actual parties speaking or simply translation of documents before hand for all parties to read in court.Instead of parties having to hire third party services to translate the documents, courts can do it themselves resulting in cost and time savings.

As AI becomes more widespread in the sector, new ideas such as the production of word maps timelines and bundles of data will continue to lead to increases in the quality and speed of decisions delivered in the courtroom. By drawing out key themes and linking them between data with respect to time, these systems will enable court rooms to understand the complexities of a case far quicker.

In such an overstretched system, AI provides a low-cost solution with the potential to lead to a more efficient and fast justice system.. Ultimately, if implemented successfully, these systems will aide the human side of the legal system without completely replacing some jobs and causing structural unemployment.


EthicsArturo Dezon