Would you let an AI represent you in court?
This sounds far-fetched even for my sensibilities. But, apparently there’s an app that will defend you in court over fine disputes. The company that created the app is called DoNotPay, and according to the company, the app will tell you what to say in court.
I understand the purpose of such an app, and its certainty would bridge a rather massive gap in the criminal justice system as well as provide people with a more affordable alternative to an expensive human lawyer. However, I can also think of a few pitfalls of such technology. We’ll focus on the positive in this article though.
The DoNotPay app will use AI to listen to all testimony and statements made by witnesses, lawyers, and the judge. This will be the first time AI has been used as a tool in a courtroom. The app will be utilized next month by a defendant to challenge a speeding ticket, although it could also be used in more significant cases in the future. The app has been around for some time, and it can be used to get advice on how to fight corporations, beat bureaucracy, find hidden money, sue anyone, and automatically cancel your free trials.
The AI-powered app is due to be used in a courtroom next month by a defendant to challenge a speeding ticket. The app is designed to listen to all testimony and statements made by witnesses, lawyers, and the judge in the courtroom. The app's founder, Joshua Browder, argues that the app should be classified as a hearing aid, and thus, it is technically within the rules, However, there is still contention concerning whether the app can morally be used in the spirit of the rules of the court. The company promises to pay any penalties imposed for using the app and will pay anyone with an upcoming case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court $1 million if they were to use the app. That’s the fastest way to make a cool mil I’ve ever heard - outside of The Sims, of course.
The AI has received training on a variety of different case laws including immigration. However, it will only make factual statements and will not try to win your case for you. The app's creator, Joshua Browder, wants to minimize legal liability and the app is not designed to twist facts or be too manipulative, you know, like lawyers are. The program is also not designed to automatically react to certain statements. As the app’s founder implied, sometimes silence is the most appropriate answer.
According to previous reports, the app has already been used in conjunction with a synthesized voice to argue with staff at a bank. The app successfully resulted in the reversal of bank fees on behalf of its customers. ‘It is the most mind-blowing thing I have ever done. It is only $16 that we got reversed, but that is the perfect job for AI – who has time to waste on hold for $16?’
What about the app’s legality in court?
While the DoNotPay app's use in the courtroom has generated interest, some experts, such as Dr. Nikos Aletras, a computer scientist from Sheffield University, have raised concerns about its legality. Dr. Aletras believes that using recording gear in court would violate certain U.K. laws, including the Contempt of Court Act of 1981. Neil Brown, an employee of the law firm decoded.legal, also delivered a statement concerning the app’s use in a court of law.
‘It appears to involve transmitting the audio to a third party's servers and processing that audio within the resulting computer system. I'd have thought a judge might well conclude it was being recorded, even if deleted soon afterwards. So probably not something to try here unless you fancy contempt proceedings, at least not without checking it with the judge first.’
We’ll see how the first trial using DoNotPay fares, and we’ll keep you updated. With that, I’m off to write about some more AI.Advertisement