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AI and Big Data are catching up with science-fiction. While a full-on automation of the court system remains a dystopian dream, researchers from MIT and Stanford have already made it possible to predict judicial outcomes with surprising accuracy.
For starters, a team from MIT has created an algorithm that successfully predicted what would happen next based on a single frame from a video.
The project utilizes a Swarm Intelligence algorithm to make predictions based on real-time answers from a large number of users. Just as bees make decisions as a hivemind, Swarm uses multiple inputs and perspectives to formulate the most comprehensive AI predictions.
AI Predictions in Court Rulings
Researchers at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania have developed AI systems reportedly capable of predicting European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judicial decisions with 79% accuracy.
The team has published the results of their study in the journal PeerJ Computer Science.
“The court itself could use an AI to weed out frivolous cases before they reach the hearing stage.”
In conducting the study, a team of legal aids and computer scientists began by extracting case information published by the court from a publicly accessible database.
After sifting through the information, the team selected a large dataset of 584 cases relating to Articles 3, 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Then, legal aids selected an equal number of cases in violation and not in violation of the articles of the convention. The team then fed the entire data set to the AI as the basis on which to form its predictions for case outcomes.
The research team found that the most important factors for the AI’s predictions were: the language used, the topic, and the particular circumstances of the case.
Circumstances refer to the background of the case and topics refer to case relevant articles of the Convention.
AI not Likely to Replace Human Judges?
According to Dr. Nikolaos Aletras who led the study, AI is not likely to replace judges and lawyers. But not all scientists are futurists. Reddit users pointed out the flaw in his thinking:
However, the court itself could use an AI to weed out frivolous cases before they reach the hearing stage – a fact that reinforces AI’s future as a supplementary tool.
No, AI will not replace all judges any time soon. But AI simply replacing some judges is immensely likely. – KORESHO