Artificial Intelligence: convicted by a software?

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British Columbia and Ontario have adopted new legal tools with scientists, software with artificial intelligence developed in Québec.

In British Columbia, we can resolve a conflict of fence with his neighbor, solve a dispute with his employer or even pursue his municipality for a fracture caused by a sidewalk badly deglazed and sending it to a virtual court.


All this thanks to a ” court line “. These new spaces of justice 4,0, managed by software, function without lawyers, sometimes even without a judge and without a court room ! And most of all… without cost to the litigants.


British Columbia and Ontario have adopted these new legal tools with scientists, software with artificial intelligence (AI) developed in Québec. Finished the small claims, the justice of every day, highly predictive, is now made with the assistance of megabytes without a black dress.


“The majority of the problems that rot the lives of the people choking the justice system, but do not deserve to be treated with great judges. The use of algorithms could help speed up access to justice and to free the judges for complex trials, ” says Karim Benyekhlef, director of the Laboratory of cyberjustice of the University of Montreal, who has developed the software used in British Columbia.


In one year, this court again gender has received 746 requests related to conflicts of ownership and 1684 applications under small claims, ” says Shannon Salter, the chair of the cybertribunal. All files that will not overburden the courts already over-burdened.

There is even more room for hearing. If the parties wish to meet, they must rent a room.
Karim Benyekhlef, director of the Laboratory of cyberjustice of the University of Montreal

A virtual court in Ontario


Ontario has also followed suit. Since the 1st of November, all the conflicts related to the ownership can be resolved online through the pac, or Condo Autority Court. In analyzing the facts, an algorithm proposes a solution and, if necessary, mediators, intervene in line. In the event of a disagreement, an adjudicator for the strip… online. “It isn’t even a courtroom. If the parties wish to meet, they must rent a room “, supports Me Benyekhlef. In the netherlands, we created this kind of” instance ” in line to negotiate a divorce, settling the division of property and custody of children. “This may allow to dissociate themselves from all of the emotionalism that often surrounds this kind of trial. Unfortunately, the project was suspended for lack of budgets, ” says Me Benyekhlef.


Turbulence in view


This shift, made possible by the advanced technologies, reports strong turbulence in the legal profession. According to this expert in cyberjustice, the entire practice of law related to contracts, including marriage contracts, divorce, mortgage, condominium, and other civil disputes and less complex, which are the bread and butter of many lawyers and notaries, is called, to run, to disappear.


“He will remain at the top of the basket, cases where the arbitration and the foresight of lawyers and judges will be essential to judge, for example, the credibility of a witness, to interpret new laws, or to assess the mental capacity of an accused to stand trial “, supports the expert in cyberjustice.


Justice predictive


In the United States, the use of software capable of deep learning has already in several great offices of lawyers, which will délestent of lawyers who were entrusted with the tasks of research prior to the trial. Of using predictive software capable of analysing masses of data, are also used in some States to assess the risk to the corporation to release or not an accused person pending trial. The judge has the last word, but the verdict posed by the algorithms often influence judicial decisions. These tools have also raised quite an outcry when a charity has revealed that the software contained bias against black people.


Thanks to the power of the AI, american companies begin marketing tools of justice predictive able to say, in the light of the facts presented and the case law, not only the chance of winning his trial, but also what are the States and the judges most likely to give reason to the complainant. “These companies will even take under their wing the costs of the trial and are to be paid according to the percentage of the damages paid to their client,” says Me Benyekhlef.


These scenarios straight out of science fiction, gave rise to fears. Justice may be made by a robot ? “All lies in how you program these software. I believe that the content of the algorithms of justice should be made public. As drugs, these software should be able to be studied and tested by the public authorities before it can be used, ” insists Me Benyekhlef.


In his opinion, the major shift is not that negative for lawyers, ” which will also be able to take advantage of them to improve their analyses “. As for the general public, this new situation could lead to accelerated access to justice, often reserved for the affluent… and more patients.


“The idea is to make justice accessible to all, think the director of the Laboratory of cyberjustice. People are thirsty for justice, but the current system is not meeting their needs. However, justice must remain a common good. “


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