AI-powered lawyer robot goes to court in a first test to disrupt the legal system

The so-called “world’s first robot lawyer” powered by artificial intelligence will soon be helping a defendant fight a speeding ticket in court next month, though its creator aspires to one day bring him to the chambers of the world’s highest court to bring country.

So said Joshua Browder, CEO of DoNotPay, who said so Washington Examiner its AI attorney will soon be attending two hearings, one in person and one via a virtual Zoom call. The company’s AI runs on a smartphone, listening to court arguments and forming answers for the accused.


“For the in-person hearing, the AI ​​will whisper in someone’s ear with AirPods what to say. And for the online hearing, we’re thinking of a teleprompter, but we’re also considering a synthetic voice. So it’s all up in the air right now,” Browder said.

Modern business technology and artificial intelligence

Stock illustration of modern business technology and artificial intelligence

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Although DoNotPay has yet to test its technology in the courtroom, it has already used AI-generated mail merges to help people get refunds for disputed bills and speeding tickets. The company claims to have successfully assisted over 2 million customers in service disputes and court cases between other organizations and institutions.

The idea behind DoNotPay was inspired in part by statistics from the American Bar Association, which estimates that up to 80% of the legal needs of low-income citizens go unmet. The company has raised nearly $28 million from technology-based venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz and Crew Capital.

“The legal system at the moment is pay to play. And so we just make sure everyone is equal. It’s up to the judge either way to decide how hard or whether or not they’re guilty, or maybe a jury someday when the case gets more sophisticated, but everyone deserves at least a defense,” Browder said.

As Browder seeks to shake up the justice system, court observers have serious doubts about the practicality and morality of robots replacing lawyers.

Nicholas Saady, a litigator for Pryor Cashman who offers insights into the use of AI in business and the legal world, said DoNotPlay’s plan risks violating state laws requiring attorneys to be licensed.

Saady presented hypothetical examples of why the use of AI in court could put a defendant at a disadvantage, such as: B. the inability to read body language. “It doesn’t look like AI is ready to stand up in court,” Saady said Politically.

When asked if he thinks real-world lawyers might feel uncomfortable with AI doing their job, Browder said he believes “a lot of lawyers are safe.”

“I’m friends with some human rights lawyers and people who do very serious work and argue important cases, and I don’t think they have anything to worry about,” Browder said. “But I think a lot of the billboard lawyers will be replaced. If you’re involved in a car accident and you need to sue someone for $10,000, you can definitely do that with AI.”

DoNotPay has promised to cover the cost of fines if its AI loses the case. The company uses GPT-J, an open-source AI model released last year, as well as models from OpenAI, which is working on some of the most advanced AI tools like ChatGPT and could soon attract investments that value it at $29 billion US dollars, so the Wall Street Journal.

“Unfortunately, the AI ​​lies a lot … we had to make sure the AI ​​wasn’t lying, so in our prompts we say, ‘stick to the information provided,’ and things like that,” Browder said.

Browder declined to reveal the name of the client and the court where the hearing will be held next month, citing online threats he has received since his plan was unveiled. “We’re too scared to disclose it,” he said, adding his technology was “in the letter of the law but not in the spirit of the law or court rulings.”

Widespread use faces significant obstacles as the technology is not legal in most courtrooms. There are states that require all parties to consent to the recording, limiting robot lawyers’ ability to enter many courts. For example, of the 300 cases Browder’s company considered for a test of its AI, only two were approved.

“I think with those two cases it’s going to be a very powerful proof of concept [and] My goal is to have five states in the next 24 months that specifically allow AI in the courtroom to help people,” Browder said, noting that states like Utah and California have set up “task force” bodies to do the same to better understand whether AI can be used in their respective regional courts.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court building in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014, following various court decisions. The court ruled on birth control, union dues and other cases.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Browder was heavily criticized on Twitter this week when he made an offer of $1 million to any attorney willing to allow his AI to represent a pending case in the Supreme Court.

Several critics noted Technology like AirPods and phones are not allowed in the High Court when judges are discussing cases and that Browder’s offer of money would need to be much larger to attract the interest of a star law firm with a case in court as it is extremely rare for judges to take a case.

But Broder said so Washington Examiner that shortly after his viral tweet on Monday, he had received offers from attorneys in cases from “courts of appeal, district courts and state courts.”


Another major complication related to OpenAI’s novel technology is its consistency in factual matters, as it occasionally makes mistakes. Browder said his AI was retrained to become a “legal expert” based on seven years of data, noting that his training was likely “like an intermediate-level college graduate.”

“So now we have to send it to law school,” Browder said.

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