LegalTech reached significant achievements over the past two years and demonstrated an unseen level of performance and simplicity. Emerging companies already propose assistance-tools and pledge to foster a more democratic justice. In some cases, such tools already allow actors previously exterior of the legal field to operate in the legal process supplementing lawyers. Nevertheless, no matter how solid the evidences, any legal decision involves a part of the unknown. The paradox is to take into account the maximum specificities and, at the very same time, guarantee justice.
New actors and a society challenge
Shouldn’t the criterion of justice to be the repeatability of a judgment? A judgment which should not depend on the person who judges, nor the circumstances? This conviction motivated Jacques Lévy-Véhel and Jérôme Dupré creating the start-up Case Law Analytics with the aim of quantifying this unknown part.
It is worth noting that an AI is potentially tireless and able to avoid all cognitive bias of a human being. It can grasp and quantify all the complexity of law. It can succeed where pretty much every political actor failed: simplifying the law. To that end, technology is currently only limited by its comprehension of natural human language: modern language, poetry, irony and over inspired styles are currently beyond its reach.
The point remains, AI would never be able to guaranteey that a judge won’t be paralysed by the truth of an algorithmic science. This is amplified by the rise of new actors such as legal start-ups superseding legal professionals. The major risk here is nothing less than merchandising law: insurance companies and legal consulting firms will have to adjudicate on that point. Cybersecurity and privacy protection will have to rise to a significant challenge of not leaving space to dramatic backdoors in the context of open society and Internet of Things (IoT) convergence.
At the same time, justice will face billions of news litigants in the coming decade: bots. As AI will spread through society it will introduce new sources of litigation with billions of drones, automated cars, planes and trucks, surgical bots, and autonomous machines. Only a proficient legal AI would be able to introduce a necessary “accountability” concept of bots.
LegalTech, AI’s crash test?
Law texts are the formal incarnation of the contract linking individuals and society. To that respect, any “automated legal intelligence” has to be exemplary. Science is currently developing tools to analyse it, but if lawyers and judges do not participate to its implementation, who will?
It worth noting that justice acquires its reparation value toward one’s harm when pursued face to the human community. As we were frequently reminded, human relational dimension will become more crucial as AI spreads in society. In the legal field, AI raises the question of its relation with the community. It could be either a referee, a dictator or, an adviser. In order to lead to a better change LegalTech will have to develop both in technical and relational dimensions.
Yoann, Consultant, Leyton France