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AI The Courts Government Robotics United States

'World's First Robot Lawyer' Now Available In All 50 States (theverge.com) 79

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: A chatbot that provides free legal counsel using AI is now available in all 50 states starting today. This is following its success in New York, Seattle, and the UK, where it was invented by British entrepreneur Joshua Browder. Browder, who calls his invention "the world's first robot lawyer," estimates the bot has helped defeat 375,000 parking tickets in a span of two years. Browder, a junior at Stanford University, tells The Verge via Twitter that his chatbot could potentially experience legal repercussions from the government, but he is more concerned with competing with lawyers.

"The legal industry is more than a 200 billion dollar industry, but I am excited to make the law free," says Browder. "Some of the biggest law firms can't be happy!" Browder believes that his chatbot could also save government officials time and money. "Everybody can win," he says, "I think governments waste a huge amount of money employing people to read parking ticket appeals. DoNotPay sends it to them in a clear and easy to read format."

'World's First Robot Lawyer' Now Available In All 50 States

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not that that counts as prior art, but...

  • by tylersoze ( 789256 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @05:36PM (#54796515)

    We seem to be closer and closer to Futurama every day, what's next, Atlanta underwater and hyper chicken lawyers?

  • About time. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Major_Disorder ( 5019363 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @05:37PM (#54796521)
    We can finally begin killing all the lawyers.
    • And when the time comes to kill you, you will be cool with that?

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Why can't you get your ID back?

      • Why can't you get your ID back?

        Lost the email address I used when I setup my original /. account,(Changes ISPs) and the password I have in my password manager is incorrect.

        • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

          I had forgotten my password but still had access to a email address I used previously but not the one it was currently set to and they were able to reset it for me.

          I used the passwords@slashdot.org email address for support.

          This was back before the most recent change in management tho.

          Good luck :)

    • Who are you, Robot Shakespeare?

    • We can finally begin killing all the lawyers.

      Some lawyers are great. I've never met people more dedicated to the betterment of the world than the public interest community of lawyers. A lot of people there who spend their lives in relatively low paying jobs when they could be much better paid elsewhere, and who change the lives of thousands of people in their communities. I also know lots of great people in private practice.

      That being said, the system lawyers operate in creates a lot of problems by incentivizing bad behavior, and has many other proble

    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      We can finally begin killing all the lawyers.

      We can't kill the lawyers yet. It failed to answer my question.
      Q: "I'm suspected of treason. Should I tweet incriminating e-mails?"
      A: "I'm sorry to hear that. Here's how I can help:", with blank space and a box offering "Extra help within 24 hours."

      Within 24 hours? I needed this advice DAYS ago.

      • Q: "I'm suspected of treason. Should I tweet incriminating e-mails?" A: "I'm sorry to hear that. Here's how I can help:", with blank space and a box offering "Extra help within 24 hours."

        Within 24 hours? I needed this advice DAYS ago.

        Is that you Comrade Trump?

  • some are legal. some are fun. some taste good.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @05:52PM (#54796593)

    It's a simple form. This is what attracts VC money and articles in major publications for this student? What the fuck.

    To Whom it May Concern,

    I received a letter claiming I committed a moving traffic violation in LOCATION on DATE.
    As per the instructions, I am writing to plead 'not guilty' to this charge. Although this option is said to result in this matter going to court; it is my suggestion that the charges simply be dropped. This suggestion comes out of respect for tax payers, and my request that their hard earned money not be wasted in such proceedings.

    As there is no evidence of my involvement with this alleged 'crime', as well as the fact that I am not granted my 6th amendment right to face my 'accuser' (a camera); I see no way the government could prove my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I also see find no legal requirement for me to implicate someone else in this process, as it is the government's responsibility to prove a person's guilt. It is also my 5th amendment right to remain silent on the
    matter.

    If it is the government's decision to move forward in this matter, I would request copies of any evidence the prosecution may have of my involvement in the 'offense'; as well as, all maintenance records for the camera(s) involved.

    Sincerely,
    NAME

    • Dear NAME

      Your accuser is the state, who will be represented. The camera is not your accuser, but merely a tool for gathering evidence. The image of your license plate on the photo is considered sufficient evidence to convict, and you were presented with that evidence when you received your notification of offence. While your desire to save the taxpayers money is commendable, it is best served by selecting the NO CONTEST option and paying the indicated fine.

      Sincerely
      Records Officer B. Finney.
  • Perfect for use with Cinco e-Trial [youtu.be]

  • Misleading title (Score:5, Informative)

    by kainosnous ( 1753770 ) <slashdot@anewmind.me> on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @06:07PM (#54796695)
    The site is little more than a series of guided form letters. It might be a useful site, but it's certainly not a "robot lawyer". It is scarcely even a chat bot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Next you're going to tell us WebMD isn't totally just as good as visiting your doctor's office!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        WebMD diagnosed my pancreatic cancer. I treated it with herbal supplements and a homeopathic drug and recovered completely! Who needs doctors?!

        Captcha: undoes

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, Mississippi could use this chat bot for its public defender system?

  • Does the robot lawyer know anything about copyright law and revenge porn?
  • by jimbob6 ( 3996847 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @06:36PM (#54796849)

    No matter what I type it just gives me search results for cease and desist debt collectors.

    • >"No matter what I type it just gives me search results for cease and desist debt collectors."

      Better than what I get. What I type is not even visible on the screen and then it says "I'm sorry to hear that, Here's how I can help:" and the rest of the page is just blank. Turned off my plugins and reloaded- no difference. Yeesh.

  • Misleading headline (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @06:47PM (#54796895)

    This is no Robot Lawyer. I am not sure exactly what it is to be called,
    but a Robot Lawyer it is not. It is more like a "Robotic/Automated assistant for a small selection of certain legal matters that gives you a canned form or canned letter to use for the simplest situations", and
    Its effectiveness depends partly on flying under the radar, because lawyers happen to often write the same kind of verbiage, and the letters they use can "Bluff the prosecution" out of pursuing further actions, that is, cause the authorities to skip over you because you're too much trouble and they'd actually have to do work to pursue you, since the canned forms make them THINK you have actually bothered with the expense to hiring lawyers, causing them to back off to avoid extra costs or adverse ruling against them.... So you can get the penalty cancelled by the court, and then the government workers don't bother to pursue the matter further, since it's not worth it in their minds.

    COUGH. If they DID choose to pursue the matter, your Robotic "Lawyer" would be quickly outgunned.

    • It's only a robot if it is an “automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator, programmable in three or more axes, which can be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications.” ISO definition [ifr.org]
  • No help for "children on my lawn"....
  • I open the web page, "https://donotpay-search-master.herokuapp.com/". I ask, "Impeaching a President" and I'm redirected to Google?! I think maybe they should put their source on GitHub and have the community help out. Just thinking out loud, "I wonder if I could Kick Start a project and get funded by Chinese businesses?"
  • I'm guessing this will end about the same as Homer's Miracle Spine-O-Cylinder did when a bunch of chiropractors smashed it with clubs and sledge hammers.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's not about the fast food worker...

    A great many people in professional jobs can be automated easily.
    Billions of people employed shuffling physical paper around the world could be just a few lines of code.

  • There was a robot shark used in Jaws back in 1975.

  • ....and a cage for the robo battles to begin.
  • Just imagine how out of control our legal system will get when a robot designed with logic tries to deal with the "logic" of why people get divorced (or married, for that matter).

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