DailyDirt: Technology For Lawyers

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Every profession faces some disruption with technological improvements. Robots have slowly been taking over dangerous and labor-intensive jobs in manufacturing for decades, but advanced algorithms are starting to creep into careers that were previously safe from automation. Sure, translation software has provided some hilarious examples of how bad they are, but the first chess programs weren't so good, either. Lawyers could outlaw their robotic replacements, but they might have to act fast. Here are just a few links on technology getting into the field of law. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: ai, artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, cognitive computing, science fiction, smart contracts, tools, watson
Companies: ibm


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  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 18 Feb 2015 @ 5:14pm

    “infallible logic trees”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Buggy logic trees”, more like...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      CK20XX (profile), 18 Feb 2015 @ 5:18pm

      Re: “infallible logic trees”

      I was gonna say. Computers are only as good as the people who create them, and humans, especially rich, bureaucratic humans, are notoriously bad with logic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 19 Feb 2015 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re: “infallible logic trees”

        Garbage in, garbage out.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Feb 2015 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: “infallible logic trees”

        I think Gödel might've said something about the consistency and completeness of any given system of formal logic. Bureaucrats touting (and believing in) the infallibility of their tech can only lead to things getting worse.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 18 Feb 2015 @ 8:17pm

      Re: “infallible logic trees”

      Actually, I suspect a malapropism. If the phrase had been intended to be “inflexible logic trees”, that would make more sense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2015 @ 8:00pm

    "logic trees that don't necessarily adapt to changing conditions"

    You mean like a tough-on-crime district attorney?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Alien Rebel (profile), 18 Feb 2015 @ 9:00pm

    Disappointed

    "Technology for Lawyers"

    I was hoping the post would be about some new chemical spray-away or hypersonic repellant to get rid of lawyers. Crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      New Mexico Mark, 19 Feb 2015 @ 5:46am

      Re: Disappointed

      That problem has been solved already. Having no money is the most effective lawyer repellent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Alien Rebel (profile), 19 Feb 2015 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re: Disappointed

        Absolutely correct. Being cold and dead works for most blood-sucking parasites. Although with both lawyers and bankers, it's very difficult to actually be dead enough.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Feb 2015 @ 7:09am

    Watson would meltdown due to the contradictions before being able to offer any insight.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zonker, 19 Feb 2015 @ 11:01am

    I believe the Grand Jury indictment process could be replaced with this simple algorithm and achieve the same results:

    IF accused == officer THEN "innocent" ELSE "guilty" END

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 19 Feb 2015 @ 12:13pm

    I suspect computerizing law...

    Will certainly go through a phase where it encounters all the contradictions in law, which can give us a chance to make them consistent with each other. It will also reveal how often courts of law depend on the judge's intuition, that is which lawyer's jib, the cut of which he likes more.

    I suspect well cut jibs are very important in courtrooms.

    I remember when looking to return to school finding out that the essay question directive Discuss... is the most commonly used in US tests that feature essay questions. It's also the most ambiguously defined, so that even a given teacher may not be clear to himself what he wants regarding Discuss, so it generally serves as a means to give a teacher intuitive latitude and upgrade or downgrade a student based on how much he likes her [legs].

    While Godel is right and we'll never work out all the kinks in a legal system, I think one that is monitored or even governed by algorithm will better serve us than one that is governed by the days and jib-preferences of a bunch of old men.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Feb 2015 @ 3:01pm

      Re: I suspect computerizing law...

      I've got some major ambivalence going on here. The consistent application of a formal system (I'll get over the incompleteness thing) could really help mitigate judicial caprice, but it makes me fear "zero tolerance" application of the law... especially if the law is written to be biased in the first place (e.g. the old crack vs. powder cocaine penalties).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 19 Feb 2015 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re: I suspect computerizing law...

        This is the nut of the problem. The law cannot be rigidly and inflexibly applied if what we want from it is anything like justice. That's the whole reason we have judges: they are supposed to make a reasonable determination that takes the circumstances of the particular situation into account.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Feb 2015 @ 9:54am

          Re: Re: Re: I suspect computerizing law...

          From what I've seen for years reading Techdirt, human judges are miserably poor at deciding when to apply lenience, or bend the laws. Presently, a person's fate in the justice system is more determined by the ambitions and interests of the jurists involved rather than guilt or innocence.

          We'd get better justice from Two-Face, let alone WATSON.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Feb 2015 @ 10:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I suspect computerizing law...

            I think I'll stop worrying about it, since I just realized that the question I keep coming back to is "Would I rather let a self-serving judge or an unimaginative machine enforce the arbitrary rules of a flawed system?"

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 12 Sep 2016 @ 7:50am

    Wrong URL on the Watson link?

    The links on the Watson piece point to poweredbyross.com, which appears to be a website related to an e-cigarette (vaping) product. Did the wrong URL get put in here, somehow?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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