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His Honour AI “Judge” developed by University College London

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 25 October 2016

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Artificial intelligence can be used to predict our favourite films, TV shows and music, now it may even be used to predict the outcome of trials. 

Following a breakthrough study by a group of computer scientists at University College London artificial intelligence has be able to weigh up legal evidence and moral questions of right and wrong.

In four of five cases involving privacy, torture and degrading treatment the His Honour the artificially intelligent “Judge” came to the same verdict as the Judges in the European Court of Human Rights. English language data sets for 584 cases that relate to privacy, torture, degrading treatment and fair trials was examined by the algorithm.

Dr  Nikolaos Aletras, lead researcher for the department of computer science, explained: “We don’t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but we think they’d find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes.”  

When developing the algorithm the research team found that judgements in the European Court of Human Rights tended to depend on non-legal facts as opposed to strictly legal arguments.

Dr Vasileios Lampos, University College London computer scientist, said: “We expect this sort of tool would improve efficiencies of high-level, in-demand courts, but, to become a reality, we need to test it against more articles and the case data submitted to the court.”

The findings by Dr Nikolaos Aletras and his team have been published in the journal PeerJ Computer Science. 

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