Artificial Intelligence 'Judge' to Predict Outcome in European Court Trials? University Scientists Develop Software


The computer scientists from the University College London and the University of Sheffield developed a software that can predict the outcome of the real life cases in court trials. The software was said to have predicted the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights with 79% accuracy.

The scientists developed an algorithm that did not only consider and weigh up legal evidences, but also took considerations of what's right and wrong. The A.I. 'judge' has gotten the same decision at the European courts in almost four out of five cases relating to torture, degrading treatment and privacy. To develop the software, what the scientists did was to have an A.I. computer scan 584 cases with published judgements and examine the information in each case until it was able to come up with its own verdict.

The A.I. computer observed that there was a violation of the human rights act when there was a repetitive or more frequent occurrences of certain facts, phrases and circumstances. This was how it was able to come up with its own judicial decision with 79% accuracy.

"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." said Dr Nikolaos Aletras, the lead researcher from UCL's department of computer science. "It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European convention on human rights.", he added.

"Previous studies have predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge, so this is the first time judgements have been predicted using analysis of text prepared by the court," said co-author, Dr Vasileios Lampos, UCL Computer Science.

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