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AI: An Asset Or Threat To Justice

'Artificial intelligence is a tool, not a threat.' - Rodney Brooks

The world has become dynamic due to the day-to-day innovation and their applicability in various fields. All such invention is result of the technology or better say Advanced technology. Artificial Intelligence is the product of this technology. The words of Dave waters, famous computer scientist 'Artificial Intelligence is the future and future is here' appears to be appealing at the present scenario.

Almost all fields related to the human life such as Education, Healthcare, Economy etc. have influence of AI which has facilitated in many ways so Legal Fields could not be the exceptional to the use of Ai. The launching of Ai based SUPACE portal by honorable Supreme Court is seen as initiative of Ai in legal arena. The uses of Ai in different fields could be easily visualized by us but when we talk about use of Ai in legal sphere a lot of queries and suspects arises whether Ai would be asset or threat to justice.

Artificial Intelligence - Introduction

The beginning of the Ai could be traced with the year 1956 when for the first time Ai term was coined by John McCarthy at Dartmouth college. Today Ai is viewed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution whose applicability manifolds after the use of 5th generation technology by Japan. Although present era seems to be an era of Ai but a lot of concepts regarding the AI emerges day by day in which some states about its positive aspects whereas some focuses on its negative aspects.

When we consider the future prospects of Ai it becomes inalienable part of human. Many scientists tried to define Ai on their own perception but their does not exist any universal definition of the Ai. Frederick Linz defines it as 'Ai is creating a mind, hopefully as pure a mind as possible, for a computer.

'Another scientist named, Falguni Desai defined 'Ai is about replacing human decision making with more sophisticated technologies.' In layman words, Ai is the intelligence of machine which through its machine learning process develops the capacity of decision making. Ai is similar to the human body so it tries to act as human mind. As human body with the help of its five sense organs collects information and take decision, similarly Ai with the help of sensors known as receptors collects various information from the devices then interpret such information and based of this information take decision. Various real-world example of Ai is Siri, Alexa, self-driven cars, online gaming etc.

Law and Artificial Intelligence

Having the large level influence of Ai over the various fields then Legal arena could not be exceptional to it. With more than 4 crores cases pending over various courts of the country, it become necessity to rely over the technology to relieve from the overburden and day to day piling of cases. The launching of SUPACE portal by the Supreme Court has been initiative of merging law with technology.

A popular Proverb 'A Justice Delayed is the Justice Denied' by William E Gladstone well suits in today's legal domain so it become compulsory to adopt the technology for speedy justice. The launching of SUVAS portal which stands for Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software, is another initiative featuring Ai to translate the Supreme Court Judgements into Vernacular languages.

The collaboration of law with technology has led to matter of debate whether Ai would impact the justice as being machine without emotions, sympathy would always take decisions on the basis of its understanding so in a matter which required some human emotions before delivering the verdict, this might cause the injustice to the party.

However, the words of Justice Rao 'It is quite implausible that Ai will ever make human lawyer or judges ever completely redundant' could the best possible answer to the aforementioned question. It is important to understand that the work of the Ai is to assist the court but not to take away the charges and duties of the Judges with their discretion while delivering the verdict.

The main challenge appears before adopting to such technology is to change the conventional way of working i.e., physical from of way to the modern way i.e., paperless from of work but it is for sure till next decade legal professional would change their perception regarding to their work and would surely adapt with this new technology.

AI: Assistance to Justice

For the first time the importance of Ai in Indian Legal Scenario was felt in the year 2015 during e-court project when law minister Kiran Rijiju said that there is need to adopt Machine learning and Ai to increase the efficiency of justice delivery system. For the aforementioned purpose, the honorable Supreme Court has constituted Ai committee. As per the source during covid lockdown nearly 1.81 lakh virtual hearings of Supreme Court were conducted possible only due to the technology.

For the ease of justice various Ai based programs such as SUPACE � to prepare legal draft, SUVAS- to translate judgement in vernacular languages, SCI � a software to make the benches of the supreme court paperless and in the year 2020, researchers at IIT Kharagpur released Ai based method to automate the reading of the legal case judgement.

There are the areas still where the efficiency of the Ai could be proved such as Alternate Dispute Resolution, Legal analytics and robotics, automation of repetitive and mechanical processes, to establish complete digital or e-court with the purpose to solve civil or minor cases and Online Dispute Resolution concept too should be adopted to solve the petty cases related to the Traffic Challan, labour laws, factories etc. The concept and application of the Ai in our country is not the new but various countries have already adopted in their legal domain.

For example, Argentina Ai based Prometea used to identify the urgent cases, Brazil Ai based software Victor used to conduct the preliminary level investigation of the case securing the time and burden of the court, UK Ai based software HART to forecast the reoffending criminals and US Ai featuring Software Compus to assess recidivism risk and inform decision. In 21st century, the period of advanced technology survival could not be possible as per the 20th century so with this dynamic world it is important to adopt such innovation and adapt ourselves to them.

AI - Threat to Justice

Ai is being used in judiciary for various purposes such as legal research, streamlining, translation, legal briefing of the case etc. however if it is not handled with due care and diligence, it may pose serious threats to the judiciary and delivery of the justice. Some flaws of using Ai involving risk in judiciary are:
  1. Privacy
    Privacy being the matter of the concern for all, and it is declared as the fundamental right guaranteed under the article 21. So, Ai system in judiciary does not secure the privacy as it is tech-based system from where it is possible of leakage of the useful and important data.
  2. Ethics
    The decision taken by the judges are not totally based on laws, but human nature and ethics are too taken into consideration. But if the decision is taken by the Ai based robot judges it is for sure that they would lack the ethical and human values and decision would be solely based on the laws and facts, this would cause the injustice.
  3. Fairness
    Ai based system does not ensure fairness in judicial process which is the fundamental feature of judiciary. This system would be biased or discriminatory due to the data or algorithm used to train them. If such happens then this may affect the outcomes of the judicial decisions and also violate the human rights.
  4. Accountability and Trust
    Another feature of the judiciary is that it bears the accountability of safeguarding the interest and rights of the citizens as well as determine the trust and confidence of the public. Ai system is complex and opaque in nature, it does not have the accountability and also undermine the trust and confidence of the public and parties involved in the judicial process.
  5. Transparency
    For better functioning of any organ of the government, it is necessary to have transparency in it. But when we have the Ai based system in our consideration, we find out it completely lacks the transparency as we are not aware of its process of working and on what basis it gives decision.
So abovementioned are some of the main reasons from where we could infer that too much relying over the Ai would ne threat to the judiciary and justice too.

No one could deny the utility of Ai in modern era in any sphere of the life but at present scenario it is necessary to remove the flaws of the Ai and bring to the world in more transparent way. Ai in judiciary would surely reform the entire judicial process and bring the revolution in legal fields with its outstanding feature.

With a lot of positive outcomes, one cannot avoid the challenges and risk associated with it. Therefore, judicial system needs to adopt appropriate regulations, norms and safeguards to ensure that Ai is used in a responsible and beneficial way.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Ujjwal Tripathi
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Authentication No: OT330218346044-29-1023

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