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Robot Lawyers Solve Problems

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-jokes-just-write-themselves dept.

Robotics 157

Ben22 writes "The Register is reporting that soon new 'Robot Agents' will handle all of our online disputes. The new system is called e-Dispute and could eventually be used on services such as eBay or even all online stores. Perhaps it will help usher in an age of simplified, safe online shopping. Someday, Congress and the Senate might even use programs such as this to resolve conflicting bills. The possibilities are endless."

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ha (5, Funny)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425303)

In recent future, robot sues you!

Re:ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425327)

I, for one, welcome our new litigious overlords.

Re:ha (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425501)

Nver mind that, what I want to know is this: after the robots have solved the lawyers (presumably others will be posting the functions here shortly) , who will solve the robots?

Eh? Answer me that, then!

Re:ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425806)

OPENING STATEMENT OPENING STATEMENT 0000000 072511 127646 031463 152767 020606 047666 163735 025742 0000020 176710 062375 127377 000662 020005 151211 074323 031262 0000040 060032 011221 057242 163133 130431 110270 164153 006460 0000060 134344 006412 037054 027543 170757 067256 041023 060041 0000100 103005 112122 134313 162740 124443 153710 073371 136152 0000120 062206 072320 153160 112750 103741 147634 015446 162040 0000140 127215 107754 116460 146175 102076 121462 152221 023473 0000160 150150 137073 155503 160535 057622 013453 126074 134456 0000200 152526 172364 000740 103406 022354 063617 112344 164203 0000220 060767 176304 144441 073271 017472 151626 105607 022453 0000240 057247 105014 052540 020072 105374 144354 177566 136552 0000260 131510 100125 122313 061642 117651 052340 070733 142554 0000300 150131 041175 133402 170571 110667 155447 070371 071277 0000320 040576 064457 060677 064047 101227 013637 161031 170257 0000340 126144 006232 142710 037221 124065 113771 053664 002066 0000360 062007 017465 105641 031771 131342 033633 146632 144372 0000400 035417 020164 043230 013016 057305 171556 034604 131432 0000420 062351 166133 077206 146744 023300 016725 130667 040104 0000440 121456 001023 115514 016602 036766 072655 112063 046626 0000460 077336 052744 150346 035341 164123 003446 102542 010740 END TRANSMISSION

Re:ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425961)

0000000 061057 003701 036256 040034 163310 032305 125263 116771
0000020 102310 177246 167216 062611 002617 055754 164176 022533
0000040 105265 115222 054765 033545 030050 055363 114233 154271
0000060 160305 155241 156435 075361 110756 075653 045701 100434
0000100 117413 031217 032034 067712 165617 111563 136133 116101
0000120 021200 017556 072057 131156 056103 012126 063462 015374
0000140 014452 000211 135177 005463 114527 132026 055752 156673
0000160 020605 105534 056667 045616 030367 017751 106557 122347
0000200 012343 143570 061766 064516 106042 075067 123404 170056
0000220 026730 077313 075655 120401 055506 014734 162051 135657
0000240 123125 006761 127443 114522 121450 140265 022511 043641
0000260 150735 151447 112453 117734 032224 105715 153065 145143
0000300 061734 162215 056034 120667 117203 025643 176507 141642
0000320 016064 123134 154566 056340 032732 104113 042262 054776
0000340 056426 075653 142330 140225 101263 040366 167460 065003
0000360 141673 041104 147117 174703 022272 044106 000333 071312
0000400 120272 163126 050253 023275 166640 075433 056373 101330
0000420 156201 167014 010136 124144 016212 114755 037016 025440
0000440 006162 062752 120161 142155 013420 074022 003301 066113
0000460 164136 127315 033231 066772 123102 033525 075527 123401
0000500 145521 075551 067505 117130 115622 176271 154246 074324
0000520 026142 005251 140561 117225 141122 104626 064226 102373

Looks like SCO ... (4, Funny)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425304)

... will have to find a new business model.

Re:Looks like SCO ... (1)

flynns (639641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425387)

No, no! Don't you see?? This is all part of the plan! This way, SCO has ZERO overhead!

*holds stomach* I don't feel so good.

Mr roboto to the rescue! (3, Funny)

filenavigator (944290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425309)

I submitted my legal problem and it responded: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto Mata ahoo Hima de Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto Now everyone can see - secret secret - I've got a secret My true identity - I'm Kilroy Kilroy Kilroy Kilroy !

Re:Mr roboto to the rescue! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425338)

My true identity - I'm Kilroy Kilroy Kilroy Kilroy !
Kilroy Was Here []

Personalization No More (3, Insightful)

komodo9 (577710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425311)

Sounds horrible. First we have to go through 500 options over a telephone menu to reach the right person, now there is no more people. And as horrible as ebay/paypal's customer service is anyway... this will remove even more personal contact. Ugh.
United Bimmer - BMW Enthusiast Community []

Re:Personalization No More (2, Insightful)

Ravatar (891374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425439)

I'd rather read a written statement, than try to understand the person on the other side of the phone line (and probably the ocean).

Re:Personalization No More (2, Insightful)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425524)

Perhaps there won't be personal contact, but... Whether or not you prefer robots over people depends on if the company of your choice has decided to outsource or not and whether or not you can understand heavy (just an example) Indian accents...

And most technical support people that you contact over the phone aren't really knowledgeable. There nothing more than robots, they are given a set of instructions and something to say in response to what you say and they try to walk you through mostly what is already available on the internet. And when all else fails they blame it on you, your equipment or something similar. And it takes a whole lot more time to actually get to someone knowledgeable who can help solve your problem, if you ever do.

Not much will change but the price for the companies.

Ummm... (2, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425561)

Do you really want to have personal interactions with lawyers? :)

So I'm wondering if they have a patent on it. If they have a patent on it, then they could write an arsenal of lawsuit bots and nobody could defend themselves because they'd have to violate the patent. They could rule the world! MUAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!

Robot Lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425312)

So if I get a female robot lawyer and she ends up having, um, relations with me during an attorney-client visit, is that grounds for a mistrial?

Re:Robot Lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425346)

No. Therapy.

Re:Robot Lawyers (1)

EtherealStrife (724374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425556)

Just call the Law Offices of Bluster and Dollop: "We Sue Robots."

Yes, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425313)

And someday, monkeys will fly out of my ass. The possibilities are endless.

Oh great! (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425314)

It's only a matter of time before they become self aware, get religion and try to litigate us into extinction.

Or... (3, Funny)

nametaken (610866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425315)

...perhaps it will just cause a new genre of video gamers that are more adept at manipulating the input it bases its decisions on?

Yes, lovely. Lets apply it to our legal system.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425389)

Before anyone freaks, I realise there's an arbitrator involved, schedules meetings, and all.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425570)

because what we really need is more lawyers...
thanks, i'll pass

what do you call.. (2, Funny)

Combas (776699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425325)

..10 robot lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A pretty good start.

I mark this story (-1, Flamebait) (5, Funny)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425329)

This is a typical Slashdot boilerplate story. There will be exactly:

- 28 comments regarding the problems with automated systems to determine human problems
- 21 comments regarding the fact that current customer service is just as bad as robots
- 14 comments regarding robots in other areas being inefficient and as such will be useless in this field
- 4 comments regarding the new robot overlords
- 3 comments regarding Soviet Russia where you solve robot problems
- 2 comments regarding South Korea where old people solve robot problems
- 1 comment summarizing this entire story

Re:I mark this story (-1, Flamebait) (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425442)

The problem with automated systems trying to determine human problems is that current customer service is already as bad as robots, and since robots are inefficient in other fields, they would be useless in this one. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords, because in Soviet Russia, robot problems solve YOU. For that matter, in Sourth Korea, old people solve robot problems.

In review, they are testing out robotic lawyers.

So, which type does this comment qualify as?

OK, I admit, I didn't understand the South Korea joke part...

Re:I mark this story (-1, Flamebait) (1)

jacen_sunstrider (797955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425453)

In South Korea, only old people use robot lawyers.

you forgot... (1)

miro f (944325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425894)

... do they run linux?

Re:you forgot... (1)

quench (187533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425928)

Also forgotten: "imagine a beowulf cluster of those!"

I for one... (0, Redundant)

cskrat (921721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425332)

... welcome our new cybernetic judge, jury and executioner overlords.

Re:I for one... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425359)

Make sure they never manufacture the T-1000 model.

Re:I for one... (1)

GreenPlastikMan (881184) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425822)

I thought you were going to go with... I for one welcome our new robot lawyer overlords.

Stupid article title (5, Insightful)

dcam (615646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425343)

What a poor title for the article. For those who can't be bothered to read the article, we aren't going to see robots chasing ambulances or wearing pinstripe armani suits any time soon.

"Robot agents digest all the information and make proposals to the parties. Once the arbitrator is agreed upon, the robot agent finds a suitable meeting date for everybody," said Jacques Gouimenou, managing director of Tiga Technologies, the company behind e-Dispute, speaking with ElectricNews.Net. "Our system reduces delays and costs. It is also very secure."

So what we are really talking about is something that:
1. Stores documentation
2. allows the two parties to select an anbitrator
3. Selects a date

What does this have to do lawyers? This is a scheduling tool.

Re:Stupid article title (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425456)

What does this have to do lawyers?

One of them is still going to bill you for the time it would have taken him to do it without the automation.


Re:Stupid article title (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425511)

Agreed. The term "robot" in the slashdot title and original title and article is misleading. It is simply a 3-way private discussion group tuned for legal disputes. In other words, e-arbitration or "ebitration".

Hell, the arbitrators are probably gonna be in India. Tis time lawyers have a taste of "free trade" also.

Re:Stupid article title (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425535)

From TF summary: Someday, Congress and the Senate might even use programs such as this to resolve conflicting bills

What bullshit. Conflicting bills are solved on the basis of power and horsetrading; and no one would want a record of their negotiations to come back and embarrass them. Anyway, they're all in the same building so I fail to see the point of an "e-negotiation" when they can just retire to the traditional smoke-filled backrooms.

It may well have uses, but not in government.

At least (4, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425349)

At least we can be reasonably sure that the robotic legislator actually read the thing first.

Re:At least (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425392)

I can't wait to start slipping in exploit code along with the legal documents.

Yep, I get the cars, dog, house, kids, beanbag chair...

Re:At least (1)

flamingiceclone (918037) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425396)

who says...they might have artficial intelligence modelled after the collective the robot will just come to the same crappy conclusion faster..........(whooaa technology is awesome...hehehe)

Re:At least (2, Interesting)

ghee22 (781277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425434)

a little offtopic but there is a bill that i'm supporting we get signed. It's called Read the Bills Act of 2005 [] and the people from [] have made it very easy for citizens to get in touch with their reps for opinions on all matters.

Re:At least (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425856)

At least we can be reasonably sure that the robotic legislator actually read the thing first
True. Unfortunately, since it was probably written by lawyers (and impervious to comprehension even by an intelligent human) it is highly unlikely that the robotic agent will have understood what the hell it was trying to say.

In all honesty.. (3, Interesting)

Combas (776699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425352)

I think this is probably a good idea.

Firstly, have you every tried sorting through legal documents? This is definitely an area we could use a little automation. Secondly, have you ever tried dealing with lawyers? Even when they work for you this is a frustraiting process and could use a little automation :)

Hell yes, bring on the robots! Actually what would be even better would just be a interface, or have they already got something like that and I just dont know about it?

My Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer will sue! (1)

core plexus (599119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425354)

I just fwd'd this to my Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, and while he is frightened and confused, he is angry enough to start on a complaint.

Doing Business with Intelligence Agencies=$400 Billion []

Re:My Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer will sue! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425378)

Geico Guy: We honestly had no idea you guys were still around.

Caveman: Yea, well maybe next time do some research.

what next? (1)

howhardcanitbetocrea (671190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425355)

robot leeches?

Re:what next? (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425580)

I do believe that's what the article just proposed.

RIAA (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425357)

The RIAA has had these for a few years now. []

Not empowered to actually make decisions! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425585)

Nothing will EVER work unless front line support is actually empowered to make decisions/ correct a wrong.
Stage 1.
a) Remove humans from phone lines.
b) Install a voice recognition system from hell
c) Anything concerning money, or money flowing out - sorry no can do
d) Whiney excuses - I sympathise..but..
e) Recite 'company policy' or 'its the law' - even thought no such thing
f) Errect Barriers - have reciepts? Laptop may take 6 months to repair and costs $999 return postage..
g) Bypass above, engauged number, busy, or put through to oversea's call centres who can barely speak english.
h)Fail to deliver - Just ask Sony and rootkit fix - its not us, honest, please call ....

Logic.... (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425362)

Hopefully these robots can apply some logic to the endless sea of IP disputes.

Company A - I invtented the product & have been selling it for years!!!

Company B - I thought about making the product, couldn't be assed and filed a patent now I want company A to give me my hard earned royalties.

Robot Judge - Logic dictates that company B is an idiot, the case is ruled in favor of Company A. Company B will incur the online service fee for the judgment at also will be fired out of a cannon into the sun for wasting the time of the Robot Court.

OMFG! (1)

Almost-Retired (637760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425367)

Its been my experience that either the judge is the type who applies the law very accurately, or, and this is more often the case, has a builtin bias toward the consumer/little guy.

I don't think this is a good idea, justice really does need the element of compassion that I doubt a robotic piece of code will ever be able to emulate well enough to keep things out of higher courts just to get the final answer as society deems it should be. Sure, the higher court may well find the same thing, but at least a human said it.

Frankly, this sounds like yet another idea for the lawyers to milk for all its worth, enhancing their income far more than the perceived economy of letting a few lines of code render the decision. It will wind up being just another billing hour for them.

The fact that they are looking for VC money to commercialize it says volumes about their business model vs any interest in real justice.

This one deserves a thumbs down from the box seats.

Cheers, Gene

Re:OMFG! (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425403)

I doubt a robotic piece of code will ever be able to emulate well enough to keep things out of higher courts just to get the final answer as society deems it should be.

If you'd RTFA instead of the bullshit summary, (look at the original headline "'Robot agents' to help settle disputes", vs Slashdot's) you'd see there is nothing about robotic lawyers or judges making decisions on cases; it simply acts to host an online venue for arbitration, processing the complaints and presenting options. So as for eBay conflict resolution, it will be yet another way for scammers to waste time and for eBay to avoid reponsibility. Arbitration only works if there is good faith on both sides.

Re:OMFG! (4, Interesting)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425858)

Actually, it also works, if legally binding in the huge amounts of cases where one side is *not* in good faith, and the other side simply needs a legal document to, basically, say so.

For example, the large majority of arbited disputes in the norwegian "Forliksråd" runs something like this:

  • One side in some relation refuses to deal with something he/she/it should. Could be a customer that ignores paying his bill, a business that doesn't respond to requests to warranty-repair a defective computer (I had this happen to me), whatever. You try for a while, but after your second formal letter of complaint is ignored you realize it's time to either give up, or get the law behind you.
  • You deliver a complaint to the Forliksråd with a written account of how you see the case. (you don't need to document anything, only explain.)
  • Complaint is delivered to other part, along with information that an answer is to be delivered within 14 days, or the "forliksråd" will be forced to conclude that you agree with the accusations.
  • No response comes.
  • Forliksråd decides you are rigth in your claims and issue a ruling to this effect.
  • Other part is informed of the ruling, and the fact that it becomes legally bindable if it is not appealed within a month.
  • Other part ignores this too. One month passes.
At this point you've got a legal judgement, and can use any of the means available for getting your money. In the case of a consumer having a dispute with a business the simplest way of getting the money is simply to go demand the business be bankrupted, as it has legal, undisputed, but still unpaid bills. I did this.

It's interesting how a company that's been ignoring your demands to fix their shit for a year is suddenly capable of bringing a courier to your house with full payment, within *the*hour* of them, their bank, their investors, and the entire board of Trustees learning that they are, legally, bankrupt this time next week unless they can show proof that they've paid the bill.

Arbitration with no legal force is, however, as you say, pointless unless both sides actually want to reach an agreement.

Laws of Robotics (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425370)

Asimov's 1985 revised Laws of Robotics
Zeroth Law:
A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

First Law:
A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law:
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law:
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

An Extended Set of the Laws of Robotics
The Meta-Law
A robot may not act unless its actions are subject to the Laws of Robotics

Law Four
A robot must perform the duties for which it has been programmed, except where that would conflict with a higher-order law

The Procreation Law
A robot may not take any part in the design or manufacture of a robot unless the new robot's actions are subject to the Laws of Robotics

But wait... this isn't robotic decision making, it is a computerized process. Unless they're using neural networks (unlikely) i don't see how this is nothing more than a smart weighting algorithm.

Bingo! (1)

Auraiken (862386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425574)

i don't see how this is nothing more than a smart weighting algorithm.

What do you think human judges do anyways? Also with past case bias. The only thing that i can see as a problem will be seeing if the prosecutor or defendant is lying. I guess we'll still have use for the old court... fraud cases. ^^;

Off Topic: Internet Slowdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425398)

Anyone got the skinny? []

Re:Off Topic: Internet Slowdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425446)

seeing problems with quest and verio but nothing exactly major. []

Robot lawyers? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425405)

... but they won't have souls or a conscience like human lawy....

oh wait. never mind.

* call to aol * (5, Funny)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425412)

"hi, i'm calling to cancel my aol subscription"
"i'm afraid i can't do that dave"

I.L.R.T. (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425413)

It's a joke only die hard Frank Herbert fans will get...but it's *really* appropriate here.

Re:I.L.R.T. (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425459)

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought of that.

Re:I.L.R.T. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425490)

The Tactful Saboteur []
looks cool.

Guess I should read more of his stuff other than Dune.

Re:I.L.R.T. (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425753)

He's definitely got a lot of good stuff.

The Santaroga Barrier is one of my favorites.

Re:I.L.R.T. (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425629)

Matrix joke than for people who do not understand?

One flaw... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425415)

It wouldn't take much effort to persuade a robot lawyer to sue itself for being an insult to human dignity (like most lawyers are) and put it into an infinite loop trying to decide which Asimov's Law of Robotics it was violating. At some point, the robot will shutdown after the warrantry expires and some stuck-up human lawyer will file a class-action lawsuit against manufactur for "previously known" defects. In short, too much legal trouble for what it's worth.

In less then two hours? (1)

IAMTHEMEDIA (869196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425428)

AFTER THEY ABOLISHED ALL THE (real) LAWYERS! I love Back to the Futureisms.

Spock.. (1)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425430)

Must.. keep self from.. making fun of.. article about.. Robot - lawyers! SPOOOOOOCKKK!! NOOOOOOO!!!

z0mg (1)

saifatlast (659446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425431)

Oh great, robot lawyers. Soon they'll replace the supremem court with these a cluster!!!

Brain the size of a planet..... (1)

masterpenguin (878744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425438)

" Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, 'cause I don't. "

I can see it now, manic depressed robot lawyers running around unchecked. something here seems, dangrious.

Re:Brain the size of a planet..... (1)

LostBurner (916484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425832)

That's only if they're fitted with Genuine People Personalities (R). Being lawyer robots, the manufacturers probably won't bother.

Future business opp: litigation robot optimization (2, Informative)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425465)

If litigation in the future is going to be resolved largely based on case evaluations by automated systems, this raises some interesting issues:
  • Would we pass various scenarios through the system, prior to initiating litigation, to assess whether the lawsuit makes financial sense and to choose the most promising approach?
  • It would appear that, if the proposed settlement to be chosen by the litigation system was completely predictable, this would be a severe weakness. It would make "gaming the system" even easier than today. Thus, as with the best poker robots, some level of randomisation would appear necessary to keep the "players" honest. On the other hand, many caught up in the legal system are under the illusion that outcomes should conform to something called "justice". While these participants may be delusional, their fantasies need to be catered to, and any form of randomisation in the results will be regarded as "unjust".
  • I find the possibility of duelling litigation robots a fascinating prospect. I can imagine a whole new specialty of "litigation robot optimization" where engineers, knowledgable about the internal operation of competing robots, find creative ways to enhance the results of their own robot.
I certainly have no fear that such developments will lead to a worse legal system. The current system (in almost all countries, though there are a few honourable exceptions) is so hopelessly flawed that changes, while they may not help, will not cause any major new problems. Litigation in the US, and many other countries, is just a way to generate money for the legal profession. Adding a new legal specialty to get some of the spoils seems fine, especially as this one sounds like fun.

Re:Future business opp: litigation robot optimizat (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425649)

I can imagine a whole new specialty of "litigation robot optimization" where engineers, knowledgable about the internal operation of competing robots, find creative ways to enhance the results of their own robot.

Rather than knowledgeable engineers I suspect we'll see a cadre of semi-morons charging outrageous sums of money to add keywords to lawsuits to boost relevance or perhaps set up entire networks of dummy lawsuits to try and distort case least until the alogithms get updated.

I predict they'll be called "Sympathetic End-result Optimizers" so that they won't have to get new business cards.

Has anyone got their invites to the gJustice (beta) yet?

Very Very Scray (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425466)

Am I the only one frightened by this sort of thing? Arbitration is bad enough in it's normal state. Now take out the inteligent neutral party and replace it with this? Shall the more intelligent, or the better speaker win. The party who can better argue their case. If someone doesn't understand it and gives an emotional case lacking facts, as many people will, should they lose even though they may be in the right? On another front ebay customer service is already non existent. Imagine if you could no longer talk to humans but always have to go through these automated money saving systems. Very frightening!

Oh.. And what does this have to do with hardware?

Monument, by Lloyd Biggle, Jr. (3, Interesting)

Inspector Lopez (466767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425467)

The charming little SciFi novel, Monument by Lloyd Biggle, Jr., has a few small but important scenes in which legal disputes are argued by human lawyers, but decided by a robot judge. A pleasant read, especially for tree-hugging sci-fi nerds.

LAWbay! (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425476)

1. Put up the e-Dispute on LAWbay
2. Parties put up a bid
3. Repeat step 2 until one goes broke
4. The one with the biggest sum wins!
5. profit!!!

Headline misrepresents story, what else is new... (3, Insightful)

TwentyLeaguesUnderLa (900322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425477)

So basically, as far as I can tell, this is basically a chat room with a human organizer scheduling and moderating things - except that it also has lots of features (videoconferencing, etc) to make communication as convenient as possible, and it's also optimized for "chatting" about legal disputes.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if it becomes very widely used, since for two parties across the globe it's pretty difficult to arrange a long series of meetings in person, but it's being misrepresented - no "robot lawyers" are solving anything, it's just a computer interface to a human lawyer, for convenience.

Court Services (2, Interesting)

bombadillo (706765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425483)

Back in 2002-2003 there was an online service in the UK called court services. Basically one could launch a claim online. This isn't a new concept. I am surpised the Register which is a UK site missed that one.

Setting cynicism to stun! (3, Funny)

pjt48108 (321212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425484)

Someday, Congress and the Senate might even use programs such as this to resolve conflicting bills.

I almost fought the urge to be cynical, but....

Don't count on them using such a program, then. If Congress ever actually resolved anything, they'd have to close up shop for the duration, go home, and find a real job.


Greetings gentlemen. You already know my Execubots (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425495)

Executive Alpha, programmed to like things it has seen before. Executive Beta, programmed to roll dice to determine the fall schedule. And Executive Gamma, programmed to underestimate middle America.

I'd like to introduce our newest Execubot Delta, programmed to cancel TV shows based on spurious legal threats;

Execubot Delta: Futurama should be cancelled because the character name "Fry" makes us vulnerable to McDonalds.

In addition to helping congressmen with bills... (2, Funny)

tsch (593024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425496)

the soon-to-be-developed Abrambott can automatically calculate how much to "donate" to contrarian lawmakers to buy off secure their votes, using proprietary "Duke Cunningham" algorithms!

Democracy in action!

We already have robot lawyers (2, Funny)

mbstone (457308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425509)

They're called "public defenders."

Great news. You're going to plead guilty. (Urp!) Have I got a plea bargain for you! (Zzip!) If you don't plead guilty, the deal is never gonna get better. (Zzip, urp!) You know if you don't plead guilty you could go away for 0xFF years....

about the legislature... (1)

h4ckintosh (842712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425526)

Don't they already have too many 'robots' in there already..?

I'd like to see... (1)

KIondike (614282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425530)

...a fight between Robot Lawyer and Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. I think the best part of the war would be found in their rivaling corporate sponsors. Big Giant Bean, you've met your match!

R2-Sue-You (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425536)

C3PO: "R2, the client says that is not her signature."

R2D2: "Beep doop beep girggle."

C3PO: "Of course I can tell it's not hers. Just look at it."

R2D2: "Beep girggle girggle doop bleep."

C3PO: "No, I don't have training in penmenship pattern differentials. I don't need that to see that they are different."

R2D2: "Beep doop girggle doop."

C3PO: "No R2, it is premature to hire a handwriting expert. The other side has not disputed that the signature is false yet."

Client: "Can I have my money back? You damned robots argue too much!"

C3PO: "Oh dear! Look what you have done, R2! I am sooo sorry dear client."

Where's the 'Bribe' key? (1)

Frodrick (666941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425542)

"Congress and the Senate might even use programs such as this to resolve conflicting bills."

Unless the robot lawyer/judge comes with a "Bribe" key, polititians and rich folks won't ever accept it. The very last thing they want is a system that decides issues based solely on their merits without regard to wealth or power.

In what universe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14425543)

has a lawyer ever solved a problem?

Change of perspective.... (1)

dickeya (733264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425553)

I suddenly have a new found respect for virus writers.

Go get em boys.

Semi-Obligatory Simpsons Quote (1)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425577)

Convenient Voice: Thank you for calling the parking violations bureau. To plea `not guilty,' press `one' now.
[Homer dials `one']
Thank you. Your plea has been...

Male rough voice: Rejected.

Convenient voice: You will be assessed the full fine plus a small...

Male rough voice: Large lateness fee.

Convenient Voice: Please wait by your vehicle between 9 AM and 5 PM for parking officer Steve...

Male rough voice: Grabowski.

The only reasons that this works... (0, Flamebait)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425591) because no heart is required for this job, as real lawyers have shown us.

First, they need a new name. Then new technology. (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425605)

The first thing the company behind this, Tiga Technologies, needs is a new name. There's already a commercial product called e-Dispute. [] This is a system for resolving billing disputes between companies. It's useful where there are many invoices with multiple line items to be matched up with purchase orders, shipping and receiving information, rejects and returns. It lets both sides see all the documents involved. As issues are resolved, everybody sees the same markup and the numbers are recomputed. It's not AI, it's just good accounting.

Tiga's new thing may be vaporware. Their website [] is suspicious. The graphics all look like generic clip art. The e-Dispute application system diagram [] appears to be a generic drawing of a Citrix Metaframe system with a bit of markup. An old Metaframe system, too. Note the terminals marked "OS/2 PCs" and "Legacy DOS PCs", and the data links marked "ISDN" and "Dial-Up". In fact, here's the image it was apparently copied from. [] Note that Tiga seems to have removed the Citrix name and the "tm" after Metaframe, along with other editing.

The Hon, Judge Bender presiding... (1)

HotmanParisHiltonKam (944151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425651)

"Your Honour, I Object.."

"Bite my shiny metal ass!!"

I quite like the idea (1)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425653)

Go online select property law, then dividing equity after a relationship breakup, select non married then the fact that I PAID FOR MOST of the FRIKKEN HOUSE!

<calm> Hit submit and a T-100 is sent round to isssue the documents, via an uzi!

I'm not bitter! I'm NOT bitter....

Imagine RIAA... (2, Funny)

relifram66 (899283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425698)

This could be quite useful. Imagine for instance:


Robot lawyer: Hello. I am Robot lawyer. How can I help you?

RIAA: My grandmother has been downloading music.

Robot lawyer: Why do you say your grandmother has been downloading music?

RIAA: Our network of spys informed us

Robot lawyer: Please go on.

RIAA: We need to sue her

Robot lawyer: Why do you want to sue her

RIAA: To recoup our losses caused by the theft of our music

Robot lawyer: Please go on.

RIAA: We also need to send a lesson to all our customers that it is wrong to listen to our music

Robot lawyer: Can you elaborate on that?

RIAA: Well you see we feel threatened by any technology which we are not familiar with, so we need to sue her

Robot lawyer: Oh, I see you feel threatened by any technology which you are not familiar with so you need to sue her.

RIAA: Pretty much.

Robot lawyer: Please go on.

RIAA: So, are you going to send her a subpeona?

Robot lawyer: Would you prefer if I was not going to send her a subpeona?

RIAA: We thought that was your job!

Robot lawyer: Can you elaborate on that?

RIAA: God damn. You're supposed to be getting me money!

Robot lawyer: How long have you been supposed to be getting your money?

RIAA: No, no, you, YOU are supposed to be handling this dispute.

Robot lawyer: You are being a bit negative.

RIAA: Do you think we'd get more money if we were more positive?

Robot lawyer: Do you wish that you were more positive?


Maybe, just maybe, they'd eventually give up!

Lawbot, get it? LAWBOT !!! (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425724)

That's it. I have nothing else for tonight. It's freaking 4:16AM in the morning. What the hell do you expect?

Anyone else (1)

unicode (641705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425839)

see these as the perfect solution to the perfect [] problem?

As long as... (1)

yfkar (866011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425854)

I'm fine as long as they don't make an army of insurance salesmen.

Since when has law ever been about logic? (1)

astonishedelf (845821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14425887)

Have been practicising criminal law in the uk for 15 years and am still amazed that anyone thinks law and logic have anything but a passing relation to each other. Most of my time has been spent in changing the perceptions of my client. Lawyers are needed because people are greedy, racist, bigoted, dishonest, sexist, and immature. When everyone grows up, then lawyers can be dispensed with.


mahju (160244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14426094)

I for one look forward to now covering my flamebait with IANARL - I Am Not A Robot Lawyer

Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14426156)

I would trust it more than Bush.

Tractis (1)

_eb0la_reston_ (930919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14426182)

I know about another system called Tractis [] that will have a public beta soon.
Its parent company, Negonation [] won some bussiness-developement contests with Tractis.

gn44 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14426196)

feelow travellers?

Emacs is better! (1)

MattyDK23 (819057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14426200)

I'll stick to my trusty Emacs "M-x lawyer" representation, thank you very much.
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