A Beijing Internet Court has revealed a world-first AI judge will be used in court proceedings.
The judge has been given an appearance and characteristics similar to one of the court’s very own judges. It’s been given a female image that can display facial expressions and can even talk.
According to a statement from the court, the abilities of the virtual judge have been based on intelligent speech and image synthesizing technologies. But anybody worried about Skynet taking over our courts can breath a slight sigh of relief.
Court judges aren’t going to be fully replaced by robots any time soon. Instead, it’s going to provide assistance to judges actually in charge of court proceedings.
The AI’s main aims will be to carry out basic repetitive work. In their statement, the court describes this as ‘litigation reception, thus enabling professional practitioners to focus better on their trial work’.
It’s refreshing to hear that artificial intelligence is set to be used to aid judges rather than fully replace them. But this isn’t the first time of course that AI has started doing a job you’d presume would be left to humans.
In 2018, Xinhua News revealed the first ever AI news anchor at the World Internet Conference. The English-speaking host was met with criticism.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) November 7, 2018
Internet Courts in China have been created to enable the filing, mediation, court hearing, attending court hearing, and inquiries to be handled through mobile phones, according to their website. It aims to address the increasing workload, speed up court proceedings and also remove elements of bias from verdicts.
Artificial intelligence has already been used in Chinese courts before, but only as a supportive tool in the presentation of case-related evidence and research aid.
For the first time in China, #AI assistive technology was used in a trial at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court on Wed, the Legal Daily reported. When the judge, public prosecutor or defender asked the AI system, it displayed all related evidence on a courtroom screen. pic.twitter.com/fEI7cR5U3T
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) January 25, 2019
While it seems like we’re a long away from our fates in court being decided by AI, China aren’t the only country slowly moving towards that scenario.
Estonia announced in March that they were looking to design a robot judge to take care of small claims in court disputes. Wired reported the country wants judges to be completely fair, and AI is their answer.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Matt Weston is a lover of electric cars, artificial intelligence and space. From Cornwall, he’s a UCLan graduate that still dreams of being a Formula One driver in the very near future. Previously work includes reporting for regional newspapers and freelance video for the International Business Times.