Developing Artificially Intelligent Justice

48 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019 Last revised: 12 Aug 2019

See all articles by Richard M. Re

Richard M. Re

University of Virginia School of Law

Alicia Solow-Niederman

Harvard University - Harvard Law School

Date Written: May 19, 2019

Abstract

Artificial intelligence, or AI, promises to assist, modify, and replace human decision-making, including in court. AI already supports many aspects of how judges decide cases, and the prospect of “robot judges” suddenly seems plausible—even imminent. This Article argues that AI adjudication will profoundly affect the adjudicatory values held by legal actors as well as the public at large. The impact is likely to be greatest in areas, including criminal justice and appellate decision-making, where “equitable justice,” or discretionary moral judgment, is frequently considered paramount. By offering efficiency and at least an appearance of impartiality, AI adjudication will both foster and benefit from a turn toward “codified justice,” an adjudicatory paradigm that favors standardization above discretion. Further, AI adjudication will generate a range of concerns relating to its tendency to make the legal system more incomprehensible, data-based, alienating, and disillusioning. And potential responses, such as crafting a division of labor between human and AI adjudicators, each pose their own challenges. The single most promising response is for the government to play a greater role in structuring the emerging market for AI justice, but auspicious reform proposals would borrow several interrelated approaches. Similar dynamics will likely extend to other aspects of government, such that choices about how to incorporate AI in the judiciary will inform the future path of AI development more broadly.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, AI, Courts, Law

Suggested Citation

Re, Richard M. and Solow-Niederman, Alicia, Developing Artificially Intelligent Justice (May 19, 2019). 22 Stanford Technology Law Review 242 (2019), UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390854

Richard M. Re (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Alicia Solow-Niederman

Harvard University - Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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