The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Law: Basic Questions

Forthcoming chapter in Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI, 2020

22 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2019

See all articles by Harry Surden

Harry Surden

University of Colorado Law School

Date Written: August 22, 2019

Abstract

Ethical issues surrounding the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in law often share a common theme. As AI becomes increasingly integrated within the legal system, how can society ensure that core legal values are preserved?

Among the most important of these legal values are: equal treatment under the law; public, unbiased, and independent adjudication of legal disputes; justification and explanation for legal outcomes; outcomes based upon law, principle, and facts rather than social status or power; outcomes premised upon reasonable, and socially justifiable grounds; the ability to appeal decisions and seek independent review; procedural fairness and due process; fairness in design and application of the law; public promulgation of laws; transparency in legal substance and process; adequate access to justice for all; integrity and honesty in creation and application of law; and judicial, legislative, and administrative efficiency.

The use of AI in law may diminish or enhance how these values are actually expressed within the legal system or alter their balance relative to one another. This chapter surveys some of the most important ethical topics involving the use of AI within the legal system itself (but not its use within society more broadly) and examines how central legal values might unintentionally (or intentionally) change with increased use of AI in law.

Suggested Citation

Surden, Harry, The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Law: Basic Questions (August 22, 2019). Forthcoming chapter in Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI, 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3441303

Harry Surden (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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