Judges are far from being infallible. For example, in psychologist Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking Fast and Slow, it was shown that there is a correlation between the leniency of a judge in court, and how recently they had eaten lunch.
Is there a way to get around this problem? According to China and Estonia, AI should be the judge - literally.
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China has a history in unveiling surprising AI counterparts for professionals whose jobs most would expect to be relatively safe from AI.
Just last year, China unveiled the world's first AI human-like news anchor.
Xinhua's first English #AI anchor makes debut at the World Internet Conference that opens in Wuzhen, China Wednesday pic.twitter.com/HOkWnnfHdW— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) November 7, 2018
Now, it has been revealed in a Beijing Internet Court statement that an AI judge will be used in court proceedings. The statement calls the AI "the first of its kind in the world."
A lifelike AI judge
According to the statement, the AI judge will have the likeness of one of the court's very own judges. It will have a female image with a voice, facial expressions, and actions based on the real judge.
The digital judge will be based on "intelligent synthesizing technologies of speech and images."
Importantly, the AI will only be used to "help the court's judges complete repetitive basic work, including litigation reception, thus enabling professional practitioners to focus better on their trial work."
It sounds like this AI won't be used to make any final decisions on any legal disputes. Instead, it will likely provide assistance to judges presiding over the court proceedings.
AI court assistance
Perhaps this could be compared to assisted driving in smart cars, where AI is used to keep the car on course, while a human is alert at all times, in case of any mistakes.
In any case, it doesn't look like court judges are about to be entirely replaced by AI any time soon.
In March, it was similarly announced that Estonia was developing an AI judge that would make a final call on court proceedings. However, humans will revise the findings of the AI.