Chinese AI Helps Make Legal Decisions | Inquirer Technology

Chinese AI Helps Make Legal Decisions

08:02 PM January 22, 2023

China leads many aspects of the tech world, so it is no surprise that it explores artificial intelligence. Nowadays, the country has automated its legal system.

The Chinese AI Xiao Zhi 3.0 focused on financial disputes when it launched in 2019. Now, it has additional features like analyzing case materials and recording testimonies.

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Another platform called the Xiao Baogong Intelligent Sentencing Prediction System assists prosecutors and judges in criminal law.

How does AI improve the Chinese legal system?

This represents an AI legal program.

Photo Credit: sea.mashable.com

A court in Hangzhou city pioneered the Chinese AI legal system in 2019. It was a judge assistant program called Xiao Zhi 3.0 or “Little Wisdom.”

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Xiao Zhi’s first facilitated a trial of ten people who failed to repay their bank loans. Back then, courts needed to hold separate trials for each.

Thanks to this Chinese AI legal program, a single hearing and judge made a decision in only 30 minutes. 

Back then, it only took over repetitive tasks like announcing court procedures. Nowadays, it can analyze case materials, verify information from databases, and record testimonies.

Courts mainly used Xiao Zhi 3.0 only for simple financial disputes. However, a court in Suzhou used a similar Chinese AI to examine evidence and write verdicts. 

Also, prosecutors and judges in criminal law use a similar platform called the Xiao Baogong Intelligent Sentencing Prediction System.

According to DW, it suggests penalties by analyzing case information and prior judgments from similar cases. 

Shitong Qiao, a law professor at Duke Law School, told DW about the potential issues of Chinese AI legal systems:

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“I can see the temptation for Chinese courts to adopt AI even in criminal cases. One of the challenges for Chinese criminal justice is to ensure the uniformity.”

“They want to make sure that across different regions of China,  the penalties are consistent with one another.”

“Motivations of these [AI] companies must be different from public institutions. The process needs to be made accountable.”

Zhiyu Li, assistant professor in law and policy at Durham University, warned about the ethical issues of using such a system.

It could prioritize a machine’s decisions over a human being’s. Also, Li said, “…We don’t know if it may nonetheless sway their decision-making unconsciously due to cognitive biases.”

What are the potential issues of Chinese AI legal systems?

This represents the Chinese AI legal system.

Photo Credit: law.asia

The Chinese can use smartphones to file complaints, track the progress of legal cases, and coordinate with judges. 

Also, the country has AI stations that register cases, provide legal consultations, calculate costs, and generate legal documents 24/7.

In response, some people debate the reliability of data provided by these AI legal assistants. They worry automation could miss nuances and cause people to make wrong decisions.

DW reports some public records are incomplete due to the uneven digitization of China’s regions. Can the Chinese AI legal system make unbiased decisions based on fragmented data?

Professor Qiao warned, “judges do not understand the mechanism of AI decision-making because it is a black box.”

He added, “With AI, it will be so much more difficult for individual citizens to hold judges and government officials accountable.”

Conclusion

The Chinese AI legal system has advanced systems that may inspire courts outside the country to automate. After all, some companies are trying it nowadays.

For example, the DoNotPay tech firm will use “the world’s first robot lawyer” to assist a defendant with a traffic ticket.

Legal minds in the Philippines are also preparing to adapt to this radical change. Keep up with these digital trends by following Inquirer Tech. 

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TOPICS: AI, China, Trending
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