Real Lawyers Stop a Robot Lawyer Having Its Day in Court
A robot lawyer walks into multiple state bars…
By Matthew Humphries
The world’s first robot lawyer will no longer help a British man challenge a speeding ticket in court ,after threats of prosecution and jail time were made (to the creator of the lawyer, not the AI).
The robot lawyer is the invention of Joshua Browder, CEO of DoNotPay. You may remember when DonNotPay’s AI chatbot managed to renegotiate a Comcast bill last year, saving a customer $120.
As NPR reports, in order for the robot lawyer to work, the defendant would need to wear smart glasses in court so as to allow the proceedings to be recorded. The AI would then use the glasses to tell the defendant what to say at the appropriate time, with a little help from chatbots including ChatGPT and DaVinci.
The robot lawyer’s first appearance was scheduled for Feb. 22 in California, but unfortunately, we won’t get to see how it fares, because real lawyers derailed the experiment. According to Browder, “Multiple state bar associations have threatened us… One even said a referral to the district attorney’s office and prosecution and prison time would be possible.”
Browder went on to explain that the threat of prosecution was based on the fact the “unauthorized practice of law” is a misdemeanor and can result in a jail term. As the robot lawyer is unlicensed, its use could be seen as falling under the heading of unauthorized practice. Therefore, Browder decided not to proceed because, “Even if it wouldn’t happen, the threat of criminal charges was enough to give it up.”
Real lawyers will be sighing with relief as they continue to charge by the hour, but it may be a short-lived victory. As Browder pointed out in a tweet, “There isn’t a lawyer that will get out of bed to help you with a $400 refund.” So the case for cheap robot lawyers is certainly a strong one that won’t die quietly.
Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.