Computational Law AI and the Unauthorized Practice of Law

February 1st, 2012

Following up on my previous posts about assisted decision making and the unauthorized practice of law, I found this post by Eran Kahana on the Codex blog on just that point.

Let’s begin with addressing why unauthorized practice of law (UPL) even matters here. The bottom line concern here is that if the delivery of legal services by AI is interpreted as UPL, it will likely spell the death knell for any significant development for computational law AI applications (CLAI). Developers who nevertheless dare challenge the UPL rules will need to be well prepared to face the prospect of being dragged into turbulent and expensive legal fist-fights. Will it be worth the bother? Perhaps. But rather than adopt a wait-and-see attitude, a more compelling challenge is to figure out what measures need to be taken, what concerns need to be ameliorated so that we reduce the risk to this valuable area of development. . . .

It is difficult to persuasively argue that it would neither be desirable nor useful to understand what type of warranties are out there. Even so, prospective used-car buyers virtually never hire a lawyer to conduct a warranty compare-and-contrast exercise. It’s too expensive. It’s too time-consuming. CLAI, in contrast, is perfectly suited to deliver this type of service. It can do so very efficiently (i.e., accurately and quickly), especially when it can run a comparison against a large warranty database, one that is well accepted as being representative of other warranties in, for example, the used-car market.

I’m glad to see other people are thinking about these things.

In other news, I will be discussing my work on FantasySCOTUS with the Codex team next week via Skype.