Tuesday, October 25, 2016

UK law students create a bot to provide legal advice to crime victims

Like the bot released earlier this year that helps clients appeal parking tickets, law students in the UK have developed a bot to help crime victims evaluate the legal viability of their claims. From Legaltech News:

Crime-Reporting 'Chatbot' the Newest Way Law Students Leveraging AI

As chatbots pick up steam in legal, University of Cambridge's LawBot can communicate legal information in everyday language


Building upon the access to justice uses of chat-based automation seen earlier this year in the parking ticket-appealing DoNotPay bot, four University of Cambridge law students have launched a chatbot that helps users in the U.K. determine whether or not they've been a victim of a crime.


The chatbot, called LawBot, takes users through a set of pre-programmed questions about 26 criminal offenses across England and Wales including sexual harassment, violent assaults, and property crimes. In most cases, if the chatbot determines a crime has been committed, it encourages the user to contact the police and helps them locate the closest police station.


The founders honed in on criminal law as an area of focus because of the confusion victims face trying to identify whether they should contact authorities or seek legal help. "Many times, especially with sex offenses, you may not know you've been the victim of a crime because the law is complicated," said LawBot managing director Ludwig Bull.


Chatbots allow users to communicate using a chat interface with a set of software-driven responses. In conjuring responses, chatbots employ artificial intelligence in the form of machine learning, which allows them to base responses on particulars of queries and learn through use. While chatbot services are only starting to take form in the legal technology industry, they're increasingly used to help with user problems in messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack and Telegram,attracting millions of dollars of venture capital funding in just the last year.


LawBot's founders, much like DoNotPay's founder Joshua Browder, said they're not interested in monetizing the service at this point.


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