The Next Big Thing Legal Chatbots

Ambrogi has the report.. we hope we don’t have to deal with them, although the Do Not Pay service is rather clever…

Here’s the story

If you have no idea what a chatbot is, you’re far from alone. Until last year, there wasn’t much chatter about them, and they were almost unheard of in law. But then came Do Not Pay, a chatbot launched by an 18-year-old to help people fight parking tickets, and suddenly all the world’s media, it seemed, were writing about robot lawyers.

Suddenly, it seems, new law-related chatbots are springing up regularly. It is premature to say they are taking off in the legal industry, but they are certainly making a splash and drawing attention. Stanford’s recent Codex FutureLaw conference, for example, devoted a session to the rise of legal chatbots. Most legal chatbots are designed to help consumers, but now some are emerging to make legal professionals’ lives easier.

A chatbot is a computer program that interacts with the user by simulating a conversation or dialog. If you’ve ordered a Domino’s or Pizza Hut pizza through Facebook Messenger, then you’ve interacted with a chatbot. The first chatterbot program dates all the way back to 1964’s ELIZA, which evolved out of the Turing test in the 1950s.

Joshua Browder launched his Do Not Pay chatbot in 2015 as “the world’s first robot lawyer” to help people fight parking tickets. He reported a high rate of success, winning 160,000 out of 250,000 cases. He later expanded it to provide free legal aid to the homeless and this year he expanded it again to help refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. and Canada.

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