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Robot lawyers are still a long way away

Users of legal apps must be aware that these are essentially automated McKenzie friends, not trained and regulated solicitors, says Pippa Allsop

31 July 2017

Joshua Browder wants to “make the law free”. In 2015 he launched the DoNotPay chatbot – a computer program that simulates conversation with users using artificial intelligence – with the aim of helping people to challenge parking tickets. DoNotPay has apparently helped approximately 375,000 people to successfully challenge parking tickets over the last two years, and has since branched out to provide legal assistance in connection with asylum claims and housing issues.

Recently, DoNotPay has launched “1,000 legal chatbots” which claim to be able to provide individuals with free advice in relation to a wide range of issues. The media claims that Browder is launching “the first robot lawyer” are clearly sensationalist. This being said, it is a both fascinating and worrying concept that is worth discussing.

Browder has attributed ...

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