Artificial intelligence (hereafter, AI) is the ability of a computer-operated device or machine to carry out tasks typically performed by intelligent creatures. The computer system is one of several inventions that have been made over the years. Because of its powerful processing and memory, a computer is capable of doing a wide range of activities, including those that require complexity, but it is limited by the flexibility of the human brain. Several machines still needed to be operated by people. However, since the development of this technology, humans are no longer necessary to operate the machinery. The goal of artificial intelligence is to replicate human cognitive functions.
In the 1st part of the Budget session of Parliament, the law minister Kiren Rijiju responded to a question regarding the incorporation of AI in the legal system to speed up the case by stating that while implementing phase 2 of the e-Courts projects, which have been in operation since 2015, there was a need to adopt new, cutting-edge technologies of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in order to improve the efficiency of the justice delivery system. Moreover, it was also mentioned that an Artificial Intelligence Committee has been constituted to identify the application of AI technology in processing legal documents, process automation and legal research assistance.
HOW CAN AI HELP JUDICIARY?
The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) estimates that over 3 Cr. cases are still outstanding at the district and taluka levels and the High courts are still handling over 58 lakh cases. Such outstanding cases, in the opinion of experts, have a negative ripple effect that reduces the effectiveness of the judicial system and, as a result, limits the public’s access to justice. SUPACE and other AI-powered technologies will not only help organise cases but also speed up the speed at which references are incorporated into judgements.
The administration of case flow might be sped up with the aid of AI-derived tools, which would reduce court backlog and delays. The scheduling of hearings, extensive documentation, e-filings, etc. is just a few examples of the repetitious processes in administration and law and order. The case flow management of these methods can be considerably enhanced by the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a sharp increase in the use of technology for electronic filing and virtual hearings so it gives hope for more future integration of technology, especially AI, in the judiciary.
A computer programme called Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software (SUVAS) uses AI to assist in translating court judgements into local dialects. The SC of India also launched Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court Efficiency (SUPACE) to understand the judicial processes that call for automation and, to help the Court improve efficiency & decrease pendency by helping in the judicial processes that can be automated through AI. There can be tech-based Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms which would make the process easier, faster and more efficient. An online private digital court called “Jupitice” which is powered by AI and blockchain has been released by Chandigarh-based firm Jupitice Justice Technologies Private Limited. Through various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes, it seeks to resolve civil and business disputes and addresses all major problems faced by MSMEs.
CONCERNS RELATING TO USE OF AI
The application of AI raises a wide range of issues that must be resolved, including those relating to pattern recognition, ethics, biased judgements made by AI-based algorithms, transparency, and accountability because AI is algorithm-driven, any flaw in the algorithm could affect how the AI makes decisions and could have a negative impact on people’s life. For example, self-learning algorithms might be given some input with specific data sets (prior judgements, face image, video databases, etc.) that may contain information that is biased that might be employed by apps for public safety purposes or protection from criminals, leading to biased choices. In 2015, Google was criticised for its image recognising algorithm which categorised a picture of 2 black people as gorillas. The decision-making by humans should be supported by AI and ML, but not replaced. Additionally, it was stated that as AI technology develops, new issues relating to privacy, data security, ethics, and human rights may surface, calling for more self-regulation on the part of AI developers. The cost of using artificial intelligence has also been brought up as a worry. Another issue that needs to be taken into account is the cost of these AI programmes. The upkeep of these AI infrastructures has become more difficult as a result of corporate investments in privatised AI research centres. Additionally, it will need to be subject to outside regulation by the legislative branch via statute, rules, and regulations as well as by the judicial branch via judicial review and constitutional norms.
There are many benefits to AI in many other disciplines, and there’s no doubt that it has the potential to rule the world in the future. But people are sceptical when it comes to the unchecked usage of AI due to worries and escalating rumours about a variety of issues associated with it. The usage of AI can be viewed as a novel notion, therefore the current legal framework could not be sufficient to address or control any potential risks because AI use is expanding at a rapid rate across many industries, it is imperative that the necessary actions are made as soon as possible. This is because regulatory regulations for AI are urgently needed to balance the benefits AI offers with its risks. Through trademark search software, contract analysis, legal research software, and other methods, the legal sector has created a number of innovative advancements that have increased lawyers’ efficiency. But none of the AI-based software aspires to displace legal professionals; rather, it works to increase the precision and accuracy of research and analysis. If used ethically, AI can be a great tool in the delivery of justice so adequate precautions and regulations should be made in order to facilitate the process of integration of AI in the judicial system.
Author(s) Name: Ishika Ishanvi (National Law Institute University, Bhopal)