AI technology in courts and administrative agencies

In “AI in Adjudication and Administration,” forthcoming in the Brooklyn Law Review, Penn Law’s Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science Cary Coglianese and co-author Lavi M. Ben Dor survey and assess the use of artificial intelligence in courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. 

Scales of justice rendered in 1s and zeroes of computer code on a computer screen.

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems involve the use of digital technologies known as machine learning algorithms to process and sort enormous volumes of data and then generate and refine predictions based on the data. The increasing sophistication of such tools for decision-making is leading to their adoption in many areas of the economy.

Because of the structure of the U.S. government, the thousands of agencies and courts at the national, state, and local levels are largely free to develop their own policies and protocols on whether to keep records in electronic form, how to make those records available for storage and retrieval, and how to use those records to support their own decision-making.

Controversy around AI centers on the possibility of using it to replace, rather than merely to inform, human decision-making in courts and agencies. As Coglianese and Ben-Dor show in their article, government has generally not reached anything close to that concerning scenario—at least not yet.

At present, they find that “no judicial or administrative body in the United States has instituted a system that provides for total decision-making by algorithm, such that a digital system makes a fully independent determination” that takes human judgment “out of the loop.” 

Read more at Penn Law News.