Joshua Browder, a 19-year-old British programmer currently studying at MIT, has created “DoNotPay”, the world’s first robot lawyer. Registered users can use the service to ask any kind of legal question and receive relevant auto-generated answers. This project began as a free website to help people appeal parking tickets, which soon became an automatic appeal generator, using previously successful letters as a template. “As a 19-year-old, I have coded the entirety of the robot on my own, and I think it does a reasonable job of replacing parking lawyers. I know there are thousands of programmers with decades more experience than me working on similar issues. If it is one day possible for any citizen to get the same standard of legal representation as a billionaire, how can that not be a good thing,” said Browder. Continue reading for a video demonstration and more information.
“Initially, I thought the best way to go about it was to create lots of individual rules for it to follow. However, I quickly failed with this approach because there are thousands of ways to say the same thing and it would be impossible to catch every one. The breakthrough came when I learned how to create a way for the robot to learn and compare phrases itself, so that it doesn’t matter how the user phrases his or her requests,” adds Browder. Check it out here.