AI predicts outcome of human rights cases
An artificial intelligence system has correctly predicted the outcomes of hundreds of cases heard at the European Court of Human Rights, researchers have claimed.
The AI predicted the verdicts to an accuracy of 79%, according to the scientists involved.
AI is increasingly being used in fields such as journalism, law and accountancy.
But critics said no AI would be able to understand the nuances of a legal case.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at University College London and the universities of Sheffield and Pennsylvania, does not spell an end to lawyers, the researchers said.
"There is a lot of hype about AI but we don't see it replacing judges or lawyers any time soon. What we do think is they'd find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes," said Dr Nikolaos Aletras, who led the study at UCL.
"It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights."
The team identified English language datasets for 584 cases related to three articles of the Convention on Human Rights:
- Article 3 (cases involving torture or degrading treatment)
- Article 6 (rights to a fair trial)
- Article 8 (respect for private life)
These were picked both because they represented cases about fundamental rights and because there was a large amount of published data on them.
The algorithm looked for patterns in the text and was able to label each case either as a "violation" or "non-violation".