Chief Justice Robots

by Eugene Volokh

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Abstract

Say an AI program someday passes a Turing test, because it can con-verse in a way indistinguishable from a human. And say that its develop-ers can then teach it to converse—and even present an extended persua-sive argument—in a way indistinguishable from the sort of human we call a “lawyer.” The program could thus become an AI brief-writer, ca-pable of regularly winning brief-writing competitions against human lawyers.

Once that happens (if it ever happens), this Essay argues, the same technology can be used to create AI judges, judges that we should accept as no less reliable (and more cost-effective) than human judges. If the software can create persuasive opinions, capable of regularly winning opinion-writing competitions against human judges—and if it can be adequately protected against hacking and similar attacks—we should in principle accept it as a judge, even if the opinions do not stem from human judgment.

Chief Justice Robots

by Eugene Volokh

Click here for a PDF file of this article

Abstract

Say an AI program someday passes a Turing test, because it can con-verse in a way indistinguishable from a human. And say that its develop-ers can then teach it to converse—and even present an extended persua-sive argument—in a way indistinguishable from the sort of human we call a “lawyer.” The program could thus become an AI brief-writer, ca-pable of regularly winning brief-writing competitions against human lawyers.

Once that happens (if it ever happens), this Essay argues, the same technology can be used to create AI judges, judges that we should accept as no less reliable (and more cost-effective) than human judges. If the software can create persuasive opinions, capable of regularly winning opinion-writing competitions against human judges—and if it can be adequately protected against hacking and similar attacks—we should in principle accept it as a judge, even if the opinions do not stem from human judgment.