Digital services have frequently been in collision — if not out-and-out conflict — with the rule of law. But what happens when technologies such as deep learning software and self-executing code are in the driving seat of legal decisions?
How can we be sure next-gen ‘legal tech’ systems are not unfairly biased against certain groups or individuals? And what skills will lawyers need to develop to be able to properly assess the quality of the justice flowing from data-driven decisions? While entrepreneurs have been eyeing traditional legal processes for some years now, with a cost-cutting gleam in their eye and the word ‘streamline‘ on their lips, this early phase of legal innovation pales in significance beside the transformative potential of AI technologies that are already pushing their algorithmic fingers into legal processes — and perhaps shifting the line of the law itself in the process. But how can legal protections be safeguarded if decisions are automated by algorithmic models trained on discrete data-sets — or flowing from policies administered by being embedded on a blockchain?