What would it be like if AI were to make judgments as judges in the future? While Germany and Europe tend to be negative about this, Brazil will soon be using artificial intelligence in its justice system. But what consequences will this have? A commentary analysis.

The idea that a country would rely on AI to make court decisions in the future may seem confusing at first glance. But that is exactly what has now happened in Brazil, where the use of AI in the judicial system was recently decided upon.

AI as judge: Brazil wants to use artificial intelligence from OpenAI

The Brazilian government has commissioned OpenAI to use artificial intelligence to analyze court cases in order to reduce the costs of proceedings and make the justice system more efficient overall. The use of AI, which is provided via Microsoft's Azure platform, is intended to identify trends and potential problem cases at an early stage.

This is intended to help reduce the rising costs of the justice system, which are estimated to be around $19 billion by 2024. AI will support the work of justice employees, but there are no plans to replace employees' tasks with AI. In particular, all decisions should continue to be made by humans.
Consequences for Brazil’s justice system

Brazil's decision to use OpenAI to streamline court proceedings is undoubtedly an exciting and bold step towards greater digitalization. But what consequences can – and will – result from this?

The advantages: transparency, competence and cost reduction

One advantage of the decision is that it could promote transparency and uniformity in the Brazilian justice system. It is important to remember that, at the end of the day, court decisions are made by people. And people are consciously or unconsciously exposed to influences that affect their decisions.

AI-powered analysis of court cases could better uncover and address inequalities and irregularities in sentencing. This could increase citizens' trust in the justice system, as decisions are based on clear, data-driven analysis and leave less room for subjective interpretation.

Another argument in favor of the Brazilian government's decision is the possibility that the introduction of AI will lead to further training and increased skills among judicial staff. By not only learning to use advanced technologies, but also integrating them and their analyses into their daily work, employees could acquire valuable knowledge related to the use of digital tools on the one hand and strengthening their legal skills on the other.

In the long term, this could improve the adaptability and competence of the entire justice system. In addition, AI could improve access to legal assistance in rural and remote areas. In many parts of Brazil, resources and legal expertise are limited.

An AI-powered justice system could provide standardized and high-quality legal assistance that was previously only available in urban centers. Finally, there are many other arguments in favor of the Brazilian government's decision, such as possible cost savings, which are also cited by the government.

The disadvantages: responsibility and dependence

However, it is important to me to also explain the concerns about this decision and the reasons for it. Because it cannot be ruled out that more and more AI will be used to make the administration's work more efficient. In order to be prepared for this, there should be an understanding of the concerns.

A particularly important point is the question of responsibility and liability. If decisions proposed by an AI lead to incorrect judgments, the question arises as to who ultimately bears responsibility. The legal and ethical clarification of such cases could prove extremely complex.

Another risk is the possible monopolization of legal expertise by large technology companies. The Brazilian judiciary's heavy reliance on OpenAI and Microsoft's technologies could lead to a dependency that allows these companies to dictate their terms and prices. This could, in the long term, undermine the sovereignty of the Brazilian judicial system – and, in the event of imitation, that of other countries.

Culture and language of language models

In addition, the cultural and linguistic adaptation of AI plays a role, which should not be underestimated. Most AI models, including those developed by OpenAI, are based on data collected predominantly in English and in a specific cultural context.

Adapting these models to the specific needs and nuances of the Brazilian legal system can present challenges that are not fully understood and therefore not immediately apparent, especially as other countries adopt AI support.

The issue of textual incest may play a role in AI-powered judicial decisions. In summary, the introduction of OpenAI in the Brazilian justice system offers many potential benefits, but also brings with it risks and challenges that cannot be ignored.

Careful consideration and continuous monitoring of this measure is therefore essential to ensure that it actually leads to an improvement in the efficiency and justice of the justice system without compromising the integrity and sovereignty of the system.

AI as judge: final classification

Brazil's decision to use artificial intelligence in the justice system is an exciting and groundbreaking step towards digitalization and increased efficiency. Despite what I see as legitimate concerns about liability, monopolization and cultural adaptation, the project also shows the enormous potential of technological innovations to tackle complex challenges.

The potential to promote transparency and uniformity in the justice system as well as the opportunity for further training and skills expansion of justice employees are compelling advantages.

At the same time, the risks of excessive dependence on large technology companies and the complex liability issues in the event of miscarriages of justice must also be taken seriously. To address these challenges, a clear regulatory framework is needed that ensures transparency and ethical standards.

In addition, a diversified system should be sought in which there is not just one provider responsible for the technologies. This can be supported, for example, by promoting local technology companies and open source solutions.

I think that in the future we need to have a broad discussion about how similar technologies can be introduced in other countries – the discussion does not need to be about “must” but about “can”. The specific needs and legal framework of each country should be taken into account.

A society must also be ready to accept AI in everyday life. Whether this is the case in Germany remains to be clarified; I am not sure at the moment. To achieve this state, comprehensive information and education are needed to strengthen trust in these technologies and to equip the population with the necessary digital skills.

In Germany, for example, where there is great skepticism towards AI, especially in the justice system, it would be important to carry out pilot projects and communicate their results transparently. Only through responsible and transparent use can the integration of AI into the justice system be successful and for the benefit of society as a whole.

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Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2024/06/24/ki-als-richter-die-vorteil-und-nachteile-von-kuenstlicher-intelligenz-in-der-justiz/

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