Singapore Courts Pilot Testing Generative AI for Small Claims Tribunal
Artificial Intelligence in Singapore’s Law Courts
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is now being tested by Singapore Courts to aid litigants in their claims or defense in the small claims tribunal. Developed by the US-based startup Harvey AI, this AI has been programmed to provide answers and guidance based on pre-loaded data, which includes information on legal rights, next steps, deadlines, possible claim values, and legal costs. It can direct litigants to relevant websites, forms, and documents necessary for their claims.
From American Innovation to Singapore’s Legal System
The AI technology, which has been specifically programmed with Singapore’s law, past cases, and court systems, is expected to revolutionize the legal process in the country. This is part of a broader aim by Singapore Courts to innovate their processes, making the legal system more accessible and user-friendly.
Impacts and Implications on the Legal Profession
The utilization of AI in the legal system could significantly impact the legal profession, particularly young lawyers. As the technology can generate comprehensive legal research, lawyers may need to adapt to a future where AI is an integral part of their profession. This could potentially free up time for lawyers to focus on more complex tasks, as AI handles the more mundane aspects of legal research and paperwork.
Concerns and Controversies
Despite its potential benefits, the use of AI in the legal system isn’t without controversy. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, in his keynote address at a two-day sentencing conference held online, expressed reservations about the use of AI in sentencing. He noted that several states in the US, including Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, have adopted AI risk assessment tools that use demographic data and offence-related data to assess an offender’s risk of recidivism. However, these tools have faced criticism for being opaque and potentially reflecting biases.
The Future of AI in Singapore’s Legal System
In spite of these concerns, the Singapore Courts continue to explore the potential of AI in revolutionizing their processes. With a focus on enhancing accessibility and streamlining the Small Claims Tribunal process for litigants, the courts are currently developing a chatbot system, which is expected to take one to two years to mature. This system will serve as an interactive guide, aiding individuals in navigating the tribunal process seamlessly.
The implementation of AI in Singapore’s legal system signifies a significant leap into the realm of artificial intelligence. While it presents numerous potential benefits, it also raises important questions about the future of the legal profession and the role of AI in it. As the technology continues to be developed and refined, it will be crucial for legal professionals to adapt to this changing landscape and learn how to effectively integrate AI into their work.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.