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"Rediscovering Artificial Intelligence and Law: An Inadequate Jurisprudence?"

by Paliwala, Abdul (2016)


Headlines suggesting that Google scientists had developed the first computer programme capable of learning a wide variety of tasks independently, in what has been hailed as a significant step towards ‘true artificial intelligence’1 may or may not presage a new era of artificial intelligence (AI) research. Nevertheless, they suggest a need to reconsider the story of AI in law. While significant changes have taken place in the application of information technology to law-work, these have resulted mainly from ordinary information technology processes such as data processing, data storage, retrieval and management in combination with the information rich, rapid and global communication and networking capabilities of the Internet. However, when information technology has been applied to deeper legal processes, which involve the very nature of law, the result has not been very successful. This is especially so in relation to the application of AI systems to law. Philip Leith blamed the meagre and unsatisfactory results of costly AI and law research on faulty jurisprudence and especially on almost exclusive reliance on analytical positivism and ignorance of user needs and requirements. Many involved with AI and law still refuse to acknowledge that there are underlying problems with the way they conceptualise the nature of legal reasoning. Does AI in law have a future then? This article explores recent nuanced approaches to AI and law research and suggests the need for rethinking the jurisprudence that underpins AI and law and in particular to consider the realist social economic and political context in which AI and law works.

Key Passage



Law, Lawyers, Legal Profession, Empirical Study, Artificial Intelligence, Machines, Technology, Information Technology, Professionalism, Justice, Jurisprudence


AI and Computerisation

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