Artificial Intelligence and the Law (Part 4/4)

20 May 2017

Following my previous post from Day 137, this post is a summary of another talk from the Law Society's conference held last year. You can watch a recording of the conference on YouTube.


Prof. Katie Atkinson - Professor of Computer Science + Head of the Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool

Prof. Atkinson began with a very surprising fact: the first conference on artificial intelligence and the law was held in 1987! That conference, and her research, focus on the use of AI in Law - quite different to the previous presentations, which were about the legal regulation of AI. Prof. Atkinson spoke about several cases that have been studied in recent years. One of them was a famous case in which a ball from a record-breaking baseball player was (almost) caught by two different people in the audience. This case was used to train an algorithm, which has successfully replicated the judgement made. Prof. Atkinson explained how researchers have had to break down cases and their judgements in to objective and subjective factors, and establish their weighting on the final decision. Objective factors would simply be the facts, and subjective factors would be the social interest that the judge was trying to promote by making a particular judgement, and also how social interest changes over time. Prof. Atkinson presented the categories of research that are studied in the field:

  • Natural language processing

  • Knowledge representation

  • Computational argumentation

  • Machine learning

  • Data visualisation

She then explained in which areas of law this research is useful:

  • E-discovery support

  • Contract management

  • Decision support tools

  • Processing big data

Find out more about AI and the Law at!



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PhDomics by Fatima