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IIT Kharagpur's AI System Automates Reading Of Legal Documents To Save Time

The AI method can guide non-experts about laws being violated in any given situation

IIT team's system can also help in minimising legal costs involved

The Supreme Court recently proposed the introduction of AI systems in the judiciary

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may or may not achieve superintelligence in the near future, but it surely is offering effective solutions at micro and macro levels. IIT Kharagpur researchers have recently developed a method to automate the reading of a legal document by using an evolved machine learning (ML) technique.

The AI method can guide non-experts about laws being violated in any given situation, and can also help in broadening the understanding of the law for those who wish to have basic knowledge of it. The technique can read legal judgments and thus tell if a particular situation merits going to court thereby minimising the legal costs involved.

"For a country like India, which uses a common law system that prioritises the doctrine of legal precedent over statutory law, and where legal documents are often written in an unstructured way, the difference AI can bring is phenomenal," Saptarshi Ghosh, professor at the department of computer science and engineering, who is leading a team of researchers told ET.

The team has used two deep neural network models to understand the rhetorical roles of sentences in a legal case judgement. The neural methods automatically learn the features to be used across domains. The researchers are also using network and text analysis to understand if two legal documents are similar.


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The team has segmented 50 judgements from the Supreme Court of India by labelling sentences using multiple human annotators, performing extensive analysis and later developing a gold standard corpus to train the machine to perform the task.

AI-Backed Solutions Across Sectors

The Chief Justice (CJ) of India, SA Bobde, had also recently said that the Supreme Court has proposed to introduce a system of AI which would help in better administration of justice delivery and constitution.

"We propose to introduce, if possible, a system of artificial intelligence. There are many things which we need to look at before we introduce ourselves. We do not want to give the impression that this is ever going to substitute the judges," Bobde said earlier.

The government, entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts have often reiterated the impact of AI across business and society. In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Indian startup ecosystem stakeholders, teachers and students to build artificial intelligence solutions that can work for India.

The centre allocated more than $480 Mn under the Digital India initiative in the Union Budget 2018. NITI Aayog has planned for 7000 Cr roadmap for AI in India. The plan included setting up five centres of research excellence, 20 institutional centres for transformational AI and a cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT.

Union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal also recently said that use of AI in different forms can help achieve the target of making India a $5 Tn economy in the coming years.

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