Trial by laptop
An electronic judge on wheels delivers instant justice
An excerpt from http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns223622
THERE's been a minor car crunch on a city street in Brazil, and the two
drivers are screaming and gesticulating, arguing angrily over who's to blame
and who should pay for the damage. Suddenly, a van screeches to a halt and
out pop a judge, a court clerk and a very special laptop computer. Instant
justice has arrived, cyber-style.
This is no fantasy. The laptop runs an artificial-intelligence program
called the Electronic Judge, and its job is to help the human judge on the
team swiftly and methodically dispense justice according to witness reports
and forensic evidence at the scene of an incident. It can issue on-the-spot
fines, order damages to be paid and even recommend jail sentences.
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