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AI and Indian justice system

Human brain, which is an excellent judge of survival importance of an issue or energy management of any action, goes completely haywire when it encounters injustice.

However small the injustice, human brain finds it unbearable and is designed to deploy disproportionate amount of resources to set it right. A human being is perfectly capable of wasting lifetime of earnings to fight against an injustice of being charged one rupee extra for a tea.

As justice enjoys such highest priority for humans, it’s dispensation requires impartiality, but the humans in charge of dispensing justice have lately been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Be it arrest drama of ex-justice Karnan, ornithological expertise of ex-justice Sharma or constant social media antics of ex-justice Katju, our human judges appear, well, human.

While fallibility of human beings is getting high-lighted, another force is rising. Artificial intelligence (AI) is showing tremendous potential to be impartial judge of human action.

AI is already a small part of justice delivery system. An AI driven CCTV camera can pronounce you guilty of having violated traffic rules. This process removes the human being (who you could convince not to charge you by lying about mother’s illness), but can the same process extend deeper?

The problem with automated justice system is that it feels like having Matrix, a machine in control of humanity, that we are instinctively uncomfortable with. But, is this stigma worth holding onto, especially in India?

Human abhorrence for injustice is so severe that, availability of justice system has open floodgates of litigation. The net result is we are in dire need of delivering justice at industrial scale, as our justice system has getting clogged. The pace at which cases are filed, there is absolutely no way a subjectivity-driven human-run system can keep up.

However much we love human scrutiny over that by a machine, the reality on the ground is that delay caused by human-driven justice has made our judicial system defunct.

While we look at AI with suspicion, science is convincing showing that it is a far better decision-maker than humans.Rapid developments in differential diagnosis in healthcare is showing that, in most cases, it fares better than an average doctor. And if given adequate amount of data to crunch, AI can even self-learn to improve its ability. 

What we need is reform from two ends. We need to fall out of our love for subjectivity and human interpretations of laws, and we need to trust the new age evidences that technology is bringing to our courts. 

If we want quality justice in time, we need a change in our perception about machines, and trust them. Our courts need to understand that manipulation of photographs/video/audio is possible, but it is equally possible to find out if it is done. Evidence from a human being is far less dependable as it is nearly impossible to check if he/she is lying or not. So, with machine-evidences pouring in, instead of putting it to contextual and subjective scrutiny, we need to use machines to quicken justice delivery. 

Today we have developed a massive demand-supply gap in justice. As justice needs mass-production at a rapid pace, an industrial revolution in form of automation is needed.

Quickening of justice delivery is not only for satiating individual human need of justice. It also means better functioning of all systems. So, even with whatever limitations Matrix may have; we, in India, desperately need to embrace it. 

As democratic system is all about justice and equality before law, we need machines to save the nation.

DNA: 25/6/17

I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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