New le­gal ro­bot prom­ises rad­i­cal new ap­proach

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Are you find­ing it hard to find lawyer — or are you still chanc­ing it and re­ly­ing on ad­vice from your friends? Maybe one an­swer is to try China’s first in­tel­li­gent le­gal ro­bot whose name is Fax­i­ao­tao.

The ro­bot, which uses ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, at­tracted at­ten­tion from home and abroad when it first ap­peared in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang province, in Oc­to­ber.

“It can help peo­ple an­a­lyze the best way to solve a dis­pute, but also as­sist them in select­ing which at­tor­neys are suit­able to ac­cept the case,” said Jiang Youyi, who is in charge of the ro­bot’s tech­nol­ogy at it­slaw.com, a unit of a Bei­jing law firm.

Anal­y­sis per­formed by Fax­i­ao­tao uti­lizes the com­pany’s data­base of more than 300,000 at­tor­neys across the coun­try, and in a search query it se­lects the best three op­tions af­ter pro­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion and data fil­ter­ing, Jiang said.

“In­thisway, time and en­ergy in­volved in look­ing for a lawyer can be saved — and ef­fi­ciency in pro­vid­ing le­gal ser­vices can also be in­creased,” he said.

Cur­rently, how­ever, the ro­bot only serves coun­sels in com­pa­nies “be­cause peo­ple with a le­gal back­ground are more fa­mil­iar with key le­gal words and it’s eas­ier to mas­ter its search mode,” he ex­plained.

For ex­am­ple, if a com­pany’s cor­po­rate client be­lieves its ad­ver­tise­ments or ad­ver­tis­ing slo­gans have been il­le­gally copied by a ri­val com­pany and it wants to hire a spe­cial­ist at­tor­ney, it can quickly ac­cess Fax­i­ao­tao.

“Within a few min­utes, the ro­bot ver­i­fies whether there is an ac­tion­able un­fair com­pe­ti­tion dis­pute and tells the in­quirer who the three best spe­cial­ist lawyers are to han­dle the case,” Jiang said.

“It also tells them which law firms the at­tor­neys work for and how many sim­i­lar cases they have han­dled in the past,” he added.

The ro­bot also pro­vides in­for­ma­tion on how much com­pen­sa­tion suc­cess­ful lit­i­gants have won in sim­i­lar cases be­fore and which courts heard the dis­putes.

“The data helps the coun­sel find the best matched at­tor­ney for their client, given the spe­cific na­ture and sit­u­a­tion sur­round­ing the dis­pute,” he said.

The ro­bot owes its very ex­is­tence to the data­base, which cov­ers more than 28 mil­lion ver­dicts, pieces of leg­is­la­tion and rules. Jiang said more data was be­ing added.

It­slaw.com, the ro­bot’s firm, said de­mand for the ro­bot has been so big that it has al­lo­cated over half its em­ploy­ees to jobs de­vel­op­ing the tech­nol­ogy. Most have univer­sity ma­jors in math­e­mat­ics and physics and are ca­pa­ble of dig­ging out and re­fin­ing big data.

The data­base’s orig­i­na­tor, JiangYong, is cer­tain its fu­ture is bright and as­sured.

Jiang, founder of Bei­jing Tian Tong Law Firm — par­ent of it­slaw.com— ini­tially built a plat­form for at­tor­neys to com­mu­ni­cate in early 2014. Fill­ing an ob­vi­ous need and with its fast devel­op­ment, more lawyers came to share their opin­ions and their case so­lu­tions.

In Au­gust that year, it­slaw. was es­tab­lished for peo­ple, es­pe­cially lawyers, to look up le­gal in­for­ma­tion and cases they want to study, he said.

“I hope Fax­i­ao­tao can also re­mind users about le­gal risks, or even give them a heads up if they are do­ing some­thing wrong,” he said.

But both men said that how­ever good the ro­bot is now and sub­se­quently be­comes, it can­not re­place lawyers, no mat­ter how ac­cu­rate the in­for­ma­tion it pro­vides. “Af­ter all, it learns from us and its mode of think­ing is pro­vided by us,” Jiang Youyi noted.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Car­toon im­age of Fax­i­ao­tao is un­veiled in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang province.

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