This article was written by Vic Bishop and originally published at the Waking Times.
Editor’s Comment: Contrasting with the deadly real potential of technology is a story that proves tech can be used for good. An enterprising 19 year old in Britain has come up with a ‘Robot Lawyer’ to guide penalized drivers through a process to create reliable and speedy dismissal appeals that will stand up in court.
In the right hands, it can empower people to fight against the system, but will it be enough to check the awesome power it wields in other areas? It all depends.
19-Year-Old Develops Robot Lawyer That Dismisses Your Unjust Parking Tickets
by Vic Bishop
Simply and aptly named, Do Not Pay, the ingenious business of a 19-year-old Londoner has already saved citizens of the UK an estimated £2.9 million in civil fines for unjust parking tickets. Less than 2 years old, the already popular ‘Robot Lawyer’ service has assisted people in absolving some 160,000 tickets by helping users take advantage of the appeals process, which is generally overlooked and underused.
“DoNotPay uses a simple chat-based interface to guide users through a range of basic questions to establish if an appeal on their parking ticket is possible. These include queries on whether there were any visible parking signs at the location where the ticket was given. The AI lawyer then guides the user through the lengthy appeals process.” [Source]
Receiving too many parking fines near his home, and discovering that most could be dismissed through the appeals process, Joshua Browder was motivated to act, and created the artificial intelligence service that became an instant hit . The service is now free and easy for anybody to use, providing public legal advice that not only helps people to avoid paying excessive parking fines, but also to avoid having to hire expensive law firms to represent them in such relatively simple legal matters.
‘I felt bad, because I knew that these drivers would be forced to go to exploitative law firms to get their issues resolved. To solve this problem, I realised that the best way to help people would be to create a computer program that could talk to users, generate appeals and answer questions like a human. I decided to create the UK’s first robot lawyer for consumers.’ – Joshua Browder
Browder, a Stanford University student of economics and computer science, has already turned down offers to buy him out, and now that the service is operating in London and New York City, he plans to open a DoNotPay site for the city of Seattle next.
“The robot was designed by Joshua who received advice from professors. His original website took three weeks to build, but the robot has been trickier and longer to create.
Donotpay was originally built to appeal parking fines, allowing motorists to pick one of 12 reasons of defence, then enter the relevant details and send a custom-generated appeal created by the website’s algorithm to the council in question.
With a success rate of 40 per cent, based on an average parking penalty of £60, Joshua has helped thousands of drivers save a total of more than £2million in parking fines.
He then it expanded it to help with other compensation battles.” [Source]
Revenue generation has sadly become a key priority for law enforcement agencies, and the reality is that government is frequently caught breaking their own laws in order to suck as much money as possible from the tax cattle. Browder’s views on exploitative policing are quite mature for someone of his demographic, and rather easy to comprehend for the public, especially to those who are familiar with the changing current of policing in the West, where departments now place greater emphasis on making money rather than ensuring public safety.
“I think the people getting parking tickets are the most vulnerable in society. These people aren’t looking to break the law. I think they’re being exploited as a revenue source by the local government.” [Source]
What do you think about ideas like this? Are we seeing the evolution of revolution, where ingenious young entrepreneurs take on state corruption by making common sense solutions easy and affordable for the public?
How much longer will the state permit the existence of services like these which directly threaten the rich revenue streams of corporatized, for-profit government?
Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.