Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Will computers predict litigation results; write briefs?

University of Illinois law professor speculates that computers may soon predict lawsuit outcomes

Will computers predict litigation results; write briefs?

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Larry Ribstein, the polymath law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, playing off an article about computer programs designed to write sports stories, speculates it won't be long before computers will be predicting litigation outcomes.

 The law, like sports, evolves along predictable patterns and sorting those out and projecting future outcomes is exactly what computers do. However, one critical human contribution can't be a avoided, he says. Lawyers are needed to create the legal strategy and choose issues that need to be briefed. It’s worth noting that speculation about computer generated sports stories began more than a decade ago.

 And while much writing by real human beings can be numblingly mechanical, computers yet haven't been able to match it. Maybe that is a good thing.

Chris Mondics
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About this blog
Chris Mondics covers legal affairs for The Inquirer as a member of the business news staff. Before joining the business department in April 2007, he was a Washington correspondent for The Inquirer, covering the impeachment of President Clinton, the collapse of Enron and Arthur Andersen, the 9/11 attacks and the 9/11 Commission investigation. Before his Washington bureau assignment, Mondics was The Inquirer’s bureau chief in Trenton, covering Gov. Christie Whitman and New Jersey politics. E-mail Chris here.

Chris Mondics
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