AI in the Courtroom: How Automations Can Streamline Our Justice System

Posted by ET Group on July 2, 2024

Summary:

AI in the Courtroom: How Automations Can Streamline Our Justice System

The wheels of justice turn slowly—at least, that’s how the saying goes. But the right technology has the potential to enhance productivity in this traditionally slow-moving environment.

ET Group’s Justice Solutions aim to use technology to improve access to justice across North America. Below, our team explains how automations such as the use of AI for key courtroom functions can streamline the way justice is administered.

Woman in judges robes writing while looking at laptop to symbolize opportunities for technology to streamline processes.

3 Areas Where Courtrooms Need to Save Time

Despite a shift towards virtual hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in court cases continue to plague institutions. A post-pandemic investigation by CBS found that pending criminal cases in many US states actually rose after the pandemic ended, most likely due to the trials that were delayed while lockdown measures were in place.

The takeaway is simple: while virtual hearings have the potential to speed up cases and make justice more accessible, they must still be implemented properly and supported with the right technology in order to confer these benefits. Here are three key areas where technology can save time to keep trials running more smoothly:

Woman speaking into microphone at podium while looking at laptop screen.

Translation & Transcription Services

Automated translation and transcription services help eliminate language barriers in real-time.

Benefits

These technologies have great potential to make courtroom proceedings more accessible and understandable for everyone involved.

Risks

While automated translation and transcription services can dramatically improve accessibility, they are not without risks. The primary concern is accuracy, especially in legal contexts where nuances matter significantly.

Misinterpretations or errors in transcription can lead to misunderstandings and potentially unjust outcomes. Furthermore, over-reliance on these technologies might reduce the employment of skilled human translators and transcribers whose expertise and human judgment are invaluable.

Judge's gavel on calendar to represent scheduling challenges and potential solve via automation.

Scheduling Hearings

Automated scheduling helps optimize hearing timings, reducing conflicts and unnecessary delays.

Benefits

This efficiency not only benefits the institutions by lowering the administrative burden but also improves the public’s experience by providing more predictable and timely hearings.

Risks

Automated scheduling systems, although efficient, can face issues with rigidity and lack of human oversight. These systems might not always account for complex human factors and unique case nuances, leading to scheduling that appears efficient but is practically inconvenient for participants.

Additionally, reliance on automated tools can lead to vulnerabilities, including data breaches and system failures, which can disrupt judicial processes.

Lawyer sorting legal case data by hand to represent potential for automations to save time.

Sorting Legal Data

Advanced AI tools can be employed to sort and analyze case data efficiently. This includes identifying relevant legal precedents and streamlining case preparation processes.

Benefits

The use of AI to sort through case data and find patterns can expedite court proceedings and improve outcome accuracy by supporting thorough and informed decision-making.

Risks

The use of AI for sorting legal data, while efficient, raises several concerns. Privacy issues are at the forefront, as sensitive data might be exposed to breaches if proper safeguards are not in place.

There is also a risk of bias in AI algorithms, which can perpetuate existing prejudices unless carefully monitored and adjusted. Finally, the complexity of legal reasoning might not be fully captured by AI, potentially leading to oversimplified or erroneous case analyses.

FlexVideo Cart by ET Group's Justice Solutions.

Realizing the Potential of Courtroom Automations with ET Group

ET Group’s Justice Solutions judiciously use automations to deliver much-needed benefits in the above areas while minimizing the risks associated with this technology. Here are a few key examples:

Intelligent Video

Deploying video solutions for remote hearings often comes with a significant cost—but using the right hardware and software can make it considerably more efficient.

Tools like our FlexVideo Cart offer a plug-and-play mobile courtroom solution that includes video recording capabilities to capture key moments from proceedings, as well as compatibility with leading video conferencing software, multi-point cameras, picture-in-picture mode, and more.

Having video technology that is automatically configured for justice applications reduces set-up time for trials, saving resources for institutions and helping more people have their day in court.

Noise-Isolating Audio

Unclear audio contributes to transcription and translation errors. High-quality audio-visual technology lays a key role in reducing these risks and helps courtroom personnel like stenographers and translators work more efficiently by providing them with clearer audio for their work.

Our FlexVideo Carts use a seven-microphone array to capture audio during virtual hearings. They also provide sound via an integrated 3-speaker soundbar with an Audio Uplift feature to minimize ambient noise.

Transcript Recording

ET Group’s Justice Solutions include transcript recording and translation software that help scale up the output of stenographers and translators without removing the need for their insight.

Having these personnel monitor and edit the output of these programs as needed allows them to serve more cases while ensuring an essential layer of human oversight and reducing the risk of inaccuracies.

Evidence Presentation & Sharing

Our use of evidence presentation and sharing technology does not seek to replace the expertise of human lawmakers. Instead, this technology supports them by making it faster and easier to sort through large quantities of data so that the complex legal judgments required by human experts can be made more expediently.

Additionally, the security risks of sharing information via our tools are mitigated by comprehensive technical support—including routine updates and inspections, as well as dedicated room technicians who can provide hands-on support when required. This mitigates the risks associated with data breaches and ensures optimal security for virtual hearings.

Speak with a Justice AV Technology Specialist Today

Technology must be thoughtfully chosen, implemented, and supported in order to effectively serve the needs of our justice system. The offerings available through ET Group’s Justice Solutions are designed to support both courtroom personnel and people seeking justice by streamlining the areas where efficiency is needed most.

Contact us today to learn more about our pricing or to have your other questions answered by one of our specialists. We look forward to helping your institution meet the present needs of the people you serve.


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