The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better

The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better

The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better

The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better


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Law today is incomplete, inaccessible, unclear, underdeveloped, and often perplexing to those whom it affects. In The Legal Singularity, Abdi Aidid and Benjamin Alarie argue that the proliferation of artificial intelligence–enabled technology – and specifically the advent of legal prediction – is on the verge of radically reconfiguring the law, our institutions, and our society for the better.

Revealing the ways in which our legal institutions underperform and are expensive to administer, the book highlights the negative social consequences associated with our legal status quo. Given the infirmities of the current state of the law and our legal institutions, the silver lining is that there is ample room for improvement. With concerted action, technology can help us to ameliorate the problems of the law and improve our legal institutions. Inspired in part by the concept of the "technological singularity," The Legal Singularity presents a future state in which technology facilitates the functional "completeness" of law, where the law is at once extraordinarily more complex in its specification than it is today, and yet operationally, the law is vastly more knowable, fairer, and clearer for its subjects. Aidid and Alarie describe the changes that will culminate in the legal singularity and explore the implications for the law and its institutions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487529413
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Publication date: 07/04/2023
Pages: 226
Sales rank: 556,906
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Abdi Aidid is a graduate of Yale Law School and assistant professor of law at the University of Toronto.
Benjamin Alarie holds the Osler Chair in Business Law in the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and is an affiliated faculty member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Table of Contents

1. Introducing the Legal Singularity
I. Introduction
II. What Is the Legal Singularity?
a. The Technological Singularity b. The Economic Singularity c. The Legal Singularity
III. Hazards Ahead
IV. Our Story and Objectives
V. Orienting Ourselves
VI. Towards the Legal Singularity

2. The Nature of Legal Information
I. Introduction
II. The Centrality of Information to Law a. Law before Text b. Prediction and Law's Information Environment
III. Analogue, Digital, Computational a. The Analog Era b. The Digital Era
IV. The New Information Environment a. Impact of Digitalization b. Access to Data and Access to Justice c. An Open Source Movement?

3. Computational Law
I. Introduction
II. Understanding Artificial Intelligence
III. Applying AI to the Law: Computational Law a. Should Law Be Computed?
b. On "Computational Values"

4. Complete Law
I. Introduction
II. Incomplete Law and Its Problems a. What Is Incomplete Law?
b. In Search of Specificity c. Degradation of Legal Certainty
III. How Computation Encourages Completeness
IV. Complete, as in No Gaps – Not Complete, as in Done

5. Defending the Legal Singularity from Its Critics
I. Introduction
II. Is Computational Law Reductionist?
a. Pasquale, Hildebrandt, and Law's Unquantifiable Essence b. Ideology, Social Context, and the Legal Singularity c. The Limits of Techno-Critique
III. Does the Legal Singularity Threaten the Rule of Law?
6. Implications for the Judiciary
I. Introduction
II. The Pitfalls of the Modern Judiciary a. Biases and Human Weaknesses b. Courthouse Overcrowding and Delayed Justice c. The Implications of Court Design
III. Computational Solutions in the Courtroom a. Human Experts b. Legal Research c. Document Drafting d. Expert Evidence e. Changes to Fact-Finding Procedures f. Discovery g. Predictive Technology h. Case Management i. Fair Settlements
IV. The Paradox of Judging in the Computational Era a. Beyond Physical Courtrooms and Human Judges i. Neural Laces ii. Online Courts and Dispute Resolution iii. Alternative Dispute Resolution
V. Possible Roadblocks to Adoption
VI. Looking Ahead: The Evolution of the Judiciary

7. Towards Universal Legal Literacy
I. Introduction
II. The Legal Profession's Problem State a. Problem I: The Market for Legal Services i. The Unaffordability Problem ii. Consequences of Unaffordability iii. Responses to the Unaffordability Problem by the Legal Profession b. Problem II: Excessive Legal Complexity
III. The Solution: Universal Legal Literacy a. Imagining Universal Legal Literacy b. Universal Legal Literacy in the Legal Singularity

8. Implications for Governments
I. Introduction
II. Governments and Technology
III. Artificially Intelligent Governments
IV. Current Government Applications of AI
V. Applications of AI in Service Provision and Regulation a. Tax Regulation b. Government Benefits Programs c. Immigration
VI. Applications of AI in Legislation a. Drafting Legislation b. Normative Contributions and Second-Order Modelling

9. Towards Ethical and Equitable Legal Prediction
I. Introduction
II. The Problem Framework a. Reflection and Amplification Problems b. Techno-Epistemic Problems

10. Conclusion


What People are Saying About This

Gillian K. Hadfield

"I am sure that AI will be transformative for law and legal institutions and can make dramatic progress on a persistent and massive access to justice crisis. Abdi Aidid and Benjamin Alarie have put together a careful case for how, indeed, to make law radically better."

Lawrence Lessig

"This beautifully written book makes a compelling case that law as we know it will change dramatically, and that justice will be the biggest beneficiary of that change. The opportunity that singularity presents is the chance to deliver — finally — on law's promise, a promise it has so far left unfulfilled."

Daniel Markovits

"This is a powerful and important book. The fundamental insight — that artificial intelligence will transform not just the specific content of particular legal rules but also the general nature of law — is surely correct and the conclusion is impossible to ignore. The deep learning, systematic breadth, and crisp clarity with which Aidid and Alarie prosecute their argument makes The Legal Singularity essential reading for legal theorists."

Richard Susskind OBE KC (Hon)

"Timely, challenging, and profound, The Legal Singularity is an important contribution to the current debate on the extent to which it is possible and desirable for AI to be widely deployed in the delivery of legal and court services. A book that deserves to be read widely by naysayers and evangelists alike, Abdi Aidid and Benjamin Alarie neatly combine jurisprudential scholarship with practical experience of legal technology."

Michael J. Trebilcock

"In their path-breaking book, the authors, both law and technology scholars and active technology practitioners, probe the potential for AI to transform most aspects of law: teaching, research, practice, judging, and the public's access to justice. This book will become a leading source of insights and measured judgments on profound issues imminently confronting all aspects of the legal profession as an information-intensive industry."

Amy Salyzyn

"In The Legal Singularity, Abdi Aidid and Benjamin Alarie offer a bold and optimistic prognosis about the future of AI in law and its institutions. This book is a thought-provoking contribution to computational law scholarship and is certain to drive critical discussions in the field."

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