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Chinese scientists have created a robot prosecutor: charges with 97% accuracy


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Artificial intelligence in one of the district people's prosecutor's offices in Shanghai for the first time became the compiler of the text of the indictment, which will be presented to the criminal in court.

This is reported by Economic News with reference to haggin.az

According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, AI received prosecutorial skills after studying more than 17 thousand cases considered in the courts of Shanghai from 2015 to 2020. The "digital prosecutor" makes accusations with 97% accuracy, based on one thousand "characteristic features" that he identifies in court documents on specific criminal cases.

"Artificial intelligence to a certain extent can replace prosecutors in the decision-making process, as well as assist them in drafting indictments, which will reduce their daily workload and enable prosecutors to focus on more important cases," the publication notes.

According to the newspaper, the "digital prosecutor" is initially able to bring charges for eight of the most common crimes in Shanghai, such as credit card fraud, gambling, dangerous driving, intentional injury, obstructing authorities in the performance of official duties, theft, fraud. Scientists are confident that in the future AI will be able to bring charges for more high-profile crimes.

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Accuracy is a terrible metric to assess these things: fine for classifying dog and cat images, but for law and health it misses so many nuances. There's also no mention of how well the AI generalises to data not in the original train/test distribution. I can't find the original publication, if it has been published in a peer reviewed journal, so can't dig into any details. Until then I wouldn't believe these numbers any more than my claim that i just developed an AI with 99.56% accuracy for predicting a bull's bowel habits.

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What does "an artificial intelligence prosecutor that can charge people with crimes with more than 97 per cent accuracy" even mean? That the AI finds the right crime(s) to charge you with, given a certain amount of evidence? Or that you're likely to be guilty if it "decides" to charge you?

"It was 'trained' using 17,000 real life cases from 2015 to 2020 and is able to identify and press charges for the eight most common crimes in Shanghai.

These include 'provoking trouble' - a term used to stifle dissent in China, credit card fraud, gambling crimes, dangerous driving, theft, fraud, intentional injury and obstructing official duties."

If you're pulled over for doing 120 km/hr in a 60 zone, do you really need an AI to decide if that's dangerous driving? Is the "AI" doing anything more than an algorithmic lookup of what the threshold is for dangerous driving?

If it's predicting guilt, one has to wonder about the bias present in an authoritarian regime that might be able to just decide that you're guilty.

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