Artificial Intelligence (AI) has completely infiltrated our lives, and even the legal system is getting in on the action. The Supreme Court of India has recently announced its plans to use AI for transcribing live proceedings. That’s right, folks, even the highest court in the land is hopping on the AI bandwagon.
To make this happen, the SC invited bids from experienced and reputable firms to design, develop, and implement AI solutions for transcribing court arguments and proceedings. They wanted to ensure the utmost accuracy and efficiency in their legal processes.
Now, here’s where things get interesting. A paper titled “Analysing the endeavours of the Supreme Court of India to transcribe and translate court arguments in light of the proposed EU AI Act” was published on September 20, 2023. This paper categorizes this AI application as high-risk under the rules of the proposed European Act, which aims to ensure the safety and adherence to fundamental rights and values of AI systems within the European Union.
Kshitiz Verma, an Assistant Professor at JK Lakshmipat University and the author of the paper, praised the European Union’s AI Act for providing comprehensive guidelines on the responsible use of AI. He believes it’s a remarkable piece of legislation, although there’s always room for improvement.
Verma used the infamous 2019 Anil Ambani case as an example to drive home his point. He argues that as long as AI makes fewer mistakes than humans, we should be fine with using it. But if it starts messing up left and right, then maybe it’s time to reconsider.
He also highlights the importance of caution by mentioning the incident where a crucial word was mistakenly omitted by court employees during the Anil Ambani case. This led to the Supreme Court terminating their employment, showing just how even minor errors can have a significant impact on legal proceedings.
Let’s talk about AI in transcriptions now. Speech recognition technology has come a long way, but it’s still not perfect. Despite training models with millions of hours of data, the error rates remain around 12 percent. And we all know how diverse accents can be in India, which poses a challenge for accurately transcribing court proceedings. Verma emphasizes that even humans struggle in noisy and chaotic courtroom environments, so expecting AI to flawlessly recognize every word and speaker is no easy feat.
Improving transcription accuracy requires a wide range of videos for training datasets. AI models are important, but we must also consider the quality and diversity of the data. It’s a two-way street, folks.
Now, let’s shift our focus to AI in translations. Natural language processing and machine translation have had varying degrees of success with different languages. Unfortunately, resources and research for languages like Hindi and other Indian languages are relatively scarce compared to English. This means translating legal documents from English to Indian languages requires caution, as interpretations of words can vary. It’s a tough nut to crack, especially considering the Constitution recognizes 22 languages, but AI isn’t efficient enough to handle all of them just yet.
With the increasing risks associated with AI systems, there’s a pressing need for human oversight. Those overseeing AI must possess adequate AI literacy and authority to thoroughly investigate when needed. This oversight ensures the protection of health, safety, rights, and the rule of law, while also preventing automation bias and unquestioning acceptance of AI outputs.
Verma makes it clear that if an AI violates the fundamental rights of citizens or compromises their safety, it should be considered high-risk. In such cases, stringent conformity and precaution should be exercised before using it.
So, my friends, the Supreme Court of India is stepping into the AI realm for transcribing court proceedings. But as with any new technology, there are challenges to overcome and precautions to take. Only time will tell how successful AI will be in transforming the legal system, but it’s an exciting development nonetheless.
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