Friday, March 04, 2011

Here Comes the Judge! A Quick Thought on Cybernetic Medicine: Why Can't Computers Also Do Law?

At my Jan. 2011 post "IBM's Watson, Jeopardy, and Revolutionizing Medicine" I lamented that with every new computer advance since the 1950's, soon to follow was a prediction of cybernetic advancements in medicine, such as this:

... A Watson-like system can take that information and co-relate it against all the medical journals and relevant information, and say, "Here's what I think and why," while showing its evidence for how it came up with the conclusion, according to Frase [vice president of industry solutions and emerging business at IBM Research].

The following recently occurred to me in the early morning hours as I watched the sun rise:

I wonder why there are no suggestions of replacing lawyers with computers.

After all, a Watson-like system can take lawsuit information and co-relate it against all the legal journals and relevant information, and say, "Here's what I think and why," while showing its evidence for how it came up with the conclusion. No need for lawyers and their cognitive processes and judgment!

Right?

The judge could be replaced by a cyber-judge. Judge Alex and Judge Judy, you've met your match. Here comes the cybernetic judge...

Order in the Court, Cause Here Comes the Judge! Click to play video.

A set of Watson-like systems could even serve as a jury, being capable, as we know, of flawless human judgment.

... The jury findings, your honor Judge Watson are:

Bob Watson: defendant is guilty by algorithm.
Mary Watson: defendant is guilty by algorithm.
Judy Watson : defendant is guilty by algorithm.
Frank Watson: defendant is guilty by algorithm.
Tom Watson: defendant is ... xoxooxo1011001%$&#@#

(Oops, sorry, your cybernetic Honor, Tom's primary CPU crashed.)

Think of the possibilities...

Perhaps Watson could even be programmed to, say, determine if a proposed law is constitutional or not? No more Supreme Court!

Like medicine, cybernetic practice of law should be child's play, no?

-- SS

2 comments:

Doug Perednia, MD said...

Scot - Now why the heck didn't I think of that? This is clearly the next area ripe for innovation. In fact, it might be safer and more efficient to prove the concept in the legal realm first, and then apply what we learned there to medicine. IBM should be licking its chops at the market potential.

Scot M Silverstein MD said...

IBM should be licking its chops at the market potential.

Per The Brain (cf. Pinky and the Brain):

"Pinky, tomorrow we TAKE OVER THE WORLD!"