I have to preface this post by saying I am a AI skeptic. That’s not to say that I don’t see the value in certain technologies and apps, especially where they help lawyers save time and therefore help the client save money. However, I would argue that this kind of technology is more likely to help the middle- to upper-class client save money.
What about those people who are in the lowest socioeconomic rungs where access to this technology is either impossible or impracticable? Even gaining access to the internet at a public library may be beyond the grasp of certain clients who either cannot physically get to the library or understand the technology in the first place. Persons with disabilities and senior citizens readily come to mind here. I think that we’re moving in the right direction with classes such as Designing Legal Systems and the CRT Knowledge Engineering courses offered at TRU Law. However, the more we use computers and such technology to increase access to justice for some people, are we dramatically reducing it for others? Are we in fact increasing the gap in access and leaving the already marginalized behind?
Food for thought.