The world’s first robot prosecutor is created in China.

The world's first robot prosecutor is created in China.

Chinese experts announced the creation of the world’s first robotic prosecutor using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to bring charges in criminal cases.

The robot prosecutor was created and tested by the Shanghai Pudong District People’s Procuratorate, the largest and busiest prosecutor’s office in the country. According to the South China Morning Post, based on a verbal description of a crime, the machine is capable of presenting charges with an accuracy of better than 97%.

The new tool – robot prosecutor will help reduce the workload of prosecutors and allow them to focus on more complex tasks, according to project manager and director of the China Academy of Sciences’ Big Data and Knowledge Management Lab, Professor Shi Yong.

Chinese prosecutors were among the first to use AI technology back in April 2016. However, as Shi noted, such tools play a very limited role, since they do not participate in decision-making when bringing charges and choosing a punishment.

To make such decisions, the machine must identify and remove any non-crime case materials, but at the same time leave all the useful information. She would also have to translate the complex and fluid human language into a computer-readable mathematical format. Chinese internet companies have developed powerful natural language processing tools of their own, but they require a lot of computing power that prosecutors usually don’t have.

The System 206 robot, developed by Shi’s team, is capable of assessing the significance of evidence, the conditions of arrest and the potential danger of a suspect to society, all on a regular personal computer. The indictment for each suspect is determined based on 1,000 characteristics extracted from a human-created textual description of the case.

More than 17 thousand criminal cases were used to train the machine during the period from 2015 to 2020. She is currently able to prosecute eight of the most common crimes in Shanghai: credit card fraud, gambling, dangerous driving, willful personal injury, obstruction of duty, theft and calling for riot.

Shi and his colleagues said that the robot prosecutor will soon become even more powerful thanks to the updates. He will be able to recognize less common crimes and bring multiple charges against one suspect.

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