Neural Networks and the Law

To over-simplify, a neural network is an artificial computer network that is modeled on the neurological structure of the biological brain.  The theory is, if a neural network is properly designed, it should be capable of learning and adapting in the same way that a human brain can.  When the network is properly “trained,” it will be capable of making complex and logical decisions without the aid a person. 

(For background on neural networks, please check out wikipedia.

Criticism exists that neural networks are not yet “intelligent” enough to solve problems of any complexity.  I don’t want to debate this.  What I would like to debate is whether or not they will EVER be sophisticated enough to leave something as important as law to their purview.  Will we ever see a “neural network judge?” (thanks Adam).  As big a Trekkie as I am, I have trouble believing that we are going to see a “Data” any time soon.  Will a computer, as trained as it might be, be able to apply contextual argument?  Even if it could, should we as people relinquish the law to a machine?  Would it still be the law or would it at that point become something else?  I don’t have the answers and, as I said, I think it will be a long time until we have to confront these questions; however, it is something worth thinking about.

 Boldly going where no man has gone before….



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