New Artificial Intelligence Advisory Body in England and Wales – Bringing the Modern World to the Judiciary

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Lord Burnett of Maldon, the current Lord Chief Justice, has set up a new Advisory Body with the aim of ensuring that the Judiciary of England and Wales is fully informed about developments in artificial intelligence (AI). Professor Richard Susskind, President of the Society for Computers & Law, has been named chair of the body, and in a recent interview stated that AI has taken off in the last six or seven years, to the point where it has become "affordable and practical". Professor Susskind believes that the new group will start a dialogue among the judiciary about "one of the most influential technologies that there is", and recognises the importance of judges being open to the opportunities that AI technology could offer to the court system (with "practical tasks" cited as an example). The 10-person team will be made up of both senior judges (including Lord Neuberger, past President of the UK Supreme Court, and Lady Justice Sharp, Vice-President of the Queen's Bench Division), as well as leading experts on AI and law (such as Professor Katie Atkinson, past President of the International Association for AI and Law). There is little doubt that automation already plays an essential role for the legal profession, for example, in large disclosure exercises.