AI Could Soon Help You Navigate Your Divorce

Would you trust a robot to help you through a divorce? A legal aid organization in Australia is building an app and online portal that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help couples get divorced. The federal government recently gave the Legal Services Commission of South Australia $581,000 for the project.

Users enter information about their dispute, and the technology compares it to previous legal cases. Then the AI recommends how to divide up assets. The platform is intended to be a starting point, not a substitute for in-person legal services.

According to the Commission, cursing and other bad language is not tolerated on the platform. In addition, a party who attempts to claim a disproportionate amount of assets will be unable to move forward in the process until he or she alters the request.

“We’ve built in some natural language and sentiment analysis, so that if you start to use aggressive language through the tool, it will come up and say, ‘hey, that’s not fair, this process works better if everyone stays calm’. It actually won’t let them proceed,” David Mazzone, COO of the Commission, told In The Black.

The more people who use the platform, the better it will perform. It will rely on the Family Court of Australia cases and consent orders. It could potentially save people thousands of dollars and relieve pressure on the legal system.

A similar tool was developed in the Netherlands but failed. The Commission says the Australian platform has learned from Netherlands’ mistakes and has moved forward through vigorous testing. The platform will provide users with agreements, consent orders, and parenting plans.

“We’re starting to populate more and more data, and the more we can train the model, the more accurate it will be,” Mazzone explained. “The idea is to get that accuracy up to a level that we’re satisfied with before we go out to a public trial and start to let the public use it.”

The Commission is creating the project and will not require expensive licenses, which can drive up prices for users. One priority for the app is to get conflicting parties to interact amicably.


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