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An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence for Federal Judges

An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence for Federal Judges by James E. Baker, Laurie N. Hobart, Matthew Mittelsteadt – Judges must understand how AI works, its applications, its implications for the fact-finding process, and its risks. They should be able to answer the following four questions in context:

1. How is AI being used in court or to inform judicial decisions?
2. Does the fact finder understand the AI’s strengths, limitations,
and risks, such as bias?
3. Is the AI application authentic, relevant, reliable, and material to the issue at hand, and is its use or admission consistent with the Constitution, statutes, and the Rules of Evidence?
4. Has an AI algorithm, a human, or some combination of the two made “the judicial decision,” and, in all cases, has that decision been documented in an appropriate and transparent manner allowing for judicial review and appeal?

This guide addresses these questions by providing some technical back- ground and highlighting some potential legal issues. We do not provide legal judgments about the use of different AI applications. In discussing how AI is used today and may be used in the future, we do not endorse that use in any particular context or application. Rather, we identify core concepts and issues, so that when judges decide whether to admit AI applications into evidence or to use AI in a judicial determination, they decide wisely and fairly. Making these decisions requires judges and litigators to know enough about AI to ask the right questions, at the right moment, in the right depth. It is up to the trial fact finders to determine the facts in each context and to judges to determine the appropriate application of law. We hope this guide helps.”

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