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AI CONNECTED TO LAW: a science that helps to improve another science

Artificial Intelligence ,as we known, is the study of man-made computational devices and systems which can be made to act in a manner which we would be inclined to call intelligent.

It is a branch of Science born in the early 1950’s which deals with helping machines find solutions to complex problems in a more human-like fashion. This generally involves borrowing characteristics from human intelligence, and applying them as algorithms in a computer friendly way. A more or less flexible or efficient approach can be taken depending on the requirements established, which influences how artificial the intelligent behavior appears.

lArtificial intelligence and Law can be considered a subfield of artificial intelligence. It deals  firstly with applications of AI to legal informatics problems and original research on those problems, but it is also a field concerned to contribute to export original tools and techniques to the larger enterprise of AI, by concerning itself with automation in the legal domain such as intelligent databases ,datamining, theories of legal decision making and models of social organization based on the rule of law.

In recent times it has showed a considerable interest in the development of computer systems for the automatic legal reasoning. The development of new technologies has allowed operators of law to acquire a increasing awareness of the opportunities that the computer techniques offer to the entire legal community. This attention is due both to the increasingly wide availability of powerful computers and to the development of intelligent models that can be implemented in a computer system.


The importance and use of KnowledgeBased Systems

Researchers in the Artificial Intelligence subfield of Case-Based Reasoning have accomplished a great deal in the last few years, and much of that work has significant ramifications for research in AI and Law. They have explored different domains and tasks, identified different modes of reasoning with cases and invented different designs and implementations. It is a good point in the intellectual development of the field to step back and compare their approaches and accomplishments and try to assess the implications for the development of legal expert systems.

CBR research and development in the field of AI and Law should be pursued vigorously for several reasons. CBR can supplement rule-based expert systems, improving their abilities to reason about statutory’ predicates, solve problems efficiently, and explain their results.

It can also contribute to the design of intelligent legal data retrieval systems and improve legal document assembly programs. Finally, in cognitive studies of various fields, it can model methods of transforming ill-structured problems into better structured ones through the use of case comparisons.

Researches in the field of Artificial Intelligence have enabled the development of computer systems, called KnowledgeBased Systems (Software that uses artificial intelligence or expert system techniques in problem solving processes. It incorporates a store (database) of expert knowledge with couplings and linkages designed to facilitate its retrieval in response to specific queries, or to transfer expertise from one domain of knowledge to another), which can simulate intelligent behavior and resolve automatically and autonomously legal problems. The use of this technological tool, however, requires the solution of some problems of a theoretical nature.

One of the major obstacles to the development of LKBS (Law KBS) in fact  is due to the complexity of the legal system. The excessive breadth of the legislation involves considerable difficulty in finding provisions object of the domain, often present in different positions and the determination of which depends on the identification and on the application of the entire legislative text (for more info see “ Helling E., Obstacles to the development of legal knowledge-based systems “).
The difficulties for the identification of existing legislation, the extraction and application of legal rules – the crucial moments in the development of a legal expert systems – depend essentially on factors such as:

–          the nature of the intervention of the legislator;

–          the clarity of the dictation regulatory;

–          the plurality of levels of standardization;

–          the plurality of sources (federal, state and community, many times among all competitors them);

–          the continuing work of editing and updating of rules.



The importance of the interconnection between IA and Law theory has long been recognized in Literature under two respects: on the one hand, the formalism of legal knowledge representation must be necessarily based on jurisprudential theories, on the other hand, the theoretical and legal issues can be analyzed and solved with the help of AI.

In reality, the interaction between the two fields has so far been modest, and part of the reasons for this are practical. If from part of the law theorists there is skepticism about the role and potential of the use of AI in law and in jurisprudence, most of the work on the topic of AI in the legal field has not (or try to have) a
feedback theory.
It was therefore arrived at the point where it takes for granted the fundamental connection between the two camps, but without it has been exploited in every of its aspect.

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About Vanessa Lumini

The genius build the world, the clever turn around, and the stupid think that the world revolves around them .. Laureata e appassionata in Informatica, contabile amministrativa di professione da 5 anni, con la voglia di diffondere le mie passioni in tutte le lingue a me possibili.


  1. Ho sempre desiderato contribuire concretamente ad un progetto di IA applicata alla legge. Ma il panorama, come l’articolo conferma, continua ad essere desolante. Non so cosa fare.

  2. Complimenti per l’articolo, comunque.

    • Apprezzo molto il suo parere grazie, per il resto possiamo sperare sul fatto che l’esponenziale sviluppo che sta avendo oggigiorno la tecnologia porti a concretizzare prima o poi questo legame tra le due scienze.

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