Thursday, February 6, 2020

Artificial Intelligence And Human Rights Issues In Cyberspace

Human rights or Civil Liberties issues are not considered in their true perspective world over. Traditionally Governments across the world have been investing heavily in knowing more and more about their citizens and residents. This hunger to know everything could have been catastrophic if civil liberties activists were not so active. Nevertheless, we are slowly moving towards a totalitarian and Orwellian world thanks to the super pervasive and intruding technologies.
We anticipated this trend way back in 2009 when we started discussing about Human Rights Protection In Cyberspace. Soon we realised that we need a much focused and dedicated initiative in this regard. So we launched world’s exclusive Techno Legal Centre Of Excellence For Protection Of Human Rights In Cyberspace (CEPHRC). Since then we have been continuously working to strengthen Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Cyberspace.
In the year 2019, the CEPHRC has been merged with the Techno Legal Projects Of TeleLaw Private Limited (TPL) and PTLB Projects LLP. This has been done to consolidate our Techno Legal LegalTech, EduTec, TechLaw and other similar projects. As both TPL and PTLB Projects LLP are recognised startups by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and MeitY Startup Hub, we are working to further rejuvenate the CEPHRC project soon.
In this post we are discussing the Techno legal issues associated with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in various fields. We are more concerned with the Human Rights and Civil Liberties implications of AI and not the friendly or non friendly aspects of AI. Just for the sake of reference, the roots of concern about AI are very old. In fact, by 1942 these concerns prompted Isaac Asimov to create the “Three Laws of Robotics” – principles hard-wired into all the robots in his fiction, intended to prevent them from turning on their creators, or allowing them to come to harm. Also philosopher Nick Bostrom has said that superintelligent AI systems with goals that are not aligned with human ethics are intrinsically dangerous unless extreme measures are taken to ensure the safety of humanity. He believes that we should assume that a ‘superintelligence’ would be able to achieve whatever goals it has. Therefore, it is extremely important that the goals we endow it with, and its entire motivation system, is ‘human friendly’.This takes us to the concept of friendly artificial intelligence. Eliezer Yudkowsky asserts that friendliness (a desire not to harm humans) should be designed in from the start, but that the designers should recognise both that their own designs may be flawed, and that the robot will learn and evolve over time. Thus the challenge is one of mechanism design—to define a mechanism for evolving AI systems under a system of checks and balances, and to give the systems utility functions that will remain friendly in the face of such changes.
If you are a software designer or coder you design/code the software as per your conceptions and ideals. You may create a software as open source or you may prefer to sell it as a commercial software. You may give a limited features free trial or you may give a full fledged version as a free trial. You may create the software for Linux or you may create it for Windows systems. You may create the software for a particular country or language or you may create a global software with multiple languages. In short, no two software are created with same ideology and objectives. What is more concerning is the fact that we create things keeping in mind our own experience, ideology, political allegiance, etc. We may create a software for law enforcement and intelligence agencies for the sole purpose that it can be used by them for snooping, spying or even violating the Civil Liberties of people.
However, in all these activities “Human Element” is present. Now think what would happen if a spying software is managed by an AI driven system without involvement of human beings at all? We do not wish to be alarmist in this regard but the least we can expect from the AI makers is that Human Rights and Civil Liberties safeguards are hardwired into all AI systems. We have a tendency to pass on our bias and prejudice and have a tendency to violate Human Rights of our fellow humans. Naturally we would pass these negative traits to AI too if proper safeguards are not put at place. Also using AI without adequate Cyber Security, Privacy and Data Protection is a recipe for disaster. Whether we like it or not, atrocities of Orwellian technologies would further increase in future and putting in place sound Human rights Protection in Cyberspace is essential.
We at TeleLaw Project, CEPHRC and PTLB Projects are working on these issues presently and we would come up with a sound Techno Legal Policy that would ensure Human Rights Protection in Cyberspace at large. Interested stakeholders are requested to collaborate with us in this regard so that world at large can be benefited.
Source: CEPHRC.

Monday, February 3, 2020

LegalTech Startup TeleLaw Of India Is Emerging As Global Leader In Techno Legal Fields

Law and technology are never compatible and law is always behind the technology. Even if the lawmakers try to bridge this gap still world over law and technology are not good companions. This problem has escalated at the legal and judicial sides too and till the beginning of February 2020 we are still discussing whether we should use online dispute resolution (ODR), e-courts, etc in our respective jurisdictions. 

This is where the role of LegalTech industry becomes crucial. The LegalTech industry can infuse technological innovations into the almost stagnant legal and judicial systems of the world. But we are facing few problems in this regard. The first one is that there is a resistance from the legal fraternity and governments of various nations to use technology for legal and judicial purposes. The second problem is that most of the stakeholders are themselves not aware what LegalTech is and how to use it. For instance, a vast majority of stakeholders believe that LegalTech means forcing artificial intelligence and automation upon selective few aspects. This is the main reason why LegalTech industry is not growing as these tech hypes would be over sooner than we expect. With this we would witness a series of failures and closing of LegalTech projects world over.

We must accept the truth that LegalTech is neither AI/automation nor it means purchase of expensive hardware and software. Many beautiful LegalTech projects have been implemented by use of simple open source tools. In fact, a single tool can be used by different stakeholders differently and one may create a wonderful product or service while the other may create a total mess with the same tool. 

One such LegalTech pioneer is Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) that has launched the world's first ever techno legal LegalTech project named TeleLaw. The TeleLaw is a techno legal and LegalTech startup recognised by the DPIIT, Govt of India. TeleLaw is a unique LegalTech project that is working to bridge the gap of access to justice and legal aid. It is also the exclusive techno legal startups in the world that is providing techno legal services in fields like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, machine learning, big data, cyber security, cyber forensics, e-discovery, international trade, e-commerce, privacy and data protection, etc. The list is just illustrative as TeleLaw covers almost all types of legal services.

TeleLaw is using open source tools to strengthen what matters most i.e. the process, expertise and deep understanding of and commitment to the end users. Most of the LegalTech stakeholders are not only suffering from over reliance upon AI but they have limited area of operation too. For instance, they are targeting lawyers/law firms only with no focus upon the process, team and end user. But TeleLaw is covering Business to Business (B2B) (like lawyers, law firms, companies etc), Business to Consumer (B2C) (like end users directly), Business to Government (B2G) (like PSUs, govt departments, etc) and many more national and international stakeholders. TeleLaw is also helping national and international organisation working in the fields of international trade, intellectual property rights, international trade, etc.

Clearly, TeleLaw is fast emerging as a global leader in techno legal fields and what is more important is that it is seeking like minded collaborators and investors who can provide seed funding/angel investment to it on a non stake basis. This is a project that must not be ignored by the Indian government as it has great potential to make India a global hub for techno legal services. This would generate wealth, employment and technological innovations for Indian economy too. Let us hope that Indian government would support the TeleLaw project to become a jewel of India and a global leader in techno legal fields.