Friday, July 8, 2016

Got a bullshit parking ticket? Now you can appeal it in less than a minute. The new chatbot tool, DoNotPay, uses previously successful appeal letters to draw up a customized template, allowing users to avoid courts, legal fees, stress, and having to use a lawyer.


So far, the free app has overturned 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York. With a success rate of 64%, DoNotPay has appealed $4 million in parking fines in just two cities in only nine months of operation. In 2014, New York City collected $546 million in revenue from parking tickets.

Stanford freshman Joshua Bowder created the app after spending an exorbitant amount of time crafting his own appeals for parking tickets. He read thousands of pages of documents related to parking tickets released under the Freedom of Information Act and consulted a traffic lawyer. Then, using PHP and Javascript, he created a conversation algorithm that aggregates keywords, pronouns, and word order. Like many chatbots, Browder’s app becomes more intelligent each time it is used.


DoNotPay is not commercial and Josh plans to keep it that way. In an interview with Anti-Media, Josh said he was driven by a sense of social justice and a desire to help vulnerable people who are exploited by policing-for-profit schemes. Josh also wants to use technology like artificial intelligence for humanitarian purposes.

He finds it “irritating and disappointing” that bots are usually created for vapid commercial uses. In reality, he says, algorithmic intelligence and chatbots are a “humanitarian goldmine.”

DoNotPay also assists with delayed or canceled flights, payment-protection insurance (PPI) claims, and even legally disclosing an HIV-positive health status.

Josh describes his creation as “the first robot lawyer.” People are describing him as the “Robin Hood of the Internet.

If it is one day possible for any citizen to get the same standard of legal representation as a billionaire,” Browder says, “how can that not be a good thing?”

DoNotPay is not commercial and Josh plans to keep it that way. In an interview with Anti-Media, Josh said he was driven by a sense of social justice and a desire to help vulnerable people who are exploited by policing-for-profit schemes. Josh also wants to use technology like artificial intelligence for humanitarian purposes.

He finds it “irritating and disappointing” that bots are usually created for vapid commercial uses. In reality, he says, algorithmic intelligence and chatbots are a “humanitarian goldmine.”

DoNotPay also assists with delayed or canceled flights, payment-protection insurance (PPI) claims, and even legally disclosing an HIV-positive health status.

Josh describes his creation as “the first robot lawyer.” People are describing him as the “Robin Hood of the Internet.”

“If it is one day possible for any citizen to get the same standard of legal representation as a billionaire,” Browder says, “how can that not be a good thing?”



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