Law as Computation. Speaking Law to the Power of Statistics

Mireille Hildebrandt (Brüssel) 

Berliner Seminar Recht im Kontext


Audio recording of the event

The idea of artificial legal intelligence stems from a previous wave of artificial intelligence, then called jurimetrics. It was based on an algorithmic understanding of law, celebrating logic as the sole ingredient for proper legal argumentation. However, as Holmes noted, the life of the law is experience rather than merely logic. Machine learning, which determines the current wave of artificial intelligence, is built on a data-driven machine experience. The resulting artificial legal intelligence may be far more successful in terms of predicting the content of positive law. In this article, I discuss the assumptions of law and the rule of law and confront them with those of computational systems. The talk is based on the twin paper of my Chorley lecture on Law as Information, and raises the question whether artificial legal intelligence could enable responsible innovation in legal decision making.

Mireille Hildebrandt is a lawyer and a philosopher. She holds a Research Chair on Interfacing Law and Technology at the Faculty of Law and Criminology  at Vrije Universiteit Brussels and is part-time full professor at the Department of Computer Science of the Science Faculty at Radboud University, Nijmegen. She works on the nexus of law, philosophy of law and philosophy of technology, with a focus on the implications of artificial intelligence for democracy and the Rule of Law. Her most recent edited volume is Information, Freedom and Property (Routledge 2016, co-edited with Bibi van den Berg) and her most recent monograph is Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law (Edward Elgar 2015).