DoNotPay – Chatbot Traffic Lawyer?

4WAAM-Traffic-Ticket-PicHave you ever gotten a parking ticket? Ever wanted to quickly and easily fight that ticket? Apparently so did a student and Stanford University so he built an automated application to do just that.

Joshua Browder’s artificial intelligence system is a free service called DoNotPay to help users fight parking fines. Mr. Browder racked up 30 parking tickets in and around London at the tender age of 18. It was this financially crippling situation that prompted him to create the AI behind DoNotPay that would help not only himself, but others navigate the ticket appeals process.

“I think the people getting parking tickets are the most vulnerable in society,” Browder told The Guardian. “These people aren’t looking to break the law. I think they’re being exploited as a revenue source by the local government.”

Billed as “The world’s first robot lawyer”. DoNotPay uses a simple chat based interface to guide people through the appeals process. It asks a series of questions about the location, situation, signage, and more to calculate an appropriate response. Currently it does all of this for free.

Mind you “robot” advice is not real legal counsel and trying to fight your parking ticket like this is a hit or miss affair. Since the service is free there is certainly no harm in trying. Users have already fought over 250,000 tickets and won approximately 160,000 of them. That’s about $4,000,000 in parking fines not paid by drivers. We fully expect municipal lawsuits to stop the service since this cuts deeply into slush fund budgets or corrupt and crooked politicians.

Before you get too excited the system is currently only available in NY and London but there are plans to expand it to Seattle next. More major cities to follow.

The altruistic nature of the project has plans to expand as well. On the to-do list is train the program to help people with flight delay compensation, help people who are HIV-positive understand their rights, and help refugees navigate foreign legal systems.

What do you think? Is this something you would use? Tell us in the comments.

William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role having been a cook, a painter, a machinist, part time mechanic, computer programmer, and writer. He also wields a freely shared opinion on just about everything., just ask him.

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