Many times the most significant agencies that can help people who have been victimized by others are born from some of the simplest ideas and the desire to right what appears to be a wrong. Wouldn’t it be great to have a computerized system that can help us learn what our rights are regarding the simple issue of flight delay compensation but also be able to tackle more complex issues such as the rights of those who are HIV-positive and refugees who flee to a foreign land and need to understand the legal system of that country?
Joshua Browder, a young Stanford student, is planning to use his service in a way to be able to help these individuals and eventually expand his services into other area. What is his service? Right now his service is called DoNotPay, which is a free service he designed in order to help contest parking fines in and around London and New York. At the heart of this service is the robot/computer lawyer he called Al, which has already racked up an impressive record of success when it comes to parking violations in two of the largest cities in the world.
Browder developed this artificial intelligence chatbot when he himself had received thirty parking tickets in and around London at the age of 18. Browder taught himself how to code in computer languages and created Al to be a lawyer program that could contest parking violations which would be not only an asset to himself but to other motorists as well. His view regarding traffic tickets are that the people who receive them are vulnerable and a way for the municipality to exploit them as a revenue stream which he plans to help stop. It does help that he would benefit from this program as well, but as many great inventions become reality, often the inventor is the first beneficiary.
The DoNotPay program uses a chat-like interface to ask questions regarding a traffic ticket to handle what is actually a straightforward appeals process. The questions asked include details such as the area and visible parking signs as well as the time of day. Once the program works out the details it gives out the advice to the user free of charge so they know what their best course of action is regarding their own parking violation.
So far DoNotPay has contested 250,000 parking violations in London and New York in only 21 months. The results of this program has seen over 160,000 of the parking tickets tossed out and dismissed, which has resulted in a savings of over $4,000,000 in parking fines for motorists in these two major cities. Browder plans to release DoNotPay in Seattle next and continue from there to help motorists in as many different locations as possible be able to avoid paying parking tickets.
While the savings to his fellow parking challenged motorists is significant the plan Browder has to help others who have been wronged or need to know their rights and gain legal advice at no cost is commendable and certainly a humanitarian effort. I can’t wait to see what else this young genius comes up with as a way to help his fellow man and create a better world where we aren’t taken advantage of by confusing legal systems.