Briefing: China looks to build ‘smart courts’ with AI

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Shanghai Court Adopts New AI Assistant – Sixth Tone

What happened: A Shanghai court has adopted an artificial intelligence-enabled assistant to help improve courtroom efficiency and accuracy. The city’s No. 2 Immediate People’s Court is the first in the country to utilize the system, dubbed System 206, developed by Chinese tech firm iFlytech and the country’s judicial and public security organs. The platform can recognize verbal commands to display relevant information. It can also transcribe speech while identifying speakers.

Why it’s important: Chinese tech firms and judicial institutions have been pushing to bring technology into courtrooms. A court in Beijing trialed a VR visualization of a crime scene in March 2018. China’s Supreme Court has ordered newly-formed internet-related courts to recognize digital data as evidence if it has been verified by methods including blockchains. Some courts have also begun accepting evidence from popular messaging platforms, including WeChat and QQ.  China filed 34% of all legaltech patents globally in 2016, second only to the US.