Democratization of Expertise

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Democratization of Expertise

Published on Feb 25, 2020 by Ashok Kasilingam

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There is been a growing optimism in Vancouver tech scene recently and many Vancouver based startups are now getting recognized and starting to attract VC (Venture Capital) investments. Late last year, a Burnaby based software firm Clio has sealed US$250-million infusion from two U.S. investment firms.

Clio provide software for lawyers aimed at making law more accessible via the internet and help even sole practitioners run their businesses. That means replacing traditional pen-and-paper tasks and expensive in-office computing systems with automated, cloud-based practice-management software and using more secure video conferencing to reduce the need for expensive office space.

There are also pilot programs and other companies which uses data from past cases to advise judges on both evidence and sentencing. They use speech recognition and natural language processing to compare all the evidence presented - testimony, documents and other background material - and seek out contradictory fact patterns and alert the judges.

Deep learning algorithms collects defendant's criminal record, age, damages incurred and other relevant details and then scans millions of court records for similar cases. Judges can also view similar cases as data points scattered in a graph as visual representation - each of which providing details on the fact pattern that led to a particular sentence.

With these tools, judges can now build consistency by deriving data from past judgement and this also clearly identifies outliers whose sentencing patterns put those judges outside the mainstream. Judging the judge's performance.

By empowering judges with data driven recommendations, these algorithms can help balance the justice and correct for the biases present in judges. Point here is these algorithms never makes a doctor, lawyers, judges or any other professionals obsolete. Instead, they provide recommendations drawn from existing well structured records and data. Since these algorithms continually include and scan the latest available data sets in any given field, the recommendations provided by these algorithms only gets better by the day.

It disseminates world class knowledge equally throughout this highly unequal society thereby ultimately benefiting the end customers. Democratization of expertise.