LAD Makes 'Robot Lawyer' Which Has Overturned £8million Worth Of Parking Tickets
If you've ever been slapped with a parking ticket that you know you didn't deserve, you've probably considered launching an appeal. And then you probably looked into how time consuming and/or costly it would be to do this and quickly gave up. Don't worry about it. No judgement here.
Joshua Browder, on the other hand, got so pissed off with getting tickets he shouldn't have - and the subsequent time he spent appealing them - he set up his own 'robot lawyer', which has since managed to get people out of £8million worth of tickets.
Joshua, 20, told LADbible: "I was given a few tickets shortly after I passed my test. I successfully appealed them, but it was a long and frustrating process. I thought there had to be an easier way and that's when I came up with this.
"I honestly didn't expect it to become as huge as it has. I thought maybe a few of my friends would use it and save themselves some money.
"Most of the advice lawyers give in situations like this is pretty much copy and paste, DoNotPay cuts all that out. Its free for anyone to use, and it's a very simple interface.
"In the future, I'm hoping to expand it to cover other areas. So, people could get married or divorced, apply for citizenship, submit applications for pensions and benefits, there's so many possibilities."
When it comes to parking tickets, DoNotPay has a 55 percent success rate, and, like Joshua says, is absolutely free to use, so it's worth a go if you think you've got a legit reason to not pay up.
It's also now set up to deal with around 1000 other legal issues, covering everything from getting rid of nuisance callers and settling disputes with landlords, to what to do if your credit card is stolen or you want to contest an insurance claim.
Joshua, who is from London but now lives in the US where he's a student at Stanford University, hired three lawyers to help him with the legal-side of things, and he coded the bot himself, aged 19, which is kind of unbelievable when you think about it.
It now has solutions for the UK as well as all 50 states, and, Joshua has plans to expand worldwide.
Joshua has also made it possible for any company, charity, organisation or individual to make their own robo-lawyer, with no technical knowledge. You can do that here, if you're interested.
But, of course, you can't set something like this up without getting backlash from somewhere, right? "Lawyers hate me," he says.
And he's not wrong, lawyers are quick to point out that DoNotPay isn't a 'robot lawyer' at all. It's a chat bot and it can't offer the help, advice and guidance a human can; 'It can't visit you in jail', one lawyer wrote.
But Joshua is more than aware of its limitations and is also keen to point out that in the areas it covers, it's pretty spot on. Claiming that, most lawyers just give the same cookie-cutter advice on small issues like this, but charge a hefty price that many can't afford.
And this bot isn't really a threat to lawyers, is it? Joshua recognises that people will, for the foreseeable future at least, still need lawyers for complex cases. No one standing trial on a murder charge is going to be using a bot to argue their defence...for now.
Featured Image Credit: PA