At the Expert Witness Institute conference on Friday, Sir Keith Lindblom, senior president of tribunals, assured an audience of expert witnesses that AI will not replace them, despite the courts’ enthusiastic adoption of the technology.

Lindblom highlighted the immense opportunities AI presents, encouraging the mainly medical and financial experts present to welcome the advent of artificial support rather than fear it. He emphasised that AI will be used daily by courts and tribunals, with expert witnesses adapting to oversee and quality control the output of AI systems.

“The role of expert witnesses will not be reduced to merely interpreting the findings of AI,” Lindblom stated. “However, it is wrong to think that AI will have only a marginal impact on the role of expert witnesses.”

Judge asks AI whether it will replace an Expert Witness in Court

Lindblom revealed that he asked ChatGPT if AI would replace experts, noting that the system believed it could handle much of the work of experts, lawyers, and judges. Despite concerns about AI generating false case references (which it does on a regular basis), he predicted that future experts will undoubtedly rely on AI to prepare their evidence. While confidentiality concerns remain, closed chatbots can offer greater security to mitigate risks.

AI, Lindblom said, will enhance the quality and consistency of expert reports, especially in technological or scientific evidence. When used appropriately, AI can determine suitable cases for online dispute resolution and predict outcomes accurately, helping parties settle cases out of court.

Courts will continue to need experts to ensure justice is served

“Expert witnesses are not going to be redundant,” Lindblom reassured. “Courts and tribunals will depend on experts with a solid understanding of new technology to ensure justice is served. The accountability and intelligent rigour of expert witnesses are indispensable to the administration of justice.”

This story was also posted on the Law Gazette‘s website and drew some interesting comments that did make me smile.

“Once again I feel compelled to comment – anonymously for various reasons, sorry – half of our court system barely has functioning IT. What planet exactly are the senior judiciary working on? Let’s sort out those problems and get CE filing set up across the system before we start making everybody redundant with new technology, please.”

“I’m willing to give these learned judges a great deal of poetic license when they’re making speeches out of court, but both my eyebrows are raised at the notion that our new language simulation machines have “belief” in anything, or “thoughts” for that matter.”

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