Quick, what’s the most important part of committing a crime?
It’s not planning or execution or even avoiding detection, because no matter how good a criminal you are, the odds say you will eventually be caught. No, the most important thing is to have the best possible defense attorney. So you can get out of anything you’ve done.
Pretty soon–like within the next 20 years–you will have the best lawyer, because your lawyer will be a robot lawyer, the Defense Attorney 4000. One who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, one who can download an empathy update every day to better reach jurors, and one who will defeat every single charge, because robots do not make mistakes.
Which will free up us humans to commit all the crimes we want.
The takeover of our criminal justice system by autonomous robot lawyers will begin rather innocuously, as detailed by a report in Legal Futures and covered by io9.
The report’s focus on the future of work contained the most disturbing findings for lawyers. Its main proposition is that AI is already close in 2014. “It is no longer unrealistic to consider that workplace robots and their AI processing systems could reach the point of general production by 2030… after long incubation and experimentation, technology can suddenly race ahead at astonishing speed.”
By this time, ‘bots’ could be doing “low-level knowledge economy work” and soon much more. “Eventually each bot would be able to do the work of a dozen low-level associates. They would not get tired. They would not seek advancement. They would not ask for pay rises. Process legal work would rapidly descend in cost.”
The human part of lawyering would shrink.
Like shit the robot lawyers would not seek advancement or ask for pay raises. They are fucking robot lawyers, not robotic dishwashers, you dumb ass. Of course, they will want to make partner. And after seeing a fucking shitty human screw up a trial, the robots will reasonably argue they should be allowed in the courtroom to help. Then that they should take the lead. A robot will win the first case it tries, and BAM no more stupid people.
First, white collar criminals at Goldman Sachs will get the best robot lawers. Poor, low-level crooks will be assigned iPads that have been reprogrammed that have been taped to sticks.
That will lead to the DA’s office getting robot prosecutors. And you know what happens when an undefeatable robot defense attorney and unbeatable robot prosecutor tangle? I don’t fucking know, except that it will be the OJ Trial of the 22nd century, with a lot fewer prosecutorial miscues, and you KNOW you will watch that shit.
The case will end in a mistrial after the robot DA and the robot defense attorney agree that arguing their case to human jurors is stupid. BOOM. Robot jurors. No more bias. A human judge will silently watch over the perfectly humming electronics, more a repair technician than anything. We just solved judicial overreach. Before you know it, cases that used to take weeks to argue will be tried in mere milliseconds. Right to a speedy trial? You fucking bet. You’ll be sent to prison before you’ve even been arraigned.
Soon after, robot detectives will be so perfectly programmed that they will only arrest people guilty of crimes, making all those robot lawyers and judges obsolete.
Then what will happen?
Fuck if I know. The robot apocalypse, I guess, when all these out-of-work robot lawyers rise up against other robots. Don’t worry though, us humans will have died out decades ago.