By LE Desk
New Delhi, April 7: The Supreme Court on Tuesday launched its Artificial Intelligence portal: SUPACE (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency). Through this portal, the SC intends to leverage machine learning to deal with the vast amounts of data received at the time of filing of cases.
For almost a decade now, the Supreme Court has been mulling the idea of E-courts. A draft proposal for the third phase of the E-courts project was released by the SC’s E-Committee earlier this week.
Justice L Nageshwara Rao, who is also the chairman of the SC’s Artificial Intelligence Committee, delivered the opening address during the virtual launch of SUPACE, India Today reported.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde was the first-ever chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Committee. CJI Bobde first spoke of the use of AI to assist the Supreme Court soon after he took oath as the Chief Justice in 2019.
“He [CJI Bobde] has great hopes and aspirations for AI being helpful in the administration of justice,” Justice Rao said.
In his speech on Law Day in 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind had emphasised the need for court judgements to reach the common man even in vernacular languages.
Technology has increasingly disrupted the nature of professions, Justice Rao said adding that the legal profession is no exception. AI has the potential to be a tremendous asset in the justice delivery system, he said.
“It is quite implausible that AI will ever make human lawyers or judges ever completely redundant; however, such systems can assist the judges, court staffs and litigants in several ways by addressing existing bottlenecks resulting in excessive delays,” said Justice Rao.
Addressing the virtual launch of SUPACE, CJI-designate Justice NV Ramana said the AI tool is a “feather in the cap of the Chief Justice of India [SA Bobde]”.
The apex court is burdened with pendency and the bulky volumes of records being filed, Justice Ramana said. He added, “To take out the important facts and the issues that the parties have raised with the help of this tool is very easy. I think in the course of time, we will understand better once we start using this tool.”
Delivering the closing address, CJI SA Bobde said the Supreme Court is embarking on a journey of embracing Artificial Intelligence in its routine work.
CJI referred to SUPACE as “truly a pioneering effort because it is not like the other AI systems which we have heard about being used in the rest of the world and are being used by the judiciaries in Japan and certain other countries”.
Justice Bobde further stated that the AI tool is unique because it produces results customized to the need of the case and the way the judge thinks.
Referring to the defeat faced by then World Chess Champion grandmaster Garry Kasparov at the hands of AI programme Deep Blue in 1997, CJI Bobde said most people gave little thought to Artificial Intellegence until that time.
“It is very interesting that Kasparov won most of the games and lost one. The point is that Deep Blue had not been programmed to understand Kasparov’s moves. The more Deep Blue was used, the more it was employed to play grandmasters, it became better and better and the grandmasters started to lose more games simply because of the phenomenal capacity to analyze without any emotions,” said CJI Bobde.
Artificial Intelligence is to the intellect what muscle memory is to our mind, he went on to say.
However, CJI Bobde clarified that the Supreme Court will stop using AI after it has given all the information and analysed the examples.
“We are not going to let AI spill over to decision-making. The crucial difference being that any knowledge the human being needs to know, whether in fact or law, can be analysed and can be reached to the judge for his decision-making. It fully retains the autonomy and the discretion of the judge in deciding the case, though at a much, much faster pace because of the readiness with which the information is made available by the AI,” CJI Bobde said at the launch of SUPACE.