Artificial intelligence and law
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Artificial intelligence and Law (AI and Law) is a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) mainly concerned with applications of AI to legal informatics problems and original research on those problems. It is also a field concerned to contribute in the other direction: to export original tools and techniques to the larger enterprise of AI, by concerning itself with automation in the legal domain (e.g. contributing to natural language processing, intelligent databases, and datamining), theories of legal decision making (e.g., contributing to knowledge representation and automated reasoning), and models of social organization based on the rule of law (e.g., contributing to multi-agent systems).
AI and Law was first introduced to the general public within the law field by L. Thorne McCarty's Harvard Law Review article in 1976, "Reflections on Taxman: An Experiment in Artificial Intelligence and Legal Reasoning."
The main community of AI and Law convenes a biennial conference, The International Conference on AI and Law. There are related conferences, including JURIX (the Dutch Legal Informatics group), and researchers whose principal concerns are legal expert systems, multiagent systems, ontologies, defeasible reasoning, deontic logic, case-based reasoning, and social philosophy.
Because of the influence of Howard Turtle's WIN system (WestLaw's natural language query search interface to its citation database), and other legal research databases, AI and Law research was concerned with search, citation ranking, ontologies, semantic technologies (e.g., semantic web), and xml before many other communities.
Legal decisionmaking takes place in a constructed social world (as opposed to the naturalistic world that is subject to empirical investigation), so AI and Law has been less concerned with machine learning over continuous spaces than other areas of AI in recent decades.
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