Joshua Browder

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Joshua Browder
Born1997 (age 21–22)
EducationStanford University
OccupationFounder of DoNotPay
RelativesBill Browder (Father)
Melanie Browder (Mother)
Felix Browder (Grandfather)
Earl Browder (Great-grandfather)
William Browder (Great-uncle)
Felix Browder (Great-uncle)
AwardsForbes 30 Under 30
TR35

Joshua Browder (born 1997) is a British-American entrepreneur. He is the founder of DoNotPay, the first chatbot that allows motorists to appeal their parking tickets automatically.[1][2][3] In 2018, Browder launched a new version of DoNotPay that allowed users to "swipe" on court settlements and sue.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in London in 1997, Joshua Browder is the son of Bill Browder and Melanie Browder. His grandfather is the mathematician Felix Browder, and his great-grandfather is the political activist Earl Browder.[5]

Browder graduated from Stanford University, his father's Business School alma mater.[6] His father attended the University of Chicago and studied Economics.

DoNotPay chatbot[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Browder grew up in Hendon, London. At the age of 18, he began to drive and to incur numerous parking tickets. Having formed the perception that these tickets were disproportionately targeting the elderly and disabled, and noticing the "formulaic nature" of the process by which they could be appealed, Browder created a chatbot called DoNotPay. Since its launch, the site has attracted over 175,000 successful users. According to Browder, it has saved UK and New York motorists an estimated $5 million.[7]

According to Forbes, Browder programmed the entirety of the website between the hours of 12am and 3am.[8] He taught himself to code at age 12.[9]

In an article on DoNotPay, Roland Vogl, executive director at CodeX, the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics in the United States, said that "chatbots are fairly limited in what they can accomplish and, in this early stage, are more effective at handling narrow tasks."[10]

Expansion[edit]

On 12 January 2015, The Daily Mail, a British tabloid newspaper, announced that Browder was expanding DoNotPay into the UK's first 'robot lawyer'.[11]

Browder said that he ultimately hopes to replace "25,000 exploitative lawyers" with robots that can respond to questions with appropriate human emotions powered by artificial intelligence.[12] According to Browder, "lawyers all over the world should be very scared of this technology".[13] Outside of fighting parking tickets, DoNotPay has also launched a service to help people save money on flight and hotel reservations. The service scans your email inbox for travel reservations and compares the price, helping users capitalize on price drops.[14]

Browder deliberately moved into the house which Facebook founder and entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg used to rent. Browder started sustaining his long hours of coding through a diet consisting primarily of Diet Coke and the "vile" food replacement liquid Soylent.[15] Browder's goal for his new program, plus a busy work schedule, led Legal Cheek to describe him as either "ambitious" or "ridiculous".[16]

Browder's technology has received mixed reviews. For example, a writer at The Guardian noted that it "just drafted an impressive notice under the Data Protection Act 1998 not to use my personal information for direct marketing."[17] Similarly, a woman writer with The American Lawyer noted that, "one of DoNotPay's chatbots helped me draft a strong, well-cited and appropriately toned letter requesting extended maternity leave."[18]

However, in 2016, the Legal Cheek tested Browder's chatbot with "fairly basic legal questions" and noted that it failed to answer most of them.[19]

He contributes to a blog at the Washington, D.C political newspaper The Hill, where he writes about civil rights and the death penalty.[20]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • On 16 January 2017, Browder became the youngest member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the Law and Policy category.[21]
  • 2015 Huffington Post Entrepreneur Of The Week[22]
  • 2015 Times of London 15 Smartest Kids On The Planet[23]
  • UNESCO European Youth Award Finalist[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meet the teen taking on the parking ticket". BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  2. ^ "The 18-year-old student who has saved British drivers £2MILLION in just four months: Teenager sets up free appeals website in his bedroom which has overturned 30,000 parking fines already". Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  3. ^ "How tech can help asylum claims, homelessness ... and parking fines - tech podcast". Guardian Podcast "Chips with Everything" March 2017.
  4. ^ "New App Lets You 'Sue Anyone By Pressing a Button'". Motherboard. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  5. ^ Luke, Dormehl (25 March 2018). "Meet the British whiz kid who fights for justice with a robo-lawyer sidekick". Digital Trends. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  6. ^ Kreiger, Lisa M. (28 March 2019). "Stanford student's quest to clear parking tickets leads to "robot lawyers"". The Mercury News. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Teenager's parking appeals website saves motorists £2m after overturning thousands of fines". The Independent Newspaper. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Why 'Larking' About Like Branson Could Be The Key To Business Success". Forbes. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  9. ^ "British Teenager Saves Motorists 2 Million". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Joshua Browder: His 'chat' is not just talk". www.abajournal.com. Victor Li, Victor Li. Retrieved 31 August 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. ^ "DoNotPay creator Joshua Browder launches robot giving free legal help". Mail Online. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Teenager Launches First Lawyer Robot". Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Computer science student, 19, says legal profession should be 'very scared' of his new 'robot lawyer' - Legal Cheek". Legal Cheek. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  14. ^ "DoNotPay Website Earns Travellers Flight and Hotel Discounts". The Telegraph. 9 April 2018.
  15. ^ "London student moves into Mark Zuckerberg's old house to develop tech that will 'take down' the legal profession". Legal Cheek. 7 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  16. ^ "London student moves into Mark Zuckerberg's old house to develop tech that will 'take down' the legal profession - Legal Cheek". Legal Cheek. 7 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ "Computer science student, 19, says legal profession should be 'very scared' of his new 'robot lawyer' - Legal Cheek". Legal Cheek. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Houses Over Lives: The Hypocrisy of Discrimination Without Intent". The Hill. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  21. ^ "30 Under 30 Europe: Meet The Law & Policy Class Of 2017". Forbes.
  22. ^ "Young Entrepreneur Of The Week". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Is This The Cleverest Boy In The World?". Times Of London. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Finalists". Unesco European Youth Award. Retrieved 17 February 2016.

External links[edit]