Stanford Student Develops Chatbot that Challenges Parking Tickets

July 5, 2016

Online digital law firm scaleJoshua Browder is reportedly a British student at Stanford University who has developed an automated online system that helps people to challenge parking tickets.  The notable success of this system has inspired Browder to expand its capabilities.  Browder’s system, www.DoNotPay.co.uk illustrates the ever-expanding range of legal services that can be facilitated through artificial intelligence based software platforms.

Users of the DoNotPay system have the choice of using a standard website interface or a chatbot platform to generate appeals for parking tickets received in New York City or London.  Reportedly, the DoNotPay system will soon be expanded to include parking tickets generated in Seattle, as well.

Individuals who have received parking tickets in those cities can use the DoNotPay platform to generate challenges to the tickets.  The online system obtains basic information associated with the tickets from the individual users.  Based on that information, DoNotPay creates appeals that comply with the local requirements for challenging parking tickets in those cities.

Matsuura Blakeley BannerBrowder reports that the system has been used to challenge approximately 160,000 tickets.  More than sixty percent of those challenges have reportedly been successful.  The current system also assists airline passengers to prepare and file complaints and requests for compensation associated with delayed flights with the appropriate airlines.

Browder’s system is apparently also being modified to support other interaction between individuals and government processes.  For example, Browder is reportedly developing a platform for people who speak Arabic to prepare and file documents associated with immigration and public benefits in English-speaking countries.

The DoNotPay platform illustrates an important aspect of the future of basic legal and governmental services.  Technology now empowers individuals to handle a growing number of basic legal and public service activities directly, without relying upon lawyers or other intermediaries.  As technology evolves and individual consumers become more familiar with the technology their expectations are likely to shift, and it is reasonable to anticipate that they will want to handle a growing number of basic legal activities on their own, at little or no cost, placing increasing reliance on automated systems such as DoNotPay.

In this environment in which individual consumers and citizens rely on technology to facilitate their own direct interaction with legal institutions and other government agencies, a wide range of service providers, including lawyers, must make sure that their service offerings evolve.  Consumers will most likely continue to look to expert service providers for activities that are uncommon or complex.  Those consumers will not, however, turn to service providers for a growing range of activities that can be handled directly by the individuals involved with the assistance of increasingly sophisticated technology-based systems and platforms.