Artificial Intelligence and arbitration: a perfect fit?

A new legal field may be transformed by AI

The integration of Artificial Intelligence into the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution offers the prospect of improved effectiveness, inclusiveness, and flexibility. This does not come without difficulties, either. Due to their adaptability, effectiveness, and confidentiality, ADR processes, such as mediation and arbitration, have become extremely popular in the business world.

Artificial intelligence integration into ADR is becoming more challenging as a result of the development of technology. Although AI has the ability to speed up procedures and minimize the risk of human error, it also encounters several challenges. Artificial Intelligence has become more popular across the world by offering processes that are efficient, more private, and sometimes less combative than the traditional litigation. Both apprehension and excitement have accompanied the introduction of artificial intelligence into several industries. The draw of AI-driven processes is undeniable, as ADR strives to offer a more effective, adaptable, and private way of settling conflicts outside the typical courtroom setting.

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Perhaps, weighing actual data against theoretical concerns and determining the probable course of AI’s involvement in ADR is becoming crucial day by day. Although the innovative concept of using AI arbitrators and mediators in ADR aims to increase the effectiveness and standard of arbitration procedures, it could be scary in reality. After the potential ramifications of the pandemic, the rule of conducting mediation and arbitration proceedings in-person is becoming more of an exception than a rule.

Now Al-infused softwares have the potential to entirely replace human arbitrators in arbitration proceedings. Where arbitration has ensured that the Courts may continue to function with legitimacy, effectiveness, and high standards, Al, on the other hand, exemplifies an entirely different kind of challenge for the arbitration industry. It is a difficult choice to make whether to give up the fundamental values that define humans in exchange for the benefits that machine driven arbitrators offer.

With its constantly growing capabilities, AI is slowly changing its course in terms of organization of different sectors. Alternative Commercial Dispute Resolution (ACDR) is one such area that is ready for this sort of revolution. The ability of AI to manage enormous datasets is unrivaled. In the context of ADR, AI systems may examine previous dispute resolution data, identify trends, and provide suggestions for practical approaches to disagreements of a similar nature in the future. With its data-driven algorithms, AI is able to assess a sizable amount of dispute resolution information. It can spot patterns and trends, enabling efficient resolution techniques based on past precedents. However, it could be considered more of an advantage in ADR mechanisms in which the governing law system is common law. It can use predictive analytics to provide parties with a likely projection of possible outcomes by looking at prior decisions, agreements, and mediation results with an aim to reach an amicable settlement.

It seems the full surrender of power to this new technology is against the elemental goal of ADR, which is the achievement of justice based on human consciousness. Legal practitioners should learn how to embrace AI’s potential and utilize it to the benefit of their clients and users rather than fighting it.

AI technologies can automatically comb through enormous quantities of paperwork, collecting relevant information and rationally arranging it using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)  and Natural Language Processing (NLP) . The amount of time needed to prepare for an arbitration hearing or mediation session might be greatly reduced as a result. Moreover, in terms of monetization, all parties concerned can save a lot of money by automating ADR process steps, using AI to save time and human resources that would otherwise be needed. In dispute resolutions of International conflicts, translation and transcription are regarded as of paramount importance. In such instances, real-time translation capabilities provided by AI-powered solutions can eliminate the need for human translators and stenographers.

AI relies on data and algorithms to function. Theoretically, it is free of any feelings, biases, or preconceptions that could affect how people make judgments. Therefore, AI can seem to be a shining example of objectivity, guaranteeing consistent and impartial judgments based only on factual information and legal precedents. AI technologies can ensure objective data analysis to maintain a fair playing field, especially in mediation where emotions might be volatile.

Human arbitrators and mediators, on the other hand, bring to the table a wealth of knowledge, insight, and familiarity with the prevailing conditions. They could, however, unknowingly harbour prejudices that might affect their impartiality. Although AI relies on algorithms to make judgments, it can be difficult to comprehend and analyze these algorithms. Contrarily, human mediators and arbitrators may justify decisions, establish rapport, and promote trust, creating an atmosphere where parties feel heard and understood.

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Perhaps there are other options beyond “either/or” when it comes to the future of ADR. Combining AI’s data-driven methodology with human emotional intelligence may provide a fair, impartial, and more effective resolution mechanism. While humans still make the final decisions, AI might help with evidence analysis and precedent retrieval.

The language barrier is one of the most pressing issues with cross-border ADR procedures. During mediation or arbitration sessions, AI-powered translation technologies may deliver real-time, accurate translations, ensuring that all parties fully grasp the proceedings. Beyond simple translation, powerful Natural Language Processing (NLP)-enabled AI systems may be trained to identify and understand cultural quirks, idioms, and colloquialisms. This can help to ensure that the parties underlying thoughts and intentions are properly understood and communicated.

While there are many potential risks presented by AI, securing its ethical and successful integration will require cooperation among engineers, legal experts, and legislators. AI-enhanced ADR has the potential to completely reshape the nature of business dispute resolution, improving its effectiveness and accessibility for all parties. Even though AI would be better not to be considered an arbitrator or mediator due to the existing challenges, it could aid as an assistant in the ADR mechanism to make it more efficient.

The world we live in will continue to change as a result of AI’s immense capabilities. It is uncertain how much AI will affect our lives over the next few years, but it will continue to progress even if not indefinitely. It is obvious that there is no proper mechanism to respond efficiently to growing AI in various fields of law, especially dispute resolution.

It seems that due to the fast growth of AI in online dispute resolution and its benefits in ADR mechanisms, we should revise the existing common conventions and regulations based on the upcoming requirements and prevent the total sovereignty of AI.

It seems the full surrender of power to this new technology is against the elemental goal of ADR, which is the achievement of justice based on human consciousness. Legal practitioners should learn how to embrace AI’s potential and utilize it to the benefit of their clients and users rather than fighting it.

Sarmad Sattar
Sarmad Sattar
The writer is a freelance columnist


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