I don’t care what anyone says, TCPAWorld is the most interesting place on the planet.
We have Mike Lindell calling people Ambulance chasers, plaintiff’s lawyers making tens of millions of dollars with law firms paying bonuses that make #biglaw blush, all the while the FCC working hard to keep making it easy to sue people.
Not to mention the MASSIVE constitutional dimensions to everything that goes on around us, every single day.
Well against this backdrop, another (near) first. The guys over at DoNotPay–yes that DoNotPay— were about to send a real life robolawyer into court to defend somebody recently, well until they were threatened with jail time.
But some background here.
DoNotPay developed an app that threatened to create robodemand letters and robolawsuits to battle robocalls (this is the LawHQ model but with AI doing the heavy lifting instead of actual people.) I did a big secret show on it a while back.
Anyhoo, this robolawsuit company that “helped” consumers file lawsuits under the TCPA ended up getting sued for–you guessed it–violating the TCPA.
And, in the ultimate TCPAWorld twist, the ruling in the case dismissing DoNotPay from the lawsuit actually crippled the very cases DoNotPay was bringing for its clients–crushing the best ATDS argument the Plaintiff’s bar had at the time.
Pyrrhic victory much?
But all of that is old news.
The new news is that robots are coming for our jobs.
A thousand AIs sitting at a thousand typewriters could never create a strand of prose to rival a moment of the Czar’s wit. So come for me, all you hideous ChatGPTrolls. I will swing the hammer on behalf of all mankind like John Henry before me…
But I digress.
DoNotPay was apparently going to send in a real life robot to defend a guy on a traffic citation the other day. It didn’t happen, but it almost happened and that means it definitely will happen soon.
According to NPR here is how it was supposed to work:
The person challenging a speeding ticket would wear smart glasses that both record court proceedings and dictate responses into the defendant’s ear from a small speaker. The system was powered by a few leading AI text generators, including ChatGPT and DaVinci.
The first-ever AI-powered legal defense was set to take place in California on Feb. 22, but not anymore.
You see, we’re not being replaced by robots really. We’re being replaced by eyewear. Which is absurd enough to almost be ok.
Turns out though that the real life lawyers aren’t about to let the robot lawyers–or talking sunglasses, or whatever–take over their jobs just yet.
Per the article–which you can read here–the DoNotPay guys were threatened by state bar organizations that, you know, pretty much control the practice of law nationwide. (Its a racket, but its my racket…)
“Multiple state bar associations have threatened us,” Browder said. “One even said a referral to the district attorney’s office and prosecution and prison time would be possible.”
So since the DoNotPay guys don’t want to go to jail they cancelled their stunt this week and no robolawyers have appeared in court yet.
But that doesn’t stop DoNotPay from prominently calling itself “The World’s First Robot Lawyer.” See here’s what their website says:
I mean, not exactly subtle fellas.
So we’ll see if the robot lawyer people get thrown in jail or not. I tend to doubt it, but this is pretty misleading since–you know–robots aren’t allowed to practice law. So there is literally no such thing as a robot lawyer. So this is the very definition of false advertising (or so it seems to this humble legal observer.)
Definitely going to keep an eye on this story. How long will the “World’s First Robot Lawyer” survive? And when, if ever, will it make an appearance in court?
Stick around and find out.