Free robot lawyer can now help you with 1,000 different legal scenarios

You may be familiar with DoNotPay, the free “robot lawyer” created by a teenaged British whizkid named Joshua Browder. Having previously helped people appeal $4 million worth of parking tickets and access invaluable access to government housing, Browder has now given his automated attorney the motherload of upgrades.

“People would message me asking if I could help them fight their landlord or dispute an airline charge,” Browder, who is currently studying Economics and Computer Science at Stanford University, told Digital Trends. “I couldn’t do that at the time. I realized that the only way to take this to the next level would be to expand to a huge number of areas all at once. About eight months ago, I started working with four lawyers to do exactly that. This week we delivered by starting to offer advice in 1,000 legal areas in every state in the U.S., and all across the UK as well.”

These 1,000 legal areas cover a myriad of consumer and human rights issues — ranging from claiming maternity leave to getting a refund for a faulty product, as well as the old favorite of fighting a parking ticket. The technology works like a chatbot, with users asked to type in their problem, and the bot then answering with a list of suggested solutions to the problem.

“So much of the tech world gets hung up on the technology,” Browder said. “People talk about chatbots or VR or artificial intelligence, and get very excited about it. My big thing is to make tools that are actually useful for ordinary people. In terms of the law and legal technology, there’s been almost no innovation over the past ten years. When it comes to submitting legal documents, for example, it’s still trapped in the Stone Age. This is about helping people to lead easier lives, and to stop having to pay hundreds of dollars to exploitative lawyers.”

For the immediate future, he suggests that there are still going to be times when it’s necessary to consult a breathing, flesh-and-blood lawyer — but those use-cases may be more limited than you might imagine.

“Obviously my chatbot is not going to be arguing in the Supreme Court anytime soon,” he quipped. “For that reason, I think barristers will still be needed. When it comes to preparing legal documents, though, the sky is the limit. Over the coming months, we’re going to be working in new areas — such as marriage and divorce. Ironically, it’s also really expensive to go bankrupt, so that’s something we want to help with. Ultimately, I want this to be able to offer the same service a real lawyer would provide.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Health & Fitness

Still tired? Smart sleep aids can help improve your snooze

Do you snore? Toss and turn? Alternate between extremely hot and extremely cold body temperatures at night? A deluge of smart sleep technology on the market aims to help you get a better night of shut-eye.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Emerging Tech

How long is a day on Saturn? Scientists finally have an answer

The length of Saturn's day has always been a challenge to calculate because of the planet's non-solid surface and magnetic field. But now scientists have tracked vibrations in the rings to pin down a final answer.
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Emerging Tech

Tiny microbots fold like origami to travel through the human body

Tiny robots modeled after bacteria could be used to deliver drugs to hard to reach areas of the human body. Scientists have developed elastic microbots that can change their shape depending on their environment.
Emerging Tech

Dinosaurs never stood a chance after asteroid impacts doubled 290M years ago

The number of asteroids pummeling Earth jumped dramatically around 290 million years ago. By looking at Moon craters, scientists discovered that d the number of asteroid impacts on both Earth and the Moon increased by two to three times.
Emerging Tech

Saturn didn’t always have rings, according to new analysis of Cassini data

Saturn's rings are younger than previously believed, according to new data gathered from the Cassini mission. The rings are certainly less than 100 million years old and perhaps as young as 10 million years old.
Emerging Tech

Water-based fuel cell converts carbon emissions to electricity

Scientists from Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution.
Emerging Tech

Scientists investigate how massive stars die in dramatic hypernova events

Our Sun will gradually fade before expanding into a red giant at the end of its life. But larger mass stars undergo extreme explosive events called hypernovas when they die which outshine their entire galaxies.
Emerging Tech

Pilotless planes are on their way, but would you fly in one?

Airbus says advancements in artificial intelligence can help it toward its goal of building a plane capable of fully autonomous flight, though whether passengers can be persuaded to travel in one is another matter entirely.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.