Robot Lawyer Helps Humans Beat 160K Parking Tickets

And its inventor is only 19 years old
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2016 5:21 PM CDT
Robot Lawyer Helps Humans Beat 160K Parking Tickets

By the time he was 18, London native Joshua Browder had already racked up 30 parking tickets, the Guardian reports. That's even more impressive considering the legal driving age in the UK is 18. “I decided that instead of paying for them, I should try and fight," Browder says in a blog post. Less than two years later, the 19-year-old Stanford student's artificially intelligent chatbot—"the world's first robot lawyer"—has successfully appealed 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York. “I created it for a few family and friends and could never have imagined that in a few short months it would have appealed over $4 million [in parking tickets]." Browder's DoNotPay guides people through appealing tickets with simple questions, such as whether parking signs were clearly visible, at no charge.

In 2015, New York City issued a record $1.9 billion in traffic fines. “I think the people getting parking tickets are the most vulnerable in society,” Browder tells Venture Beat. “These people aren’t looking to break the law. I think they’re being exploited as a revenue source by the local government.” With a success rate of 64% so far, DoNotPay is cutting into that revenue stream. “The government don’t like me very much, but people with parking tickets do," Browder says in the blog post. DoNotPay is scheduled to expand to Seattle next, but Browder isn't stopping there. He hopes to launch robot lawyers for refugees, people who are HIV positive, and more. (Busted on Facebook, a police chief issued himself a parking ticket.)

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