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Having Your Day in Robot Court: The Psychology of Procedural Justice

Having Your Day in Robot Court: The Psychology of Procedural Justice

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Should machines be judges? One powerful reason to say “no" concerns procedural justice. Citizens would see robot-led legal proceedings as procedurally unfair. Prior research has established that people obey the law in part because they see it as procedurally just, and the introduction of “robot judges” powered by artificial intelligence (“AI”) could undermine sentiments of justice and legal compliance if citizens view machine-adjudicated proceedings as less fair than the human-adjudicated status quo. We conducted two original experiments that show that ordinary people share this intuition: There is a perceived “human-AI fairness gap.” 

However, the studies also show that it is also possible to reduce — and perhaps even eliminate — this fairness gap through “algorithmic offsetting.” Affording litigants a hearing before an AI judge and enhancing the interpretability of AI decisions reduce the human-AI fairness gap. Our experiments support a common and fundamental objection to robot judges: There is a concerning human-AI fairness gap. Yet, at the same time, the results also indicate that the public may not believe that human judges possess irreducible procedural fairness advantages. In some circumstances, people see a day in a robot court as no less fair than a day in a human court.

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Published Date:
  • January 25, 2024
  • Online On-Demand
Product Code:
  • VNN71
Areas Of Professional Practice Credit(s):
  • 1.5
Total Credit(s):
  • 1.5