AI & Law: Judges Susceptible To Gambler’s Fallacy And AI Predicting Judicial Outcomes
by Dr. Lance B. Eliot
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Key briefing points about this article:
- A simple flipping of a coin brings up some key insights about human judgment
- For a truly balanced coin, we know that there are even chances of heads or tails
- If a series of flips showcases a clump of heads or tails, we get concerned
- Turns out that court judges fall into the same trap, known as the gambler’s fallacy
- AI is being used to spot these failings, though do not assume that AI cures them
I am going to undertake a series of coin flips and will assure you beforehand that the flipping and the coin are assuredly balanced and fair. Take my word for it.
The coin is not weighted to prefer one side or the other. There is a truly equal chance of the coin landing as heads versus tails. Furthermore, assume that the actual flipping of the coin is completely fair. No trickery will be used to somehow get the coin to end up on one side more so than the other.
I mention all of those caveats because lawyers are likely to immediately be skeptical about a coin flip and instantly think of a zillion reasons why the process might be swayed or cheated. Of course, attorneys are right to have such a suspicious mind. They tend to come across all sorts of slippery aspects in the daily practice of law, and they know that it is crucial to always read the fine print.
Okay, we are ready to do our first flip.
Voila, it comes out to be heads.
Maybe you guessed that outcome or maybe you did not. If you did guess heads, congrats and you win a chicken dinner (sorry, not really, you’ll need to buy your own chicken dinner).
What is your guess for the next flip of the coin?