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The Philippines Explores AI for Legal Work

According to Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, the development of legal studies in the country will include advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and other technical improvements.

Speaking at a legal researchers’ convention in Zamboanga City, Gesmundo revealed that the Supreme Court’s blueprint for judicial reform could significantly improve court productivity, including work traditionally done by court legal researchers. The judicial overhaul is the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 or the SPJI.

The magistrate observed the expanding usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in other regions for more accurate transcription and as a research help. AI-powered applications are already being deployed in law and justice administration areas that might benefit the Philippine judiciary: AI-enabled transcription to support court stenography and AI-powered tools to assist legal researchers.

“The SPJI will, among others, permit us to ride this wave of technological innovation, relying on Artificial Intelligence not just for court operations but also for legal research. As a result, cases will be resolved more quickly,” Gesmundo believes.

Because court legal research is frequently like digging for a needle in a haystack upon a haystack, AI might be the magnet that makes that search faster and easier, eventually benefiting the people we serve. The SPJI will offer quicker and easier access to legal references with artificial intelligence. It will mark the beginning of rebuilding the Judiciary E-Library, which will feature AI-enabled technology to boost legal research capabilities.

The Chief Justice also mentioned natural language processing, the same technology that powers ChatGPT. He aimed to install a search engine to deliver more precise and credible results; search algorithms will constantly self-improve based on user feedback utilising machine learning. AI-enabled technology will also create analyses from previous cases or legal precedents based on words and phrases, including context, and forecast and offer possible results for new cases.

Gesmundo advised court employees to embrace the changes. In this endeavour and his performance obligations, he embraces technology. He encouraged employees to utilise it to work more efficiently and quickly and invest in the talents and resources required to facilitate the transition we foresee. He urged them to be active reformers, remembering that these innovations are supposed to benefit all and, by extension, those who rely on the court.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) indicated it would pilot test the automated election system (AES) for the October 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections in three barangays in Quezon City and the province of Cavite (BSKE).

Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco confirmed that Zone II Poblacion and Paliparan III in Dasmarias City, Cavite, and Barangay Pasong Tamo in Quezon City’s 6th District were picked for AES trial testing.

“The selection of participating barangays for the pilot testing is a direct result of last Tuesday’s Regular Hearing of the House (of Representatives) Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms. The ruling was made by mutual conversation and agreement between the House and the Comelec,” Laudiangco stated.

He also mentioned that there would be minor changes to the Calendar of Activities for certain barangays, such as aspirants filing Certificates of Candidacy (COCs). COC filing of COCs will be early in the restricted pilot testing of the AES in the BSKE in the selected barangays in Dasmarias City and Quezon City due to the need to print the parties’ names in the official machine-readable ballots.

The election timeframe will stay the same, except for the period for submitting COCs in the pilot tested barangays and the other phases (deployment, Final Testing and Sealing, and so on) involved in adopting an automated elections system. With 227 clustered precincts, the three barangays have roughly 112,000 registered voters – 84,100 regular and 27,817 young voters.


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