Teen’s robot lawyer has successfully appealed $4m in fines

29 Jun 201626 Shares

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A bot created by a UK teenager has successfully appealed 160,000 out of 250,000 parking tickets in New York and London, saving people $4m in the process

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Lawyers are expensive and not all are of consistent quality. So, who do you turn to when you have a quibble over a parking fine? A bot, of course.

British teenager Joshua Browder has created a chat bot called Do Not Pay that is currently in operation in the UK and US.

So far, 250,000 people have used the free service and 160,000 have gotten off parking fines. This has given it a success rate of 64pc in appealing some $4m worth of parking tickets.

Do Not Pay basically asks a series of questions to determine the validity of a penalty notice.

It then guides users through the appeals process.

The bot can also be used to work out compensation for delayed flights.

do_not_pay_bot

Do Not Pay’s creator is a self-taught coder who by the tender age of just 18 had amassed 30 parking tickets.

Browder realised that the process for appealing fines was pretty formulaic and suited to artificial intelligence.

He used this AI to sift through the rules and regulations to unearth practical advice that could then be used by consumers without having to get a lawyer to translate for them.

“I decided that instead of paying for them, I should try and fight,” Browder explained in a Medium post.

“Some were correctly issued and I paid for those. But for the ones that were incorrect, I decided to create an app to help people find the reasons why they were incorrectly given and fight them. 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 $4m [worth of fines].”

The system has worked effectively in New York and London and Browder plans to bring it to Seattle next.

Speed camera image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com