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This “Robot Lawyer” Will Help You Dispute Parking Tickets

parking ticket

If you’ve ever gotten a parking ticket before, then chances are, you’ve considered disputing it. But do you have a legal leg to stand on? Is it worth putting in the time to dispute the charge, or should you just pay it and move on? The Do Not Pay chatbot, programmed by a British teenager named Joshua Browder, can help walk you through whether or not you can dispute a parking ticket.

Browder described the bot to Venture Beat as “the world’s first robot lawyer.” Although it doesn’t walk into court with you, the bot definitely provides free legal counsel. It’s not just for Brits, either! Last March, the bot became available to New Yorkers, and Venture Beat reports that it’s been used over 9,000 times by Big Apple residents hoping to get out of unfair tickets.

Other helpful bots are on the way, thanks to Browder’s efforts. He’s currently working on a bot that will help provide legal counsel to people who have HIV, as well as a bot that helps refugees apply for asylum. Browder explained that the parking ticket bot, much like the other bots he’s been working on, is designed to help “the most vulnerable people in society.” He hopes to prevent people from “being exploited as a revenue source by the local government.”

As Browder points out, “it’s disappointing at the moment that [chatbots are] mainly used for commerce transactions by ordering flowers and pizzas.” But chatbots don’t have to serve our corporate overlords. It’s always nice to see a bot who’s on our side, hm?

(via BBC, image via Alice Keeler/Flickr)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).