Traffic tickets got you down? This robo-lawyer has already saved users $4 million

What was that about AI not being useful?

20150916 parking meter sign

A sign seen in Boston in September 2015 points drivers to a centralized parking pay station. 

Credit: Stephen Lawson

Robots are no strangers to the legal profession thanks to tools like LawGeex, but one has emerged recently that appears to be a Robin Hood of the modern world.

DoNotPay is the brainchild of 19-year-old Stanford University student Joshua Browder, and it has already successfully contested some 160,000 parking tickets across London and New York. It's free to use and has reportedly saved its users some $4 million in less than two years.

"DoNotPay has launched the UK's first robot lawyer as an experiment," the site explains. "It can talk to you, generate documents and answer questions. It is just like a real lawyer, but is completely free and doesn't charge any commission."

DoNotPay Joshua Browder Joshua Browder

On Tuesday, the bot was acknowledged on Twitter by the commissioner of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

DoNotPay's artificially intelligent software uses a chat-like interface to interact with its users. It can also be used to help passengers on delayed airplane flights obtain compensation. Reportedly, Browder plans to extend the service to Seattle next. Meanwhile, he's also working on helping HIV-positive people understand their rights and on a service for Syrian refugees.

All in all, Browder sees a bigger future for AI than the mundane tasks it typically handles today. As he said in a recent tweet, the "value in bots is not to order pizzas." 

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