Point, click, convict

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In an attempt to ease Brazil’s badly backlogged legal system, three judges in the state of Espirito Santo are experimenting with an artificial-intelligence program called the Electronic Judge. The program lives on a laptop, which can arrive at the scene of a minor traffic accident within minutes, along with a human judge and a court clerk, reports NEW SCIENTIST. The humans provide the program with on-the-spot data about particulars of the accident, and out pops a verdict, complete with legal reasoning.

Most fender benders call for a mechanical, logical application of the law rather than any real legal interpretation, explains the programmer who invented the Electronic Judge, and nothing does mechanical and logical better than a computer. The human judge is there to overrule the judge-in-the-box if the human disagrees. Most drivers are glad to avoid a court appearance, though supporters concede there may have been the odd case or two in which drivers weren’t entirely aware that the little black box was calling the shots. Insurance companies in the US are interested in this streamlined approach, and are in talks with the system’s creator.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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