PhD Opportunity: Trust and acceptance of AI legal decision-making technologies in court systems

Job Description

Project Description

Court systems around the globe are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence (AI) tools to assist and, in some instances, replace judges in making legal decisions. While this technology may bring significant benefits, it raises profound questions about how justice is delivered. Chief among them is whether litigants and the wider public trust and accept AI legal decision-making tools.

This project’s overarching objective is to investigate the factors that affect trust and acceptance of AI legal decision-making tools in court systems in different contexts. The project’s aims are:

– to examine the public’s and lawyers’ perceptions of procedural fairness of using AI legal decision-making tools and how those perceptions influence levels of trust and acceptance in them in different contexts;

– to advance knowledge and theory at the intersection of human-computer interactions, legal decision-making and procedural justice; and,

– to provide an evidence base for considering how to appropriately integrate AI legal decision-making tools into court systems.

The project will comprise three main parts:

– a literature review on current and near-future uses of AI legal decision-making tools;

– a survey measuring lawyers’ and the general public’s views on the adoption of AI tools for legal decision-making; and,

– a series of controlled experiments to understand psychological and contextual factors that determine the public’s trust and acceptance of AI legal decision-making tools.

Results from this project will form the basis for recommendations to policy-makers and other justice system actors on the appropriate use, design and integration of AI legal decision-making tools, to harness their benefits while ensuring that the public’s trust and acceptance in courts are maintained.

The project will be co-supervised by Dr Brian Barry, Lecturer in Law at TU Dublin (lead supervisor) and Dr Marius Claudy, Associate Professor of Marketing at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School (associate supervisor).

Student Requirements

Minimum Requirements

• Minimum 2.1 honours degree in Law or a subject related to this project like (Experimental) Psychology or Human-Computer Interaction,

• Interest in inter-disciplinary research that investigates societal impact of AI.

Desirable Skills and Experience

• Some experience with conducting secondary and primary research,

• Some experience with statistical analysis and / or programming,

• Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation etc.),

• Excellent organisational and administrative skills including a proven ability to work to deadlines,

• Candidates must demonstrate an awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.

Funding Notes
Funding Agency: TU Dublin Researcher Award
Student Stipend per annum: €18,500
Materials & Travel Budget per annum: €2,600
Duration of Funding: 48 months