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Chatbot proposal lights up hackathon

The winning team (from left) Nikhil Kaniyur, Vinesh Nangia and Sarah Norton. at the Disrupting Law event. Photos: Supplied

QUT law students Nikhil Kaniyur, Sarah Norton and Vinesh Nangia like getting “lit” but it’s not what you think.

LIT stands for Law and Innovation Technology or in this case the LIT Society (LITS). And the trio recently won this year’s Legal Forecast Disrupting Law Queensland hackathon. Disrupting Law is a 54-hour event for university students and young professionals.

The LITS team was mentored by Hall & Wilcox lawyers Drew Castley, Michael Maconochie and Victor Yeo.

This year’s theme was AI and the Law. The team proposed an AI Chatbot called ClaimSwift to set up an initial personal injury claim and generate simple documentation.

LITS member Sarah said the team used the “analogy of a mass-produced burger” to save time and money by repeating tasks.

“When onboarding new clients, lawyers could rush and miss important details in the initial advice,” Sarah said. “Because they are in a rush, they would have to redo documents.”

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LITS head of marketing Vinesh agreed, saying ClaimSwift would “simplify and streamline” documents in a “clear, convenient way”.

LITS president and co-founder Nikhil said the Chatbot would “cut down on stress and increase efficiencies” by checking for conflict of interest and probing for information. It would assess whether to take on a client, set a fixed cost and draft templates from a database.

“It would be less of a headache with a simple document and provide a beneficial level of service,” he said.

“It would improve the marketability of a firm. There would be a tiered subscription service – foundation, premium and deluxe.”

Vinesh emphasised that while doing fixed tasks such as creating and sending a retainer agreement, it would still have emotive responses and ethical considerations.

“It will not provide legal advice. Legal advice would only come from humans,” he said. “Clients can exit whenever they choose, especially in matters such DV, where they could exit quickly and clear their history.

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“There would be back and forth with the bot until there was a viable solution and confirmation of inputs to the client. It would also provide a summary and chance of success for the lawyer.”

Sarah said there would be “future opportunities to branch out to more complex matters”.

“It could change to a video chat bot with facial expressions,” she said.

The national winner will be judged by an international panel on 1 October.

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