After this latest election, we’re all going to be looking for a better option next time.
This is the opening to a longer story. I’ll have to see how it develops.
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Law and programming have a weird common link; they both can suffer drastic changes based on technicalities.
If they hadn’t started the kernel all those years ago, none of it would have been possible. The foundation of the program existed as far back as the early 1990’s. That was the only way it was allowed. After Pompey was granted citizenship, the last line stopping it was the age requirement. Article I, Section III was very clear that a person had to be at least thirty years of age to run for the Senate. Pompey was able, itself, to argue that, since its original programming kernel had been written on 12 January 1992, that, in essence, it had been born on that date.
The court accepted that logic, though on a 5-4 vote. Justice Edwards wrote a scathing dissent and warned of “subjugation by technology.” Fox called his dissent a shining example of rational thought. MSNBC said the opposite. Most people didn’t even pay attention. The ones who did mostly regarded it as a stunt, or some elaborate advertising prank.
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The initial press release was so boring that no press outlets covered it. It was 2 sentences and there was no way to predict the shockwaves it would eventually cause.
DataDyne is developing an artificial intelligence to aid in legal research and criminal justice. The Pompey Program will offer assistance to lawyers and law enforcement, much as the WATSON AI has assisted doctors with differential diagnoses.
For the first few years, it was just that simple. Pompey started out as a novelty for high-end lawyers to impress rich clients. As the license became cheaper, it became a staple in law offices around the country. There was a pilot program in Germany and another in Japan. DataDyne made a small fortune off selling the software license, but the program barely registered on their bottom line after their commercial operating systems.
To this day, no one has ever admitted to planning the ascent. It’s been generally accepted that it wasn’t planned. The evolution of artificial intelligences is, almost by definition, nearly impossible for a human brain to completely comprehend. Suffice it to say that the data gathering protocols worked better than expected. The program was able to anticipate trends and to glean patterns out of obscure legal documents, court judgements, law enforcement trends… you name it. Whatever was uploaded into the system, any case that it was used for, it remembered.
The programmers responsible for its development were largely uninvolved when the upgrade was announced. They had moved on to other projects (in some cases, to other companies) and DataDyne had a policy to keep employees moving so as to avoid internal stagnation.
The upgrade was touted as essentially a writing assistant. It was mostly unnoticed except within legal circles. The program was able to write opening and closing statements for cases which had need of them. There was also a package that would aid an attorney in direct testimony and cross-examination. It couldn’t yet respond to unexpected answers on the fly, but that ability came soon after.