An app called "Amica" uses artificial intelligence to help couples in separation manage divorce, and make arrangements for parenting and divide their assets.
For many people around the world, the pandemic has tested even the strongest relationships. In Australia especially: for a survey from 5 months ago 42% of the 739 respondents experienced a negative change in their relationship with their partner.
There has, inevitably, also been an increase in the number of couples seeking separation advice. The Australian government has supported the use of Amica, an app for those in such circumstances. The chatbot uses a artificial intelligence (AI) to "manage" divorces. It provides tips on how couples who break up can divide their money and property according to various circumstances.
Although such a tool offers advantages such as convenience and reduction of emotional distress, its applications remain limited. And relying solely on them could be really risky.
It is not the only one
According to Amica's website, the divorce app "considers the legal principles and applies them to your circumstances." In other words, the software draws on mass data (collected and incorporated by its designers) from similar previous cases to provide suggestions to users.
Amica shows the potential of AI in solving legal problems in family disputes.
AI in the legal and family field: other cases
Penda aims to help victims of family violence by providing free legal and safety information. Its AI chatbot provides online legal advice and information without requiring a face-to-face meeting with a lawyer.
Farewell allows couples to reach friendly financial and parenting agreements through the AI “Lumi” chatbot. Lumi can refer couples to brokers, consultants, lawyers, or financial advisors if necessary.
The Australian family law system is overloaded, resulting in long delays for families in the justice system. Court proceedings are also expensive, and complex family law cases can cost each party more than A $ 200.000.
Artificial intelligence tools like Amica and Adieu allow couples to solve problems on their own and avoid the slow and costly court process.
Disadvantages and limitations
Despite a number of benefits, artificial intelligence tools for dealing with divorce, or legal dispute resolution also have dark sides (like many other AI tools).
To begin with, in many cases they are not useful.
Amica's designers point out that the divorce management platform is only suitable for "friendly" separations with no complex situations involved, such as family violence. This is because at its current level of development, AI-powered chatbots can only generate a relatively simple answer from the information they provide.
It is not a small detail. According to a 2016 survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 5,8 million Australians have experienced physical or emotional abuse by a partner.
There are also concerns about the use of AI in legal family cases more generally. For example, accessing online platforms requires a certain amount of literacy and digital accessibility.
It is clear that AI has the potential to improve tremendously. But if it is to have a future in evaluating issues traditionally dealt with in the courts, a strategy by governments is needed. Something like the European Commission's White Paper on AI, for one thing.