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AI in Mediation

I became interested in Artificial Intelligence long before the current trend of AI-infused search engines and popular chat AI software. While there are pros and cons to the use of AI and the directions the technology is being taken, the fact is that AI is here to stay.

I’ve given thought to the influence and impact of AI in mediation. It has the potential to significantly change the way mediations are conducted. For example, AI-powered tools can improve efficiency, streamlining the mediation process and automating tasks and case research. It can be used to analyze large volumes of data related to past mediations or court cases, and to compile evidence and case research. Since AI tools can be programmed to recognize and respond to natural language queries, they can be used to improve communication between parties, thus making it easier for those involved in a mediation to get the information they need, while facilitating more productive discussions. Finally, AI can be used to predict the outcome of mediations based on past data and current circumstances. This can help parties make informed decisions while settling disputes more quickly.

On the other hand, AI mediation brings with it potential shortcomings. My immediate thought on that is the lack of empathy and emotional intelligence. As a mediator, one of my key roles is to build rapport and trust with the parties in a dispute. Although AI can assist with tasks, it lacks that emotional intelligence and empathy needed to effectively build relationships with people. This could be a real concern in mediations that involve highly emotional or sensitive issues. Furthermore, AI tools are only as good as the data they are trained on – sometimes creating a noticeable deficit in terms of legal preparation and judgment. While AI can help lawyers and mediators make more informed decisions through its analysis of large volumes of data, it lacks the ability to interpret the law and exercise judgment in the same was as humans can. This would be especially problematic in more complex legal disputes. Also, AI algorithms are only as “objective” as the data they are trained on. If the training is biased, incomplete or ethically questionable, the AI may perpetuate or even amplify existing biases. This could lead to ethical concerns particularly in cases involving sensitive issues such as race, gender and religion. Finally, there could be privacy and security concerns. Because AI tools may rely on large amounts of sensitive data, including personal information and confidential legal documents, there is a risk that this data could be compromised or accessed by unauthorized parties.

So, overall, while AI has the potential to be a powerful tool for mediation and even has the potential to revolutionize the process through increased communication, efficiency, predictions and forecasts, it is important to carefully consider its limitations and potential risks before incorporating it into the process. It is important that AI should be used as a tool to augment decision-making and human interaction, not as a replacement for it.

I recently found an article on this topic. The author of this article overlaps my own thoughts and observations in several places, while providing some additional points to ponder and concerns to consider. Read it here:

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