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iFlytek developing AI-enabled system for legal purposes

By Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-07 08:52
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Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFlytek. [Photo/VCG]

Leading artificial intelligence company iFlytek Co Ltd is developing an AI-enabled system to assist courts in judging criminal cases, as the company steps up its push to accelerate the commercial application of its technology.

The move came after the company was authorized by the Ministry of Science and Technology to build China's first national laboratory for cognitive intelligence.

The company, affiliated with the University of Science and Technology of China, a premier school in the country, is partnering with Shanghai High People's Court to test the smart trial system.

"We now can use AI to help judges review four types of cases, namely murder, theft, telecom fraud and illegal fundraising," said Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFlytek. "The number will jump to 79 types by the end of this year," he said.

According to Liu, who is also a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, the AI system can automatically judge whether the evidences are contradictory or complete enough to support a sentence, as well as which laws and regulations can be used, how previous similar cases are tried and suggest an appropriate sentence for reference.

"The accuracy of the system reaches 97 percent, higher than the 80 percent in Europe," he said, "This is not a single skill, but a full set of capabilities involving voice recognition, big data, semantic reasoning, knowledge mining and incremental learning."

The move is part of a broader partnership iFlytek inked in 2016 with the Supreme People's Court to advance the application of AI in courts.

In December, iFlytek was chosen by the Ministry of Science and Technology to build China's first national laboratory for cognitive intelligence, which is the highest phase of AI. The laboratory will focus on helping machines think as humans.

Founded in 1999, iFlytek has been focusing on voice recognition technologies for 18 years and it aims to leverage such accumulation to branch into other AI technologies and sectors such as education and healthcare.

Its medical robot, which has passed the written test of China's national medical licensing examination in November, is now being applied to hospitals in Anhui province.

"It can now function as a general practitioner and help doctors treat more than 100 kinds of diseases," Liu said.

As a deputy attending an annual legislative meeting in Beijing, Liu called for more efforts to cultivate AI talents, which is key to helping China play a leading role in the global tech arena.

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