LawBot: A Chatbot For Victims of Crime
- 8th December 2016
Created over the summer by a group of Cambridge students passionate about access to justice, ‘LawBot’ is the UK’s first legal chatbot designed to help victims of crime.
Not everyone’s a lawyer, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid dealing with the law,
especially if you might have been a victim of crime. The law can seem like a
minefield; unclear, complex, and potentially expensive. So, with that in mind, we
created LawBot; a chatbot that skips the legalese and offers free, plain-English
advice about UK law. If you think you might have been a victim of crime, LawBot
will have an informal, confidential conversation with you, to give you a clear idea
of where the law stands, and what you might be able to do.
LawBot’s main user-base is currently comprised of students, a demographic who
are just as likely to need legal advice as anyone else, but might normally find it
difficult or expensive to access. If a student thinks, for instance, that they might
have been a victim of assault or harassment, a barrier to moving forward might
be uncertainty about how exactly the law defines those crimes. That’s why
LawBot doesn’t just ask you questions; you can ask it to define terms, or
rephrase questions, to provide you with an answer that is clearly explained, not
just given without context.
LawBot is already smart, and it’s getting smarter all the time. Some of the
features we’ve implemented so far include:
Full Confidentiality: The information you tell LawBot is, naturally,
private, so we understand how important it is that your conversations are
safeguarded. LawBot doesn’t make any record of what you tell it; chat
logs aren’t saved, and we couldn’t access conversation records even if we
Legal Summaries: Once you’ve finished your chat with LawBot, it can
give you a legal-language summary of what you told it. If you decide to
take this to the police, the legal summary can help them easily ascertain
the nature of the crime. Plus, you might be saved from answering lots of
questions about the incident.
Find your nearest Police Station: We’re committed to make LawBot as
practical and informative as we can. If, considering the legal knowledge
you’ve gained from LawBot, you’ve decided you want to report the crime
to the police, LawBot can now help you find your closest police station in
a handy map format.
Unique Conversations: We’re teaching LawBot to be informal, sensitive
and empathetic. Randomised responses mean no two conversations will
be the same, and LawBot uses details like your age to tailor questions to
you, to make the conversation as streamlined and natural as possible.
Definitions: At any time, you can ask LawBot to define a term, or let it
know you’re unsure about a question it’s asked you, and it will do its best
to clarify for you.
For more information on lawbot go to: