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How Can We Help To Free Legal Research From Algorithmic Bias?

RIPS Law Librarian, Stephanie Farne: “…While the bias in an AI powered search in any context is deeply troubling, looking at algorithmic bias in the context of legal research is even more disturbing. In ALR class, students work with hypothetical research problems. I paused to think – What about potential AI bias in real world legal practice? What if there is a large sum of money on the line? Or even more troubling, someone’s freedom from incarceration or even their life? How can we learn more about how these algorithms function inside proprietary legal research platforms? Because the algorithms are carefully protected proprietary information, ALR instructors like us cannot talk about how these AI searches work, and how our students can assure themselves they have done the most thorough searches. As instructors in effective legal research, even we law librarians do not know what is going on inside the black box of AI based searches in legal research platforms…”

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