April 13, 2021

Computer-Judge Finds You Guilty



Computer-Judge Finds You Guilty
Do robots count as a jury of your peers? AlejandroLinaresGarcia, Wikimedia Commons

No one ever accused the Russian legal system of being overly human. And with recent advances in artificial intelligence, we're not optimistic for the future.

Russian authorities under the Ministry of Economic Development are reportedly undertaking research to make laws that computers can understand and, by extension, adjudicate. By turning statutes into mathematical algorithms, proponents say, computers can decide on court decisions without bias.

Supporters say that automated judicial proceedings will keep down costs for taxpayers and defendants, since they won't have to hire lawyers or pay judges. This camp also argues that, since machines are impartial, they'll provide valuable oversight to government activities (we aren't holding our breath).

Other limbs of the Russian state are interested in similar software, which could help automate regulations and control. The organization developing the programs, a working group formed by government ministries, stresses that this is only a "10-20% increase in automation" over current activities.

Fortunately, cold robo-Revizors aren't a reality just yet, but cyberpunk dystopia seems close already: the Ministry has been handed preliminary data, so we could be protesting traffic tickets to computers in the not-too-distant future. Next Sunday, AD, perhaps?

Putting Robots to Work on the Past
  • March 01, 2020

Putting Robots to Work on the Past

Ever wanted to take a stroll in nineteenth century Moscow? See how one Russian uses machine learning to make grainy old videos ever more realistic.
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The Moscow Metro plans to allow passengers to pay with Face ID.
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Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
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The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
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Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
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Fish: A History of One Migration

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Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

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