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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Mediation: Technology-Based Versus Human-Facilitated Dispute Resolution

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Mediation: Technology-Based Versus Human-Facilitated Dispute Resolution

The use of AI in mediation has the potential to revolutionize the way disputes are resolved. AI-based mediators, also known as “virtual mediators” or “digital mediators”, use advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to assist parties in reaching a resolution to their dispute.

There is variety to the approaches employed by AI mediation platforms. For example, one may use a rule-based system, where a set of predefined rules (laws and regulations) are used to guide the AI in its decision-making process. Another approach is to use a machine learning-based system, where the AI is trained on a dataset of past mediation cases and uses this training to inform its decision-making process.

In its current iteration, AI-assisted mediation should not be seen as a replacement for human mediators, but rather as a complementary tool that can assist in the mediation process. It does not make human mediators redundant. Rather, AI-assisted mediation should be viewed as a tool that can help the mediator provide the parties with objective analysis and recommendations for potential settlement options. However, as with any new technology, the use of AI in mediation raises a number of practical, ethical, and legal implications that must be considered.

In the most basic terms, the mechanics of AI-based mediation are not terribly different from the traditional mediation. The parties provide information to a human neutral who uses his/her knowledge, experience, and skills (i.e., “programming”) to assist the parties in identifying a fair resolution of their dispute. AI platforms using natural language processing (NLP), along with machine learning algorithms to automate the dispute resolution process, look similar:

The parties involved in the dispute provide information about the case, including their arguments, evidence, and relevant laws or regulations. This information can be input into the AI platform in various formats, such as text, audio, or video. The AI platform can also eliminate challenges associated with any language barriers.

The AI platform uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to analyze the information provided by the parties and identify key issues strengths, and weaknesses in their arguments. It can also compare the case with similar past cases and identify relevant laws, regulations, and precedents.

Based on its analysis, the AI platform generates a resolution suggestion that is fair, based upon the parties’ input, and consistent with relevant laws and regulations. The suggestion can take the form of a summary of key findings, an evaluation of the parties’ positions, or a proposed settlement. It could also be asked to generate a list of potential solutions or options for resolving a conflict. This could be especially helpful if the parties involved in the conflict are struggling to come up with ideas on their own.
Alternatively, or in addition, the AI platform may be used to facilitate communication between parties in a conflict by providing a neutral third party to listen to both sides and generate responses that encourage productive dialogue.

A human mediator with the benefit of emotional intelligence and an ability to grasp the nuances of the case and think of resolutions that might incorporate any subjective considerations motivating one or both parties can then adjust the suggested resolutions.

Once the parties agree on a resolution, the outcome and relevant information from the case can also be used by the AI platform to continually improve its algorithms and decision-making process.

Advantages

AI-based mediators can process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently, which can result in a faster and more efficient mediation process. This increased efficiency is a key advantage to AI-based mediation. AI algorithms can analyze large amounts of data and provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s position, which can help to inform the negotiation process. In addition, AI-powered chatbots can help to facilitate communication between parties in a dispute and can also assist in the negotiation process by providing information and suggestions for potential settlement options.

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