Tag: parking

Teen makes robot lawyer

Robby the Robot - Wikimedia CommonsA 19 year old British programmer has made himself a law bot which has successfully appealed more than $3 million worth of parking tickets.

Browder’s bot handles questions about parking ticket appeals in the UK. Since launching in late 2015, it has appealed $3 million worth of tickets. Joshua Browder’s robot can help answer questions about parking tickets.

Once you sign in, a chat screen pops up. To learn about your case, the bot asks questions like, “Were you the one driving?” and “Was it hard to understand the parking signs?” It then spits out an appeal letter, which you mail to the court. If the robot is completely confused, it tells you how to contact Browder directly.

The site is still in beta, and the full version will launch this spring.

Since laws are publicly available, bots can automate some of the simple tasks that human lawyers have had to do “manually”.

Beyond parking tickets, Browder’s bot can also help with delayed or cancel led flights and payment-protection insurance (PPI) claims.

This takes most of the expensive leg work out of a court case. Of course it can’t argue a case in front of a judge.

Browder programmed his robot based on a conversation algorithm. It uses keywords, pronouns, and word order to understand the user’s issue. He says that the more people use the robot, the more intelligent it becomes. Its algorithm can quickly analyze large amounts of data while improving itself in the process.

“As a 19-year-old, I have coded the entirety of the robot on my own, and I think it does a reasonable job of replacing parking lawyers. I know there are thousands of programmers with decades more experience than me working on similar issues,” he said.

At the moment the bot cannot give subjective advice because that would mean that they were practicing law, which only humans can legally do.

Roman coppers turn to Twitter for parking violations

The glorious parking coppers of Rome have turned to Twitter in a desperate attempt to sort out parking in the eternal city.

The City of Rome is rubbish when it comes to parking. The only off-street parking costs you an arm and a leg and citizens are forced to “park creatively”. Rather than provide council parking, the local council spent a fortune on electronic cameras which filmed people parking illegally and issued them with a ticket.

This went down like “British food” as the electronic cameras issued a ticket even if it had snapped a picture of the car before. This resulted in some people getting ten parking tickets for what was arguably the same offence.

Now that particular cunning plan has failed, the Roman council has decided to use social notworking to solve the problem.

The council here has asked residents to post photos of bad parking jobs to Twitter. They have asked for mobile phone users to snap pics of drivers who had left their vehicles in no-parking areas, double-parked, or otherwise in violation of city law.

They then asked folks to tweet those photos to the department’s Twitter account. In the first 30 days of the campaign, police received more than 1,100 complaints, and officials were able to respond to around 740 of them, handing out several hundred tickets.

The officer in charge of the programme, Raphael Clemente, said that it was a great opportunity to give a sign of modernity, openness and transparency”.

Of course, it does mean that you can run passive aggressive rows with your neighbour which costs them a fortune and the Roman Commune still has not solved the problem of what to do about a complete lack of council car parking.