China combines AI and blockchain to be judge and jury

A Chinese blockchain initiative called 'smart courts' use AI to remove the need for a physical judge and jury

The Chinese blockchain push may seem like something recent. However, this vast country has been experimenting with its usage for some time now.

Chinese ‘smart courts’ are already successfully applying emerging technology to solve millions of cases – without the need for a judge or jury.

China’s AI-powered ‘smart courts’

According to the Xinhua news agency, more than 3.1 million litigation activities this year from March to October were settled using blockchain and AI-powered smart contracts.

In these internet courts, dubbed “courts of the future”, the case is decided by virtual, AI-powered judges.

This greatly cuts down on the costs of legal activities as human defendants answer to multiple screens. Judges do not have to be physically present for a verdict to be served.

Even further, citizens may also opt to receive the court decision via text message through one of the major Chinese carriers.

A series of world firsts in the Chinese blockchain industry

China’s becoming accustomed to setting the pace when it comes to emerging tech. These internet courts marked a world first when established as far back as 2017 in the cities of Guangzhou and Beijing.

This year, the courts have successfully teamed up blockchain technology with AI. In April 2019, according to the Chinese news site Global Times, the combination of AI and blockchain was “fostering social credibility development in China”.

President of Beijing Internet Court Zhang Wen said that the use of the two technologies to make legal rulings were showing impressive results.

He said: “Of the 41 cases concluded so far, parties chose to settle out of court rather than litigate in 40 cases, with compelling evidence from blockchain. This fosters social credibility development in the country.”

Blockchain to legitimise and authenticate evidence

Going as far back as September 2018, China’s Supreme Court ruled that any evidence that had been authenticated with blockchain technology would be legally binding in any in-court dispute.

The Supreme Court declared:

“Internet courts shall recognise digital data that are submitted as evidence if relevant parties collected and stored these data via blockchain with digital signatures, reliable timestamps, and hash value verification or via a digital deposition platform, and can prove the authenticity of such technology used.”

While many critics point to blockchain’s lack of use cases, Chinese blockchain initiatives are already proving them wrong. This new technology has already shown how powerful it can be, especially when teamed up with AI, to increase efficiency.

From local government initiatives to smart courts, finance, and supply chains, it seems that China continues to make good on its pledge to push forward with blockchain technology.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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