The Technosolutionism Trap: The Risky Use of Tech by the Colombian Judiciary

Maia Levy Daniel is a tech policy and regulation specialist and a research affiliate at the Center of Technology and Society (CETyS) at Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina. Cartagena, Colombia. Felipe Ortega Grijalba/Wikimedia Every day we see more and more uses of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and related technologies in numerous fields. Healthcare, education, and work are only a few of the many areas that are allegedly being improved by the implementation of these technologies. Now, the Colombian judiciary has joined this technosolutionist trend.  In one case (Case 1), in January 2023, a judge used ChatGPT to support his composition of a decision to waive medical fee payments for the treatment of a child with autism. In another case (Case 2), in February 2023, a judge conducted a hearing in the so-called ‘metaverse,’ and used ChatGPT to understand and explain how identities could be verified in the metaverse. This was a traffic-related case, in which the petitioner requested the use of a virtual venue for the hearing and the defendant agreed. The hearing was streamed on YouTube. The use of technologies in these two cases raises several problems and questions–some of which I discussed in a previous piece for Tech Policy Press on the use of AI by the public sector. Here, I focus on two main critical topics, and analyze specific arguments provided by the judges in the Colombian cases, which reflect generalized concerns on the use of technology in the public domain. 1. How the public sector…The Technosolutionism Trap: The Risky Use of Tech by the Colombian Judiciary