Ignacio Raffa created an app, Prometea, capable of generating legal papers and suggesting a ruling, without a single lawyer present. “Hello,” Raffa says into his phone. “Hello, Ignacio, what do you want to do?” the app replies. “Create a ruling.”
The app asks, “What’s the case file number?” Ignacio replies, “1-5-0-9-9.” Within seconds, the AI software was capable of generating a draft ruling on a public housing case, one that carries the letterhead of the Buenos Aires district attorney’s office and all the proper fonts and jargon, with no lawyers or paralegals involved.
In Argentina, the DAs write the decisions, and it further goes to the cases’ presiding judges to either decline it and write their own, or simply approve them. Although Prometea is currently only being utilized for cases such as taxi license disputes, rather than murder trials, it is a significant step in the automation of the city’s justice system. According to the Buenos Aires office, 15 lawyers are now able to clear what used to be six months’ worth of cases in as little as six weeks.
Raffa and his colleagues created Prometea in partnership with the DA’s office. The agency claims the app has helped redirect staffers away from legal ‘scut work’ and more towards complex cases. Even the proofreaders are benefiting from the app as they rarely find errors when reviewing the computer-generated files. “It can help legal systems around the world,” says Asha Aravindakshan, a Sloan Fellow at MIT who saw a demo of the app this summer. “Everyone has a backlog.”
A year ago Buenos Aires staffers needed to fill the same 39 details 113 times when filing a drunk-driving complaint. Now, thanks to the app, you will only need to provide basic ages, addresses, and vehicle numbers once per document. Another key feature is the ability to search for a case that was filed in Spanish by simply providing instructions in English, and the app will translate and search in Spanish.