July 17, 2017 weblog
Robot aide expands in consumer tool for luggage woes and more
(Tech Xplore)—Joshua Browder, founder, DoNotPay, has expanded a "robot" initiative to cover more categories and provide not only guidance and letter formats for communicating complaints.
What is this actually all about? Browder in Medium on July 14 announced that starting today, [July 14] "DoNotPay is opening up so that anyone can create legal bots for free (with no technical knowledge)."
TechSpot wrote that "users simply state the problem they are trying to solve, answer a few questions, and DoNotPay will fill out the right forms or generate letters for you."
Shona Ghosh quoted him in Business Insider. "I originally started DoNotPay two years ago to fight my own parking tickets."
As in The Telegraph: "To get robot advice, users type their problem into the DoNotPay site and it directs them to a chat bot that can solve their particular legal issue. It can draft letters and offer advice on problems from credit card fraud to airline compensation."
Discussing his expanded DoNotPayNow, Browder said, "We are starting with the lowest hanging fruit: automating documents where all you have to change are the text variables."
Jose Vilches, TechSpot, said DoNotPay covers law in 50 US states and across the UK.
But let's cut to the look of it. Browder posted a video earlier this month and it shows sample screens. "Hi, I'm the world's first robot lawyer. Let's get started. What can I help you with?"
Examples of how DoNotPay can help become apparent. Arguing with landlord? The robot imparts advice on possible actions you might take.
Airline woes? The robot makes you aware of how you may be compensated for missed or cancelled flights or lost luggage.
Credit car woes: If a card was stolen, you see feedback about disputing a charge or an item on a credit report.
The examples go on. When we say "help" we mean your typing in questions and relevant text for the chatbot to direct you to the appropriate issue, and then can even generate an appeal letter that you can sign and print.
It can help with questions you may have involving consumer rights and relevant documents.
To clarify what it can do, John Mannes in TechCrunch: "DoNotPay can help anyone fill out transactional forms for maternity leave, landlord contract violations and more. The 1,000+ bots are fully searchable in natural language—users simply state the problem they are trying to solve and DoNotPay will automatically redirect them to the relevant assistant."
Quoted in The Telegraph, Browder said, "I'm not a lawyer by training, I just like building exciting products and training them. I don't think there's been enough innovation in consumer law."
Let's review what the capabilities include, as wrapped up by Vilches in TechSpot: "bots to apply for more parental leave, fight a fraudulent purchase on your credit card, claiming lost luggage for an airline, make insurance claims, resolve landlord disputes and lots more."
Shannon Liao, The Verge: You can type in questions like "I got an unfair parking ticket," or requests for legal compensation from an airline or reporting discrimination, for a total of 1,000 different categories, although results only pop up for certain keywords. If the chatbot successfully directs you to the appropriate issue, it can then generate an appeal letter for you that you can sign and print."
Local laws differ from state to state and for that reason Browder worked with real lawyers and charities, said Ubergizmo, to make sure the bots created were specific to a locality. Only relevant bots, said the report, are shown when a user's location is detected.
Browder thinks DoNotPayNow can even help government officials to save time and money, said The Verge. "Everybody can win," he says, "I think governments waste a huge amount of money employing people to read parking ticket appeals. DoNotPay sends it to them in a clear and easy to read format."
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