Before trying robot judges, let's learn from robot referees

"At the outset, the goal of this research was to use sports as a way to answer questions about law enforcement. The criminal justice system is much more complicated than an athletic institution, the problems are weightier, and the consequences more dire. But even though it’s not a not a perfect parallel, Ryan Calo, who studies law and technology at the University of Washington, says that the research helps explain how people respond when machines lay down the law.

“They're actually getting at this really hard question of what it is that bothers us about the ability of machines to engage in perfect enforcement,” he says. “That’s what I love about this contribution.” Imperfect enforcement may in fact be an important element of the legal system, Calo says. He points to jaywalking as an example: it’s illegal in both Seattle and New York City, but you’re way less likely to get busted for it in the Big Apple."