Why we do it

Man with Laptop

The prudent deployment of reliable legislative automation has the capacity to achieve widespread social benefits. Much official regulation, particularly in areas of immigration law and taxation, is extremely challenging to administer effectively and fairly. Resources are overstretched, leaving ever-changing legislation reliant upon human interpretation of policy and guidance notes.  AORA’s tools have the potential to bring decisive efficiencies to this system, improving access to quality draft opinions and advice. This represents an exciting opportunity to positively influence how society engages with and experiences the administration of our laws.

In the respected study Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement” (Kahneman, Sibony & Sunstein, 2022), three eminent behavioural scientists come together to assess the inbuilt faults in our decision-making. We all like to think that we make resolutions based on sound and consistent reasoning. The fact is, all of us, including highly skilled and trained specialists, are prone to bias and error. This can be caused by tiredness, hunger, stress from other concerns, “decision fatigue”, and even variables such as room temperature. Conversely, machines and computers remain unaffected by these outside influences. 

Entrusting deterministic evaluation to specifically designed tools, in particular where routine, repetitive tasks are involved, eases the burden on individuals undertaking such analysis, redressing variations in quality. Furthermore, the resultant acceleration, increased capacity and reduction in costs can only mean improved and more readily available access to such facilities.

There is cross-party consensus: A vital cornerstone of developed democracies is the fair and consistent implementation of legislation and, ideally, equality in the provision of access to a high standard of legal services. It is clear that successive UK governments value the affordable administration of our citizenship and tax governance highly, and see it as central to the priorities of a civilised society. 

For example, in 2012 HMRC announced their bold vision for the future of taxation in the UK,  Making Tax Digital”. These grand plans had the potential to bring lasting, revolutionary change to the system. Over ten years later, there is so much still to do. Again, as recently as December 2022 the Home Office’s Visa and Immigration division announced a similarly ambitious programme, “Digital By Default. Both laudable initiatives would be transformed and galvanised by the discerning use of deductive technology. 

The conceivable advances in the delivery of legislation achievable through strategic automation are compelling. It would go some way to addressing the intimidating complexity of financial regulation. Equally persuasive is the prospect of more efficient collection of tax revenue, which would undoubtedly improve compliance, transparency and therefore trust in the system. Furthermore, as migration and the distribution of employment resources become ever more pressing global issues, the impartial and uniform application of nationality law has never been more essential.

Dependable automation (regardless of whether one calls it Computational Law, deterministic AI or an Expert System) undoubtedly has a critical role to play here. The challenge is that such technology, of the appropriate quality and readiness, has not been available until now.

That’s where AORA comes in. Read our backstory and motivation.

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