Live transcription of Supreme Court proceedings is now available

For the first time in the country, the Supreme Court used artificial intelligence (AI) and high-tech tools to conduct live transcriptions of court proceedings.

What is the process of AI-based transcription?

  • AI-based transcription works by automatically converting audio or video content into written text using advanced machine learning algorithms.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition technology are used by the software to identify and transcribe spoken words, which are then formatted into a text document.

So, what exactly is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a subfield of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with computer-human (natural) language interactions.
  • It entails creating algorithms and computational models capable of understanding, interpreting, and producing human language.
  • Language translation, sentiment analysis, text summarization, speech recognition, and other applications make use of NLP.
  • It combines computer science, linguistics, and psychology techniques to allow computers to process and understand natural language.

The advantages of the relocation

  • Improved access to justice: For the deaf and those with limited English comprehension.
  • Transparency and accountability are increased because transcripts can be reviewed and analysed.
  • Reduced errors and inaccuracies: AI-based technology is more efficient and reliable than human transcriptionists.
  • Saving time and money: For the court system and litigants, live transcription eliminates the need for manual transcription and subsequent editing, making justice dispensation faster than ever.
  • Legal awareness in the public domain: The availability of real-time transcripts can assist journalists and researchers in reporting on court proceedings more accurately and quickly.

Other AI solutions used in the Indian Judiciary

  • E-SCR project: The electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project provides free access to the official law reports of the Supreme Court’s reported Judgments to law students, lawyers, and other legal professionals, as well as the general public, with special tools for accessibility to those with visual disabilities.
  • SUPACE: The Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency (SUPACE) is a tool that gathers pertinent facts and laws and makes them available to judges.
  • SCI-Interact: In 2020, the Supreme Court developed SCI-Interact software to make all 17 of its benches paperless. This software assists judges in accessing files, attaching annexures to petitions, and taking notes on computers.
  • LIMBS: Previously, the Department of Legal Affairs introduced LIMBS, or Legal Information Management & Briefing System, a web-based application. The goal is to efficiently track a case’s entire life cycle.
  • SUVAAS: The Apex Court launched an indigenously engineered neural translation tool, SUVAAS, in November 2019 to translate judicial orders and rulings from English to vernacular languages more quickly and efficiently.

AI Breakthrough Difficulties

  • Costs and Resources: Implementing live transcription would necessitate substantial financial and technological resources.
  • Transcription Accuracy: The accuracy of live transcription is critical because any errors in transcription can have serious consequences, especially in legal proceedings.
  • Privacy and Security: The live transcription of court proceedings may raise privacy and security concerns because sensitive information may be disclosed or key judicial interpretations may be tampered with.

Way ahead

  • The ethical and responsible use of AI and ML to advance efficiency can be increasingly embedded in legal and judicial processes.
  • The Supreme Court has established a solid foundation upon which efficiency improvements across functional processes can be accelerated.
  • This is one of the primary reasons why India’s justice system is poised for transformation.
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