Juristische Fakultät

AI in Antitrust Damages Litigation

On the Technical Challenges of Dealing with Big Data in a Legal Environment

On Thursday, July 8th 2021, the third symposium on Tübingen’s “AI MEETS LAW” platform took place. It was dedicated to “AI in Antitrust Damages Litigation”. 

Big Data can be a valuable source of information for the substantiation of damages. Yet proof in court requires a certain degree of transparency and explainability of damages calculations. How can the use of artificial intelligence (AI) help to navigate through piles of data and at the same time reconcile with the procedural framework governing damages estimation in the courtroom? These were the questions we addressed in this AI MEETS LAW symposium.

The first speaker was Benjamin Peters, Head of BU Competition at inserve GmbH. He spoke on AI for Cartel Damage Claims. In his talk, he showed how AI can create transaction lists from the information in commercial documents. In particular, the following steps and aspects were looked at in more detail: intelligent document processing (IDP), denoising, visual clustering, document separation, definition of a data model, labeling/training (human in the loop) as well as validation and correction. Benjamin argued that AI based data analysis will be the more efficient the greater the volume of data is. He also expounded on methods how the veracity of the produced data can be checked against the input data. 

Subsequently, Stefan Thomas, Professor at the Law Faculty, Head of the AI MEETS LAW platform, commented from the legal perspective. He discussed the balancing between efficiency in data analysis and transparency as well as reliability of data for judicial damages estimation. In his view, it is essential for lawyers to understand the methods by which an AI based system deals with data noise and which degree of robustness it provides to draw reliable legal conclusions.

Kristof Meding, University of Tübingen and Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, provided valuable input from the perspective of computer science. He homed in on the differences and interdependencies between robustness and accuracy of AI based recognition methods. Also, Kristof provided comments on methods for checking the reliability of AI based data production.

The presentation and comments led to an intense debate with the audience about the role of AI in damages litigation. Data access and data quality turned out to be pivotal for the use value of such instruments, as well as a profound understanding of the methods applied by everybody involved in the legal decision process.

The AI MEETS LAW platform was established in 2020 at the Law Faculty in Tübingen. It is an informal discussion group on the Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Law. You can learn more about it here: https://uni-tuebingen.de/en/167985.

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