Supreme Court begins live transcription of trials using artificial intelligence

This is the first time in the history of the Supreme Court that artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies have been implemented. The court uses Teres software, a platform already used to transcribe arbitration proceedings and provided by Bengaluru-based Nomology Technology.

The Supreme Court has introduced a new system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies to test live transcription of oral arguments. This is the first time in the history of the Apex Court that such a system has been implemented. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud chaired the Constitution Bench, which included Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha, during the trial as live transcription skills were tested.

“We’ll just see how it works, at least as far as Constitution Bench goes. Then we have permanent evidence, which of course helps the judges and lawyers, but also our law faculties. You can analyze how things are argued…a huge resource,” the chief justice said.

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During the hearing, Judge Chandrachud pointed to a screen set up across from the attorneys and announced that the court was experimenting with live transcription. He explained that the court was studying the possibility of creating a permanent record of arguments that could be used as a resource for attorneys and law students. Judge Narasimha described the new system as “truly a court of record because every word is recorded”.

The court uses Teres software, a platform already used to transcribe arbitration proceedings and provided by Bengaluru-based Nomology Technology.

Judge Chandrachud acknowledged that having multiple attorneys speaking at the same time could pose a problem for the transcription system. However, he assured the Bar Association that any errors would be corrected by the end of the day. The system would allow both attorneys to review the log during the day, with a sanitized version available in the evening. Judge Narasimha suggested the same approach could be used at physical hearings to avoid cross-voting. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, present at the Maharashtra affair, welcomed the new system.

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The Constitution Bench is currently dealing with petitions arising from last year’s split of Shiv Sena, and the proceedings are being transcribed and submitted to lawyers for review before being uploaded to the Supreme Court’s website. The court hopes the live transcription system will provide a valuable resource for attorneys, judges and law students, allowing them to analyze how cases are argued. Currently, the system has only been set up in Courtroom 1, the Chief Justice’s courtroom.

(Edited by: Sudarsanan Mani)