From the current issue of
August 11, 2000
From the current issue of News of the Weird:
* Pedro Valls Feu Rosa, a state supreme court judge in Brazil, has developed the artificial-intelligence software program Electronic Judge so that clerks operating laptop computers at the scenes of traffic accidents and other disputes can dispense even-handed justice by inputting facts and having the program reach judicial decisions instantly. According to an April report in London's The Independent, most parties seem satisfied to have their cases tried while they are still fresh, with witnesses present, but the inventor acknowledges that his program is not appropriate for cases requiring complex interpretations of the law.
And, from Snopes.com's article on Joey Skaggs:
No discussion of Skagg's tricksterism would be complete without a mention of the Solomon Project, an amazing but thoroughly fake computer program that could review a court case, apply the law, and spit out a ruling. The promise of an impartial electronic contraption that would remove human foibles from the judicial system proved irresistible to a world bone-tired of the O.J. case. CNN sent a camera crew to interview Mr. Bonuso (Skaggs) at his New York laboratory -- a SoHo loft he'd packed with actors posing as refugees from the Microsoft Corporation. At its peak, the hoax involved some 25 grim-faced actors pumping data into computer terminals as CNN cameras recorded the performance. CNN aired the segment on 29 December 1995.
Fiction becomes truth! (And thanks to Dan for the Snopes article a while back. Great redesign, by the way, sorry I've been too busy to compliment it...)