A quarter of century in artificial intelligence and law: Projects, personal trajectories, a subjective perspective

Ephraim Nissan, Carmelo Asaro, Aldo Franco Dragoni, Dany Yamen Farook, Solomon Eyal Shimony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes projects in the domain of artificial intelligence and law, which resulted from the research of the five authors listed, when they formed teams (of the first author named and each one of the other authors). Therefore, the present paper offers a subjective perspective, from the viewpoint of personal trajectories within AI & Law. Several, though not all, of the projects concerned dealt with facets of legal evidence. These projects include: ALIBI (an AI planner generating exonerating accounts); a representation of Italy’s regional constitutions in a nested-relation representation (a precursor of XML); the application of kappa calculus and a probabilistic interpretation to a Scandinavian approach to evidential strength; the application of Petri Nets for representing temporal relations in mutual wills; Daedalus (Judge Asaro’s software assisting Italy’s examining magistrates with inquiries, and then when they turn prosecutors); a study in occurrences in court of allegations echoing the pretext archetype “The dog ate my homework” (even when the claim was not pretextuous); an application of Wigmore Charts to an analysis of both the argumentation and the rhetoric of an Italian arringa (final submissions to the court) from a real court case; editorial projects which promoted the emergence of evidence as a conspicuous field within AI & Law (thus overturning previous neglect); and a magnum opus (Nissan 2012a) which presents the state of the art of computational applications to legal evidence, police inquiries, or argumentation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)452-695
Number of pages244
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Artificial intelligence and law
  • Daedalus
  • Petri nets
  • Wigmore Charts
  • argumentation
  • knowledge representation
  • legal evidence
  • mutual wills

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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