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Entérate de las últimas noticias legales en Ecuador explicadas por nuestros expertos.




Every day, new tools that use artificial intelligence (AI) are being developed to help people in their daily tasks. From the production of drawings, logos, texts, and programming codes, among others, AI is here to stay, it is part of our everyday life and it will be more and more present in our lives, being part of our routine just like SIRI, ALEXA or GOOGLE ASSISTANT.

We can see that Silicon Valley’s technological giants (Google, Amazon and Microsoft) are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of AI with the aim of making life easier for their users. Such is the case of Google, which has just bought Anthropic for more than 400 million dollars [1].  Without a doubt, the most striking case is that of Microsoft, the leading company in the sale of software worldwide that seeks to compete with the aforementioned companies and be at the forefront in the development of artificial intelligence, implementing it in their service packages with the acquisition of Open AI, the company that developed CHAT GPT, and it is estimated that their long-term investment will be around 10,000 million dollars [2].

Likewise, Microsoft made an announcement on February 7, 2023, indicating that they will be implementing CHAT GPT in their BING search engine and in their Microsoft Edge search engine [3] in order to enhance their applications and optimize the search results.  

However, the reader may ask, what does this have to do with the administration of justice in Ecuador? Well, although it may not seem so, we are getting closer and closer to making such tools a part of the administration of justice, which would certainly lighten the procedural burden of judicial officials and, above all, would mean that “procedural speed” would no longer be a myth.

The first known case is that of Juan Manuel Padilla García, Judge of Labour Court No. 1 of the Cartagena Circuit (Colombia), who used the CHAT GPT tool as a support tool.

The aforementioned Judge used IA to review the jurisprudential background and the laws applicable to a case with the aim of issuing a sentence in a process of Protection of Fundamental Rights (equivalent to our Action for Protection) in the case of a minor with autism spectrum disorder who stated that he “lacked the economic resources to pay the costs of prescription charges, co-payments, and transportation costs”, so he sued the company Salud Total EPS who refused to cover these items. [4]

Although the sentence was favorable for the child and the insurer will have to cover the costs for his adequate treatment, the judge used the CHAT GPT tool to collect and process jurisprudential background, which has caused some controversy in Colombia.

Judge Padilla interacted with the IA by asking certain questions and the answers were transcribed in the sentence. For example, the Judge asked:

¿Is the autistic minor exonerated from paying prescription charges in his therapies?

The answer of the IA application was:  

“Yes, that is correct. According to the regulations in Colombia, minors with a diagnosis of autism are exonerated from paying prescription charges for their therapies. This benefit is regulated by Law 1753 of 2015 and applies to all institutions providing public or private health services that receive resources from the general healthcare social security system.”

Although there have been diverse repercussions and purists have been quick to criticize this tool and other types of AI because they are still in their development stage and there may be errors and inaccuracies, it is no less true that their improvement is progressing by leaps and bounds. Therefore, it is essential to consider the implementation of these tools in the short term, as well as others that have already been developed, in order to facilitate the work of law enforcement officials.  

For example, let us imagine that a judicial officer has to prepare dozens of judgments and orders every day. In the future and with the use of AI -such as CHAT GPT- duly “fed” with information and processes, the official could request the tool to draft, not dozens, but hundreds of documents, which could reduce the time of substantiation of the judicial process and, above all, justice could incorporate an expeditious solution for the benefit of users and citizens in general.

Although Ecuador currently has the E-SATJE 2020 system, which can be used to enter pleadings, view electronic judicial dockets and view some of the files that are part of the process, the digital transformation in the country has been slow despite the enactment of some laws and reforms -especially the COGEP-. Therefore, it is imperative that those responsible for the administration of justice in the country find solutions to ensure its adequate modernization.

Technology is here to stay. The world of law and especially the administration of justice cannot simply look to the side and continue with 19th-century practices (such as continuing to stitch together files), while solutions such as blockchain and AI can now be employed.

In a State function with a budget of more than three hundred million dollars [5], where about 92% of this money is allocated to current expenses (salaries) [6], it is imperative to implement all possible means to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and, above all, to ensure that people who rely on the justice system can be recompensed with access to a truly efficient and expeditious justice.  

The Judiciary Council should consider incorporating AI as a solution to some of the multiple problems afflicting the judicial system; however, and in light of the facts, the implementation of solutions such as this and other technological tools cannot and should not wait much longer.


[1] https://www.elespanol.com/elandroidelibre/noticias-y-novedades/20230206/ia-google-invierte-millones-dolares-proximo-chatgpt/739426309_0.html

[2] https://elpais.com/economia/2023-01-23/microsoft-invertira-100000-millones-en-la-empresa-de-chatgpt-para-impulsar-la-inteligencia-artificial.html

[3] https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2023/02/07/reinventing-search-with-a-new-ai-powered-microsoft-bing-and-edge-your-copilot-for-the-web/

[4] https://forogpp.files.wordpress.com/2023/01/sentencia-tutela-segunda-instancia-rad.-13001410500420220045901.pdf

[5] https://www.finanzas.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2022/10/26-CN_Por-Entidad-RN.pdf

[6] https://www.funcionjudicial.gob.ec/www/pdf/resoluciones/2022/233-2022.pdf

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This article contains information of general interest and does not constitute legal advice about specific matters. Any particular analysis will require the Firm’s legal advice.

Pablo Chiriboga




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