[NOTE: Updated on 5-19-2009 to add link to summary of discussion of this topic; and on 5-17-2009 to encourage readers to report results in comments section and to join in Law Library Ning Forum discussion.]
Many in the legal informatics community are eagerly awaiting the debut of WolframAlpha, described in a May 12 post on the Chronicle’s Wired Campus, with links to video and other articles.
The reason is that WolframAlpha will inevitably receive legal questions, and many AI & Law researchers and law librarians, and possibly a few lawyers and judges, are most curious to see how well the new tool answers them. WolframAlpha may be the highest-profile legal expert system yet devised. Legal informatics folks will likely test the system heavily at first. If you are testing WolframAlpha respecting law-related questions, please feel free to report your results in the comments section of this post. And please join us over at the Law Library Ning Forum for discussion of WolframAlpha & legal research. Here is a summary of our discussion of this topic.
If WolframAlpha continues to handle legal questions in the long-term, testing its response to those questions may become a new specialty in legal informatics systems evaluation, much as testing Google Scholar is now a niche in the information retrieval field.Up