Israeli start-up Darrow aims to fix justice system using data

Users typically don’t notice when their rights are being infringed upon by corporations. This is where companies like Darrow come in.

 Keyboard with confidential button (Illustrative) (photo credit: PICPEDIA)
Keyboard with confidential button (Illustrative)
(photo credit: PICPEDIA)

In 2019, a new development in artificial intelligence (AI) enabled doctors to predict breast cancer in patients as much as five years in advance simply by analyzing and comparing data from mammograms. In a feat that was once thought impossible, AI and data-driven decision-making are being incorporated into every field, from medicine to transportation. Already, 37% of businesses and organizations utilize AI in some capacity, according to tech company Gartner.

For some reason, however, only certain fields garner the lion’s share of the attention for their progress in AI. Medtech is one of them, and for good reason, as well as retail and manufacturing. But now, a new industry is set out to improve the justice system using tech and AI: legaltech. And considering the current state of legal affairs, it’s one on which we should all keep a close eye.

Every day, corporations violate basic rights with environmental pollutants, unfair wages, privacy breaches, misuse of consumer information and more. While publications and advocacy groups report on many such cases, the violations themselves often go undetected and unchallenged, according to a study from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Users typically don’t notice when their rights are being infringed upon, and sometimes the corporations themselves aren’t aware they are in the wrong.

In cases where a user does recognize a violation, they likely won’t know how to proceed. Staggering volumes of data, unintelligible legal jargon and legal teams leave victims feeling powerless in the face of large corporations.

The legal world is notorious for its slow responses, bureaucracy and inaccessibility. That’s why companies are now leveraging machine learning, big data and AI capabilities to boost efficiency and accuracy, reduce costs through automation and grant everyone greater access to legal services. Legal professionals might use machine-learning algorithms to draft contracts and automate internal processes, but few companies utilize data to repair the legal system as a whole.

This is where companies like Darrow come in. The Tel Aviv-based start-up leverages data to provide justice for all. Founded in June 2020 by Evyatar Ben-Artzi, Elad Spiegelman and Gila Hayat, Darrow implements machine-learning algorithms and natural language processing to expose harmful legal violations that would otherwise go undetected. It was when Ben-Artzi and Spiegelman clerked together at the chambers of Supreme Court Justice Uzi Vogelman that they discovered a legal system hindered by antiquated processes and inaccessibility.

After teaming up with software engineer Gila Hayat, they were able to teach a machine the law, how to identify harmful actions, and piece together a legal story from various sources. Using modern technology, Darrow is finally able to level the legal playing field.

The team behind Darrow recognizes that in its current state, the justice system is not fulfilling its promise to enforce the law and protect people from harm. Violations get lost in insurmountable data, corporations evade prosecution and victims are left vulnerable. In 2011, reports on ethical misconduct perpetrated by corporations were in the millions while convictions were in the dozens. Darrow believes tech can change that.

Darrow now has offices in both Israel and New York with more than 80 employees. The company continues to uncover severe violations in a number of areas including privacy, consumer protection, environmental hazards and dangerous working conditions. In doing so, Darrow ensures corporations are held accountable for their actions and justice is returned to an often unjust system.