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Nearly 50% of people would use an online divorce court, according to new study by Minster Law.

At Minster Law, we have recently conducted a report which explores consumer attitudes towards the use of artificial intelligence in their daily lives, including legal matters. The aim of this study was to gauge the comfort levels of customers managing a claim through our new online small claims platform – Minster Claims Online.

Technology’s tightening grip on everyday life is highlighted by our recent findings, which shows that more people than ever are happy to let artificial intelligence to take over some key aspects of their legal, medical, and home-management needs.

The UK-wide study of more than 2000 people shows:

  • Just under half (49%) are comfortable with the use of smart sensors, eavesdropping devices and identity recognition systems to enforce the law
  • 46% would use an online court for civil disputes such as divorce, injury claims and negligence cases
  • More than four in ten (41%) would consider using artificial intelligence for regular medical check-ups if it meant they didn’t have to wait for a GP appointment
  • More than one in four would have a robot as a companion, and 34% would consider using robots to look after them in their old age
  • 50% think technology will change lives for the better in future

But 45% of those questioned still prefer to deal with a person instead of computers, and one in three (33%) has concerns about entrusting their claims to robotics, with the risk of criminals accessing their data and protection of privacy topping their list of worries.

So it’s crucial that the rapid shift towards reliance on technology and customer self-service is balanced with human interaction where people want it. Our online small claims service, Minster Claims Online, has been developed to offer a variety of communication tools to suit the customer, including our interactive assistant, MIA, alongside the option for customers to speak to a human being at any point through their claim.

It’s the older 55+ group who most like to deal with a person, while the group happiest to handle things online are those aged 35-54. Our findings demonstrate that it would be incorrect to assume that the younger generation are the most comfortable with technology. In fact those under 35 are just as cautious around technology as the over 55s.

Minster Law CEO Shirley Woolham says the findings highlight the speed with which many people are adapting to, and adopting, technological advances to make life easier and save time.

“It’s not surprising that people aged 35-54 are most likely to prefer to do things online – they’re the most likely to be responsible for managing the household, and they tend to have the most demands on their time,” she said.

“It’s also the case that this age group has ‘grown up’ with the IT revolution and is perhaps most comfortable having technology play a central part in their lives.”

“But we need to think about everyone, not just this particular demographic. Our research underlines that many people still want to deal with humans, so we are some way off replacing them completely.”

“We found that people have real concerns about their privacy and data protection, so it’s crucial that they are reassured that the technology they’re using is safe and secure, as well as easy and quick to use.”

However, our research taps into wider themes such as artificial companionship. As our society ages rapidly, loneliness is a growing social problem that has led to the appointment of a minister for loneliness. Our research shows that over 25% of us would be happy to have a robot as a companion, and over a third would consider using robots to look after their social care in old age.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Half of insurance claimants (50%) are happy to have their claims dealt with completely online, while 45% want to deal with human beings
  • 43% would consider having their home managed by artificial intelligence, e.g. controlling the heating, ordering groceries, and carrying out other domestic chores
  • Nearly four in ten (39%) would consider buying a driverless car if technology lowered the risk of accidents
  • More than a third (36%) would allow robots to fight wars on behalf of human beings
  • 34% would consider accepting social care support from robots/artificial intelligence in old age
  • A quarter (25%) would consider augmenting themselves with technology to improve their natural abilities, senses or appearance

For more information, please contact our press office.