The robots are coming
Robot mediators - reality or fiction? Perhaps closer to reality than you might think. AI mediators have been trialled on small-scale financial disputes and reached settlement. But that's not the most interesting part of this Financial Times story - the use of technology to analyse data and key documents and subsequent evaluation of litigation risk is already in use in large cases and there is now the potential to extend this to analysing data to predict how a mediator might act in a particular case.
I can see how this type of data-driven approach could be applied to decision-makers - arbitrators and judges - but mediation is more than one person deciding and imposing a decision. The mediation process is fluid, allowing parties the space and time to think about the effect of the dispute on them and their businesses - to identify what their real interests are. This is - as the last paragraph notes - an "inherently human" process.