At the heart of Grace Gichanga’s love for the law lies her devotion for social justice and equality which gave rise to Pro Se Legal, a chatbot that will dispense practical legal advice to ordinary South Africans via social media platforms.
Founded on the principle of inclusivity, Pro Se Legal - set to go live in February - was created using an artificial intelligence machine that decodes and processes language even when sentences are not written out in full.
The app was recognised at the SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Awards and Disability Empowerment Awards ceremony last week and awarded a R200000 seed grant that will go towards developing the technology.
The idea of the chatbot came after Gichanga, a practising attorney, heard her colleagues complain about the lack of available information on common legal matters such as death, divorces, vat ’* sit, child maintenance or how to go about getting a protection order.
She realised that many people needed the information at their fingertips and that is how the idea came about.