Empowering Equity: AI’s Role in Elder and Disability Law

By, Helen Tariku, Elder & Disability Law Clinic Student, Spring 2024

As technology continues to develop and evolve, one of the largest and fastest-growing advancements is artificial intelligence (AI).[1] While AI’s use has had a multitude of successes within our society from broadening the automobiles and transportation industry[2] to reinforcing and enhancing cybersecurity measures[3] one field that has been overshadowed, which could significantly benefit from the implementation of AI, is the realm of elder and disability law. While elder and disability law encompasses a vast number of topics and focuses, including guardianship and conservatorship, Medicaid and Medicare, estate planning, wills and trusts, and more, the intersection of this transformative technology and this domain presents promising opportunities and critical considerations for legal practitioners, policymakers, and advocates.

Future Benefits of AI in the Elder and Disability Law Space

While not exclusive to the realm of elder and disability law, the innovation of systems such as ChatGPT, humanoid robots[4], and the metaverse, AI has been used to increase accessibility for individuals with disability and elders through programs such as advanced speech recognition systems to real-time captioning to improving communication access for those with hearing impairments. Especially for individuals living alone or with scheduled caretakers, AI has advanced smart home devices to assist with daily tasks, monitor safety, and facilitate independent living. Additionally, the use of AI can be implemented to set reminders for medication management and fall detection motion sensors. These developments have been instrumental in fostering equity and autonomy for impacted individuals.

Furthermore, in expanding the ability to access legal assistance, the use of AI shows promise as navigating the elder and disability system may become more cost-effective as AI may streamline the process and reduce manual labor.[5] Moreover, virtual assistants and chatbots can provide individuals with disability and the elderly with personalized legal guidance and support. Not only may AI be used to assist in accessing legal assistance, but may also be beneficial in guiding individuals in understanding systems such as Medicare and Medicaid.[6] AI tools have demonstrated the potential to be used for eligibility screenings as well as simplifying the complexities of the system so that individuals may maximize their access to benefits and services by identifying available programs, aiding in the application process, and calculating financial eligibility. 

In terms of guardianship and conservatorship, AI may be used to assess, monitor, and report an individual’s medical decision-making capacity.[7] “AI tools can be used as screeners to minimize [the] risk of biases including against those of traditionally marginalized groups or people with different values than the assessing physician.”[8] This may provide a more objective analysis of an individual’s cognitive abilities and their functional limitations. Moreover, it may be used to monitor the improvements of individuals if they progress and signal for arrangements to accommodate these changes. Moreover, with AI having the ability to continuously monitor an individual’s capacity and their associated guardianship and conservatorship, AI has the capability of alerting for signs of abuse, exploitation, and neglect.

In summary, the use of AI and AI tools can contribute greatly to the field of elder and disability law. While this does not encompass the full realm of possibilities that AI may be able to accomplish, it demonstrates a promising future for making the systems involved more inclusive, accessible, and manageable. With these great advancements, however, it is important to note the possible legal and ethical implications that may arise through this integration. Nevertheless, proactively addressing any concerns and challenges as they come can continue to enable the progression of success within the elder and disability law field.

[1] IBM – Artificial Intelligence, IBM, (last visited Feb. 24, 2024) (“Artificial intelligence (AI) is technology that enables computers and digital devices to learn, read, write, talk, see, create, play, analyze, make recommendations, and do other things humans do.”).

[2] Wendy Gonzalez, Three Ways AI Is Impacting The Automobile Industry, Forbes (Apr. 19, 2022, 07:15 AM),

[3] CISA – Artificial Intelligence,” CISA, (last visited Feb. 24, 2024).

[4] Daria Merkusheva, Top 10 Examples of Humanoid Robots, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Mar. 25, 2020),

[5] Which should be noted poses some future ethical concerns.

[6] See Elizabeth Fowler, Lessons Learned from the CMS Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (May 13, 2021),

[7] Michael R. MacIntyre, et al., Ethical Considerations for the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Decision-Making Capacity Assessments, 323 Psychiatry Res.1 (2023).

[8] Id. at 2.