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ARTICLE #54 – “IF THE AI DON’T FIT – GET RID OF IT” – THE PROJECTED EFFECTS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON LAW AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION

Martin George & Company > DAILY LEGAL LESSONS  > ARTICLE #54 – “IF THE AI DON’T FIT – GET RID OF IT” – THE PROJECTED EFFECTS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON LAW AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION

ARTICLE #54 – “IF THE AI DON’T FIT – GET RID OF IT” – THE PROJECTED EFFECTS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON LAW AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION

“IF THE AI DON’T FIT – GET RID OF IT” – THE PROJECTED EFFECTS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON LAW AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION

By: Mr. Martin George
Attorney-at-law
Martin Anthony George & Co.
Attorneys-at-law

(Research Assistance provided by
Darrell Bartholomew, Attorney at Law)

MAGCO DAILY LEGAL LESSONS

DISCLAIMER: Please note this does NOT constitute LEGAL ADVICE or LEGAL CONSULTATION, which you should get from your own Attorneys and this is being shared with the general public for the purposes of information and discussion ONLY.

INTRODUCTION

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most hotly discussed topics in modern times. The average user of a computing device such as a laptop or a smartphone has at least heard of or even used applications like ChatGPT, Remini, Lensa and Mem, whether out of curiosity or in response to the need to perform a specific function. There are also Apps like Google Bard and Microsoft Co-Pilot which promise/threaten to make your life easier while slowly taking it over totally.

What is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the simulation of intelligent human thought processes by computer systems (‘Artificial Intelligence’, TechTarget, https://www.techtarget.com/searchenterpriseai/definition/AI-Artificial-Intelligence’). An alternative definition is provided by John McCarthy, who stated that artificial intelligence is “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable” (‘What is artificial intelligence?’, IBM, ‘https://www.ibm.com.topics/artificial-intelligence’).

So, for example, applications like Siri and Alexa, which many of us use on a daily basis, are applications based on artificial intelligence, and they appear to learn the likes, dislikes, habits and routines of their users. They can learn to sense your mood, your feeling, your attitude and  Siri and Alexa are heavily dependent on data which is input by their users and also collected in the background, and this data is then analysed and used to predict future actions, such as automatically playing music at the end of the work day, turning off the lights in the bedroom at night, and setting off an alarm in the morning around the time the user typically wakes up.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the AI application which can probably be said to have created the most buzz for an AI application in recent times, is marketed as an application possessing a vast amount of general knowledge, able to follow complicated instructions and solve complex problems accurately. ChatGPT functions as a natural language processing tool underpinned and supported by AI technology and one of its most popular features is that it enables users to have human-like conversations with the chatbot, which is software that simulates human-like conversations, normally via text or audio. ChatGPT is able to answer questions input by a user and has been known to assists with composing emails, letters, and other documents, and is even able to help students with essays or exams.  

As with many other areas of modern society, artificial intelligence has already begun to impact the area of law and the legal profession. This article is concentrated on the current effects of artificial intelligence on the legal world, and also examines what those effects are projected to be in the future.   

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE APPLICATIONS AND THEIR USE IN THE LEGAL WORLD

When it comes to the modern law firm or sole practitioner, there are several different applications which are currently being applied in the legal world by Attorneys, Paralegals, and other support staff. A user may access ChatGPT in a variety of ways such as by going to their website directly  (https://www.chatgptui.com)  and using the application there, adding the ChatGPT plugin to your favourite web browser, or by downloading the application onto your smartphone or tablet. Though ChatGPT is still in its research phase, it can be and has been used by legal professionals to draft legal documents through a combination of user input, pre-defined templates and machine learning. There is even an application which goes by the name of Law ChatGPT (which appears to be marketed by Legalbot.io and not OpenAI), specifically catering to its use by legal professionals, and allows them to create different types of legal documents such as contracts, letters and research articles.

Never one to be left out, Google has developed several different AI offerings, one of which is Bard, and Bard is based on Google’s PaLM 2 model (Google’s machine-learning platform invented in or around 2017). Bard prides itself on being able to quickly pick up on human language patterns so that it may accurately predict what reasonable human responses would be in relation to what was input. Notably, Bard cautions it’s users that the product is still in its experimental phase, and as such, users are advised to always double-check the responses provided by Bard, as there is a slight risk that some of them may be inaccurate. Users are able to utilise the services offered by Bard by simply going to their website (https://www.bard.google.com) and signing in with their Google account. Bard prides itself on being particularly excellent at performing legal research, as it pulls its answers from the web, resulting in more up-to-date information when compared to another platform like ChatGPT, which is heavily reliant on pulling data from input sources.

In addition to ChatGPT and Bard, there is also an offering in the AI world by computing giant Microsoft, in the form of its Microsoft 365 Copilot. Copilot is integrated into the Microsoft 365 suite of applications (such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlooks, Teams). For example, users of Microsoft Word can be provided with a first draft of a document which they can edit to their liking, Microsoft PowerPoint allows its users to create professional and sophisticated presentations by utilising prompts to input data, and Microsoft Access has built-in features which assist in the analysing of data to identify trends. Microsoft Outlook uses the Copilot technology to be able to clear a user’s inbox faster than they would if they were to go through all of the emails in it one by one, and Microsoft Teams can function in the background of a virtual meeting, to summarise the points which were discussed and also to suggest action items in real time while the meeting is taking place. The average legal professional interacts with one or more of these applications on a daily basis, usually by preparing documents in Microsoft Word, managing their email with the Microsoft Outlook application (especially on their smartphone or tablet), and our very own Judiciary uses the Microsoft Teams platform to host and support its virtual Court operations.

All of ChatGPT, Law ChatGPT, Bard and Copilot have the ability to increase the productivity of legal professional, with one of the potential benefits to this being a decrease in the cost of accessing legal services for the average consumer, as well as a decrease in the time it takes to prepare legal documents and complete matters for clients. It is expected that as with many new technologies, as time goes by more and more users will adopt its use, and so we can expect to discover even more benefits as time goes by.     

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE APPLICATIONS AND THEIR USE IN THE COURTROOM

In what is possibly one of the most curious cases to engage the attention of the Courts, an Attorney recently admitted that he had relied on artificial intelligence to draft a motion (in other words, an application) which he filed in Court in the USA and which cited case law that simply did not exist whatsoever. So simply put, he filed his Motion, citing artificial cases produced by artificial intelligence – how’s that for irony?

After it was disclosed during proceedings earlier this year in the Federal District Court in Manhattan, USA, that the legal brief compiled by Mr. Steven A. Schwartz, Attorney-at-law, was filled with artificial judicial opinions and artificial legal citations all generated by the artificial intelligence of ChatGPT, the Judge, P. Kevin Castel scheduled a hearing to make further inquiries of Mr. Schwartz in relation to the brief he prepared in support of the Motion. During a period of intense questioning by the Judge, Mr. Schwartz fessed up and stated to the Court that he did not comprehend that the artificial intelligence of  ChatGPT could fabricate and create artificial cases. At the end of the hearing, the Judge indicated that he now had to consider whether to impose sanctions on Mr. Schwartz and his partner, Peter DoLuca, whose name also appeared on the brief. This case in particular raised many questions on about the dangers of artificial intelligence, and many observers began to debate and consider whether it was currently possible or may be possible sometime in the future, for artificial intelligence to replace human beings in the courtroom and in the wider legal profession.

Coincidentally, DoNotPay Inc, which puts itself out there as using artificial intelligence to help consumers, markets itself as the world’s first robot lawyer. Part of DoNotPay’s mission is to help consumers to fight large corporations and to solve their daily problems such as beating parking tickets, appealing bank fees and stopping robocallers (phone calls which deliver pre-recorded messages using auto-dialing software). In January 2023, DoNotPay had planned to test the use of AI in the courtroom in the USA to conduct legal proceedings in place of an Attorney. However, these plans were postponed after the creator and CEO of DoNotPay, Joshua Browder, disclosed that he had received threats from prosecutors about the legality of DoNotPay’s proposed actions. Rather interestingly, DoNotPay is actually the subject of an ongoing lawsuit against it in the USA which was filed by Chicago-based law firm Edelson, which alleges that DoNotPay is practicing law without a licence.

In January 2023, three artists filed proceedings in the USA against Stability AI and Midjourney, the creators of AI art generators, as well as against artist portfolio platform DeviantArt, the developers of AI art generator, DreamUp. The claim being asserted by the artists is that these developers and their tools have been infringing on the rights of a large number of artists by essentially directing their tools to cull and gather information from approximately five (5) million images owned by these artists without their consent. Typically, generative art AI  models collect billions of images from the web, and this is normally done without the knowledge or consent of the creators of the images, and this lawsuit is asking the Court to determine whether this practice infringes on the rights of these artists because it is basically creating artificial art from the combined and cumulative work of millions of other actual artists who get no credit or benefit therefrom.

So far it seems like there have been no reported cases involving artificial intelligence in our local jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago. It would appear that in the legal world we are certainly some way off from artificial intelligence being able to totally replace the role of an Attorney in the courtroom, particularly in trials and other adversarial Court hearings which require the experience and skill of Advocates. For example, one would think that a human being could more effectively address a jury for example, as the expectation is that a human being would be able to gauge and respond better to non-verbal cues such as body language and to better “read the Jury”, moreso than a robot and be able to adapt, adjust your delivery or your to play to their emotion and their vibe. Ask yourself, whether someone sitting as a Defendant  in the position of O J Simpson, would prefer a robot with superior computer processing and data gathering and information analytical skills  as their Defence Attorney addressing the Jury, or a Masterclass skilled Human Attorney such as Johnny Cochrane who could play to the Jury’s sympathies, empathies, emotions and anxieties with the most potent, poigniant, pernicious and powerful tag-line in the greatest Jury summation in History, when he said – “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit”.

MAGCO DAILY LEGAL LESSONS

© 2023 MARTIN ANTHONY GEORGE & CO

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