Friday, 09 June 2023 09:18

This Week in Tech with Jeanne Destro-6-9-23: Disorder In The Court: Legal Controversy Over AI

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A federal judge in New York is considering sanctions against an attorney who used the ChatGPT artificial intelligence tool to draft a legal brief that was presented as evidence, but contained case citations that were completely untrue; fabricated by the AI.

In a court hearing yesterday, the New York Times reports, Judge P. Kevin Castel, grilled attorney Steven A. Schwartz, about why he used results produced by the chatbot without first personally checking that they were accurate.

According to the Times, Schwartz told the judge he "did not comprehend that ChatGPT could fabricate cases". This, after extensive reporting from multiple sources over the past few months that artificiall intelligence tools can indeed do just that, and even the head of the company that produced ChatGPT is calling for federal or even global regulations to protect the public from what could be catastropic risks from generative AI to consumer protection, civil rights, the job market, and even democracy. 

Meanwhile, a federal Judge in Texas is requiring that attorneys who appear in his court must formally attest that “no portion" of their filings were drafted by generative artificial intelligence,” or if they were; that they were first checked “by a human being.”

So what does all this mean for the future, especially as some experts are predicting that AI will one day replace many jobs now filled by hard working, highly educated attorneys?

We asked University of Akron Law Professor Emeritus, J. Dean Carro, who specializes in topics including Criminal Law, Appellate Advocacy, Trial Advocacy, and Criminal Procedure.


Prof. J. Dean Carro

Prof. Emeritus, J. Dean Carro, University of Akron

For more on this topic, particularly when it comes to how AI may affect the job market in the future, including for attorneys; listen to our interview with author, organizational Psychologist, and Artificial Intelligence expert, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, who wrote the book, "I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique".

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