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Key Concerns In The Adoption Of AI In The Legal Profession

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on June 12, 2023

OpenAI introduced GPT-4, an advanced AI model, on March 14, 2023. GPT-4 was trained using ChatGPT and incorporated the knowledge gained from OpenAI's "adversarial training program." This new model is multimodal, meaning it can process both textual and image inputs. It has demonstrated remarkable performance on various professional and academic benchmarks, achieving a level of performance comparable to that of humans.

However, a New York attorney faces a legal predicament as a result of relying on the AI tool ChatGPT for case research. This has led to the inclusion of references to non-existent legal cases in a recent court filing. The court has described this situation as unprecedented. The lawyer in question has claimed that he was unaware of the AI tool's potential to generate misleading information. ChatGPT, known for its ability to produce text that resembles natural human language, comes with a disclaimer acknowledging the possibility of inaccuracies.

In the original case, a plaintiff filed a lawsuit against an airline, alleging personal injury. In support of their claim, the plaintiff's legal team submitted a brief that cited several previous court cases, seeking to establish a legal precedent for their case. However, the airline's legal representatives subsequently informed the judge that they were unable to locate some of the referenced cases.

Concerns Regarding AI

The first concern pertains to potential violations of privacy laws. Certain countries have strict data protection regulations that impose limitations on AI and automated decision-making processes involving personal information. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) advises organizations using computerized data processing, including AI, to take specific measures to ensure fair processing of information. AI providers may encounter challenges in defining the purpose of processing data during AI development, as algorithms can learn and utilize data for unforeseen purposes, raising concerns about data usage.

The second concern revolves around ethical considerations in AI implementation. It is crucial to ensure the safe and ethical management of AI systems. The algorithms underlying AI technology should be transparent and understandable, enabling human comprehension. Moreover, AI systems need to align with human values to function effectively in society and the specific professional contexts they are designed for. An illustrative example is Amazon's use of an AI tool in its hiring process, which demonstrated discriminatory behavior against women, leading to its discontinuation.

The third concern relates to the utilization of AI in the realm of Intellectual Property (IP). Works created by AI do not currently receive protection under existing copyright laws. Similarly, when AI generates new inventions, the question arises regarding the ownership of intellectual property rights. Should the user of the AI system be the owner of the rights, or should they be attributed to the inventor of the AI system?

Alternatively, should the AI system itself be granted the rights? This poses a significant legal and philosophical challenge that requires careful consideration and potentially necessitates the development of new frameworks and regulations. These concerns highlight the need to address privacy law compliance, ethical implications, and the complex issues surrounding Intellectual Property in the context of AI. It is crucial for organizations and policymakers to navigate these challenges responsibly and proactively, ensuring that AI technologies are developed and deployed in a manner that respects privacy, adheres to ethical principles, and effectively addresses IP ownership dilemmas.

Challenges ChatGPT Poses For Lawyers

  • Accuracy

Firstly, it is important to note that technologies like ChatGPT are still under development. Despite its remarkably accurate responses, it is crucial to recognize that ChatGPT is not a human lawyer. Its reliability is not absolute, and there have been instances where users have reported receiving incorrect information from the AI chatbot during its training phase.

For instance, there was a case where an attorney relied on ChatGPT for legal research and subsequently submitted the generated content to the court, only to discover that the cited legal cases did not actually exist. This serves as an illustrative example of how ChatGPT can generate false information, highlighting the significance of thoroughly verifying any generative text produced by ChatGPT or similar AI tools. It is advisable to exercise caution and perform double or even triple checks when utilizing generative AI tools to ensure accuracy and reliability.

  • Privacy

Lawyers face a significant challenge in balancing ethical obligations, which always take precedence over convenience. When it comes to utilizing AI tools like ChatGPT to argue cases, ethical considerations come into play. Moreover, concerns regarding security, client privacy, and maintaining attorney-client privilege can arise due to the transmission of data between the law firm and ChatGPT.

As ChatGPT stores personal and conversational data, it is essential for lawyers to thoroughly acquaint themselves with ChatGPT's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use before utilizing the service. These measures are necessary to ensure compliance with ethical standards and protect clients' interests.

Conclusion: Is AI Ready To Practice Law?

AI technology is making significant contributions to the pursuit of justice, offering numerous advantages in the field of law. Its ability to swiftly handle repetitive tasks, learn from data, make unbiased decisions, and produce high-quality work has proven beneficial for lawyers. AI can predict case outcomes, utilize past outcomes to inform new ones, identify patterns, apply logic, and creatively solve problems. It can advise legal professionals, including attorneys and judges, as well as provide guidance to clients on legal matters.

The continuous development of AI technologies holds great potential for transforming and enhancing the legal field. One of the primary advantages of AI is its ability to save time. Computers can efficiently analyze vast amounts of data, surpassing human capabilities and significantly reducing the time required to find answers and identify errors. The time saved translates into cost savings, as fewer billable hours from legal professionals are needed. These savings can quickly offset the investment in implementing new technology.

While AI offers immense opportunities, it also presents potential challenges to the legal profession. Law firms that embrace AI early on can position themselves as leaders in the field, while others may struggle to keep up with the rapid advancements. Initially, only larger law firms and corporations may have the financial means to leverage AI technology. However, it is undeniable that AI is gradually infiltrating the legal profession, and lawyers must embrace these new technologies to remain competitive.

In summary, AI is becoming increasingly prominent in the legal profession, offering both opportunities and challenges. It is essential for lawyers to adopt and adapt to these technologies to stay abreast of the competition, as AI continues to reshape the legal landscape.


How can ChatGPT assist in legal research and case analysis?

ChatGPT can provide relevant information, and references to legal cases, statutes, and legal principles, thereby aiding in legal research. It can help lawyers analyze and summarize cases, extracting key details and relevant legal arguments. However, it is advised to double-check before completely relying on the information provided by the AI.

Can ChatGPT be used to draft legal documents?

Yes, ChatGPT can be utilized to create initial drafts of legal documents, saving time in the drafting process. However, it is important to exercise caution and conduct thorough fact-checking, reviewing, and editing before relying on the generated drafts.

What are the ethical considerations when using ChatGPT in a law firm?

When utilizing ChatGPT or any AI tool in a law firm, it is crucial to consider ethical implications. These considerations include ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the generated content, protecting client confidentiality and privacy, and maintaining attorney-client privilege. Lawyers must also familiarize themselves with the AI tool's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to ensure compliance with ethical obligations and safeguard their clients' interests. Additionally, it is essential to exercise human judgment and review and edit the work product before relying on it completely.

King Stubb & Kasiva,
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