Extract from James Cooper and Kashyap Kompella’s article “The Artificial Intelligence Imperative for Lawyers”
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a game changer for the legal profession. But, it is also true that there is no shortage of nightmare scenarios concerning the use of AI in legal profession.
The mass media has reported on these digitized miscarriages of justice on a regular basis: Algorithmic bias is infecting sentencing tools used by judges. Built-in discrimination based on historic practices plague predicting policing models now in use in major urban centers. There have been instances of law students using large language models to write their essays and examinations. Similarly, some lawyers have been sanctioned for utilizing ChatGPT to draft legal briefs that were submitted to courts.
The advent of AI tools—and their exponential growth—has forced the practising Bar, the judiciary, legal educators, and our profession’s regulators alike to address new questions. But are we ready to answer them when we do not know what we do not know? And even when we get schooled, the AI systems are deployed faster than we can ever regulate them.
It is no secret that we have to understand the new disputes that are arising in our legal systems as a result of Artificial Intelligence. As an example, issues of whether the works made through machine learning can enjoy the benefits of copyright law are winding their way through our courts, and being addressed differently in different parts of the world. In the United States, non-human entities are not recognized as authors and cannot hold copyrights for their works, whereas India allows AI systems to be co-authors. Until our legislators get control of these issues, we will have to rely on the patchwork of court decisions and regulator decision-making.