A lot of people are fed up with the whole AI subject. Some even feel like if they never hear of this subject again, it’ll be soon enough.
But whatever our personal feelings, there’s no denying that these technologies are spreading like wild fire to a multitude of fields of activity.
And once it enters the realm of regulators, law enforcement and the judiciary – which it is in the process of doing – the implications for our civil liberties are impossible to dismiss.
Consider this: England’s 1,000-year-old legal system — wigs, robes and all — is giving judges permission to ‘use artificial intelligence to help produce rulings’.
Yes, you read that right.
Associated Press reported:
“The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary last month said AI could help write opinions but stressed it shouldn’t be used for research or legal analyses because the technology can fabricate information and provide misleading, inaccurate and biased information.
‘Judges do not need to shun the careful use of AI’, said Master of the Rolls Geoffrey Vos, the second-highest ranking judge in England and Wales. ‘But they must ensure that they protect confidence and take full personal responsibility for everything they produce’.”
A profession slow to embrace technological change reacts to a rapidly advancing technology alternately portrayed as a panacea and a menace – or both.
“’There’s a vigorous public debate right now about whether and how to regulate artificial intelligence’, said Ryan Abbott, a law professor at the University of Surrey and author of ‘The Reasonable Robot: Artificial Intelligence and the Law’.
‘AI and the judiciary is something people are uniquely concerned about, and it’s somewhere where we are particularly cautious about keeping humans in the loop’, he said. ‘So I do think AI may be slower disrupting judicial activity than it is in other areas and we’ll proceed more cautiously there’.”
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts did addresse artificial intelligence usage in his annual report, but the federal court system in America has no guidance on AI.
US State and county courts, furthermore, are too fragmented for a universal approach.
Cary Coglianese, law professor at the University of Pennsylvania: “’It is certainly one of the first, if not the first, published set of AI-related guidelines in the English language that applies broadly and is directed to judges and their staffs’, Coglianese said of the guidance for England and Wales. ‘I suspect that many, many judges have internally cautioned their staffs about how existing policies of confidentiality and use of the internet apply to the public-facing portals that offer ChatGPT and other such services’.”
The danger of the technology have already manifested itself in the infamous incident where two New York lawyers relied on ChatGPT to write a legal brief that quoted fictional cases. The two were fined by an angry judge who called the work they had signed off on ‘legal gibberish’.