Client Alert: Exercising Caution with AI and Legal Advice

What is the current AI landscape?

Across every industry, people are learning about evolving applications of artificial intelligence (AI) for enhancing workplace efficiency and communications, educating companies and their clients, and producing new assets and ideas.Daquelente, Amanda

Generative AI is a form of AI that relies on natural language processing, massive training datasets, and technologies like neural networks and deep learning to generate original content. Though the introduction of generative AI is recent, tools with these capabilities are being applied for a range of business uses; some of the most common ones being chatbots and search functions, cybersecurity and data security, creative content generation, developer tasks, and voice and audio synthesis.

Legal, ethical, and operational concerns related to AI

As more professionals embrace artificial intelligence, they are turning to AI for answers to their legal questions, there are serious concerns to be aware of related to the legal and ethical implications of using AI to disseminate – and seek out – legal advice.

There are several recent examples of attorneys who have relied on AI-produced research and arguments that contain inaccurate and unfounded sources and information. In one case, a lawyer representing a passenger who sued an airline used ChatGPT to prepare a court filing, and the relevant court decisions that were cited could not be found anywhere as valid case law, which was confirmed by the judge and other airline lawyers who investigated the inaccuracies in the brief.

Additionally, law firms are seeing instances in which their clients have relied upon AI-produced responses to legal questions and, thankfully, thereafter reached out to their trusted advisors to confirm the accuracy of the responses received.  In nearly all cases, the AI-produced responses provided to the clients were incorrect on the legal issue presented due to intricacies in the law.

Other serious legal, ethical, and operational concerns associated with AI use for legal advice include:

  • Potential for cyberattacks
  • Violation of privacy laws based on AI data requirements
  • Risk of user error
  • Poor recommendations and arguments resulting in harmful legal ramifications

Even with the proper investment and resources in place, there is still a high margin of error when clients and attorneys rely on AI for legal advice and to receive accurate, up-to-date information to confirm their decisions.

Why clients should always speak with a trusted (human) legal advisor

While AI platforms are becoming more advanced and integrated into business practices and routine tasks on a daily basis, robots will never replace the value of working with trusted legal advisors to provide counsel and respond to legal inquiries.

While it may be okay to utilize digital platforms periodically when conducting research, it is imperative to always be sure to speak with your trusted law firm or advisor to confirm the accuracy of the research received and especially to help navigate complex legal challenges and make the best decision based on your situation.

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How can Meyer, Unkovic & Scott help you?

Our attorneys are always happy to provide feedback based on your unique needs and challenges and answer any questions you may have about AI and the use of AI for legal information and advice. Visit our website to learn more.

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