Love ChatGPT, Bard, and Other New Tech Tools?
Several years ago, a client asked me how I stayed up to date on new technology. After all, I don’t generally go to tech-related CLEs. My first thought was just that I’m always using the new tools that come out in various applications. When it comes to Case Management Software, for example, I’ve had a chance to play with most of the bigger offerings and have a good idea of the pros and cons of each.
However, I also understand how databases work in theory, so I know what these different offerings should be able to do. And that is a huge help in being able to quickly learn and adapt different options. In college, I was quite proficient at Photoshop, but it wasn’t until taking a photography class and having to work in a dark room that I was able to really understand Photoshop.
So with new AI tools coming out all the time, how do I keep up? Well, about four years ago, I decided I wanted to learn more about AI. Princeton was offering an open source course on AI and another on Machine Learning, so I signed myself up and worked my way through the offerings. It was an excellent review of statistics and probability and many car rides debating and working through how something worked. The end result is that I have a good, though in many spheres very basic, understanding of the underpinnings of how AI works. Shortly after OpenAI was first announced, it started coming up as a topic in some of the news feeds I watch, so of course I signed up for an account to play with it. It was both impressive, but good enough that I could really use it in many applications. I did play with it again six months later and it had clearly improved.
Now, using ChatGPT is the thing. Need to write blogs for your website? Just use ChatGPT (make sure a human edits it though, ChatGPT is prone to making things up, not having current knowledge, and saying things in a way that can be misleading). Need to write an email to that annoying client? Get ChatGPT to do it (again, read over it!! You’ll be amazed at both the accuracy and the errors!). But for first drafts, it’s great.
ChatGPT can now take the bar exam – so many lawyers I know are starting to get nervous, is it going to replace them? Might AI one day, in fact, take over those annoying clients that constantly need attention? We can certainly hope so! I’m all about automation and if AI can answer basic queries, help brainstorm ideas, review discovery, and more, that’s less work on my plate.
I heard a really good explanation from the medical field. AI was more accurate than humans when reviewing images and identifying potential issues, but not great for planning treatments that had to take in a variety of both pathological and human factors. The same is likely to be true in the law as well, with the valuable strategy tasks falling to humans (perhaps with some predictive support from AI and it’s access to a vast amount of information) and the repetitive explanation of how discovery works falling to the machine.
These new tools are a lot of fun and can be built into your office productivity in a wide variety of creative ways. Tech CLEs and other resources are great to learn about their use, though personally I’d suggest setting up a ChatGPT account and asking it to write that email you were avoiding. But even though it can issue spot and answer bar questions correctly, I think lawyers and their experience and strategy are still going to be needed in the future.
But what about the DoNotPay AI lawyer? I’d really want to play with that one in person. I suspect it will answer some questions correctly, I’d wonder about implementing an overarching strategy and adapting on the go (it could in theory do this, much like Chess/Go bots) but would require some very on point programming.
“ChatGPT is very good at holding conversations, but it’s terrible at knowing the law. We’ve had to retrain these AIs to know the law,” Browder said. “AI is a high school student, and we’re sending it to law school.” – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robot-lawyer-wont-argue-court-jail-threats-do-not-pay/
It might be able to make our jobs easier, but it’s not quite going to replace us just yet. Give it a few years to get through college and law school.