Over the past few years, AI has successfully taken off in the business industry. The legal sector has been one of the industries that have interacted with AI and continue to do so. And while people have reservations about the role of AI in the legal industry, those are fading quickly.
San Francisco-based OpenAI has made its latest creation, the ChatGPT chatbot, available for free public testing in November 2022. Based on user prompts, it offers human-sounding retorts that appear far less artificial and more intelligent than previous forays into artificial intelligence.
The bot has quickly made headlines on social media. It has a wicked sense of humor! Offer a holiday menu! Describe the relevance of the green light in "The Great Gatsby" in a five-paragraph essay!
And, as it turns out, imitate the work of lawyers, with variable success.
When heard about ChatGPT, most people were quick to try it out-- and were blown away by its prompt human-sounding responses, some were scratching their heads. Is this real? Most users report being tremendously impressed, some even expecting a fundamental change in the world as we know it.
Although it is still too early to assess all possible consequences of ChatGPT, including from a legal point of view, some matters immediately raise specific questions. will it make lawyers obsolete? Are there potential legal issues while using ChatGPT? Is this a potential danger to democracy! ChatGPT is still a hot topic and it doesn't look like it's slowing down anytime soon. So how about we discuss how this AI solution affects the law industry?
What exactly is ChatGPT?
Now, to measure the legal implications that ChatGPT entails, we need to understand what ChatGPT exactly is and how it works. And who should be the best source to answer this question if not ChatGPT itself! So of course, we asked ChatGPT to summarize what it's all about. This is ChatGPT's reply-
A large language model, ChatGPT is developed by OpenAI. It is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) model, which is trained on a massive dataset of text data and is able to generate human-like text to various prompts. The model is pre-trained on a large corpus of text data and can be fine-tuned for specific tasks, such as language translation, question answering, and text completion. ChatGPT processes the input and generates text that is similar to text written by a human. The response is generated in real-time, and ChatGPT continues to update its response as the conversation progresses. It can be used for tasks such as chatbot conversations, text completion, and language translation.
Many of you have probably already tried ChatGPT by now and know how impressive this technology is. Even for complex questions, ChatGPT finds answers that can come from someone with expert knowledge. But of course, with surprise comes curiosity…
Does ChatGPT copy texts from the Internet?
The AI itself explicitly denies that.
ChatGPT does not "copy" text from the internet, but rather it generates new text based on the patterns and relationships it has learned from the training data. The generated text may contain phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs similar to the ones that the model has seen during the training phase, but it is not an exact copy.
It's important to note that ChatGPT is not designed to plagiarize. It does not simply copy and paste content from websites.
Are there any protentional legal issues while using ChatGPT?
It's important to keep in mind that ChatGPT is a machine learning model and it may generate content that could potentially be in violation of laws, regulations, or ethical standards. The risks include risks to intellectual property, risks to reliability, and risks about legal and ethical issues in artificial intelligence. It's essential to review the content generated by ChatGPT carefully and consult with legal experts, if necessary, to ensure that it is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
The last highlighted sentence underlines that the creators of OpenAI are well aware that there are still many legal issues that can arise with ChatGPT - and they are turning to legal experts for this.
Well, here are several potential legal risks that may arise when using ChatGPT, including:
- Copyright infringement: ChatGPT is trained on a large corpus of text data, and it is possible that the content it generates may be similar to existing copyrighted material.
- Privacy: ChatGPT may be used to generate content that includes personal information, which could be a violation of data protection laws.
- Misrepresentation: ChatGPT may generate content that misrepresents a product or service, which could lead to legal issues.
ChatGPT in Legal Industry.
So, are we now completely replacing lawyers with ChatGPT? Not at all. The bot is "not ready for prime time." But also, it doesn't seem that far off.
The legal industry has already started testing ChatGPT to understand how it can solve legal problems.
ChatGPT essentially creates its responses by combining pieces of text based on text samples from the Internet. While this can significantly reduce the time spent on legal research and precedent collection, it does not provide critical thinking and detailed application of legal principles, and it is inclined to provide incorrect answers.
For example, ChatGPT can be used to create legal documents such as contracts, agreements, and briefs. However, they should still be reviewed and edited by a legal professional to ensure they are accurate, legally binding, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
In summary, ChatGPT can be used to assist legal professionals with certain tasks, but it is not a substitute for human experience and judgment in legal matters.
So, while the effort is pretty solid ... it's safe to say that the bot isn't likely to put advocates out of work, now or ever.
It is worth noting that, although the technology is promising, it has yet to be developed and applied according to ethical and legal standards. Also, it is still in the early stages of development and may take some time to fully integrate into the legal industry.
Is ChatGPT GDPR compliant?
Well, when it comes to personal data protection, the query pops up is it GDPR compliant? Responding to our GDPR compliance inquiry ChatGPT reverts with-
ChatGPT is a machine learning model and it does not have the capability to be compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or any other regulation. However, the use of ChatGPT must be compliant with GDPR and other relevant regulations.
We know that GDPR regulates the handling and processing of personal data, and organizations using ChatGPT must ensure that they are complying with the regulation when handling personal data. This includes obtaining appropriate consent for the collection and use of personal data, providing transparency about how personal data is being used, and implementing appropriate security measures to protect personal data.
Also, ChatGPT can be shaped to generate content that is personal data, it's important to ensure that this data is properly anonymized or that the appropriate consent is obtained before using it.
In summary, ChatGPT itself is not GDPR compliant, but organizations that use ChatGPT must ensure that they are using it in a compliant manner and be responsible for any data processing activities involving personal data.
Potential legal opportunities while using ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is useful for both lawyers and the common man. For lawyers, ChatGPT provides automation, easy access to research, and accurate predictions for different cases. More importantly, AI saves law firm time and resources and enables legal teams to provide better services to their clients.
Of course, despite the setbacks, there are several opportunities that can arise when using ChatGPT, such as:
- Improved efficiency and cost savings
- Increased productivity
- Better customer service
- Predictive analytics
It's also important to note that these opportunities can only be fully realized with proper implementation and integration, and let’s not forget about the potential risks! (Mentioned above) it's always best to consult with legal experts to make sure you are complying with all the laws and regulations.
Technology like ChatGPT turns out to be a great example of how quickly AI can reach the world. These technological advancements act as partners, enabling professionals to perform more efficiently, effectively, and precisely. But there are still a lot of legal hurdles and problems that can possibly impede widespread use. In order to make certain that individuals and companies use technology in an ethical, legal, and responsible manner, it becomes crucial to address these legal risks. As ChatGPT advances further, we will continue to see its spread and use in the legal profession.