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The US Supreme Court recently delved into the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal field, acknowledging its potential while warning against the risk of “dehumanizing the law.”

In the 2023 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. emphasized the significant role of AI in the legal system. Roberts compared the influence of machine learning to past transformative technological advancements, such as personal computers, while projecting the impact of AI on the judiciary system.

Roberts noted AI’s ability to enhance accessibility, especially for individuals unable to afford legal representation. He highlighted its capacity to provide essential information, templates, and guidance without the need to physically visit legal offices.

However, Robert’s cautious stance on AI underscored its potential risks, particularly when misapplied. He raised concerns about decisions in the judicial system that necessitate human judgment and understanding nuance, as AI models could unwittingly foster bias and yield unjust outcomes. In criminal cases, the use of AI to predict elements like flight risk and recidivism posed inherent concerns regarding fairness, reliability, and due process.

Notwithstanding the benefits, Roberts emphasized that AI’s suitability in legal proceedings should be carefully considered, highlighting the evolving nature of AI in litigation. He anticipated a significant impact of AI on judicial work, especially in trial-level settings.

AI’s Impact on the Legal System

Regrettably, the legal community’s understanding of AI seems to lag behind the technology’s enthusiastic application, leading to instances of dubious practices within the system. Recent incidents involved lawyers unintentionally citing fabricated cases generated by AI chatbots. These cases resulted in fines and disbarment due to the reliance on fictitious AI-generated content, shedding light on the potential misuses of advanced AI technologies in legal practices.

Furthermore, AI’s influence extends to aiding legal processes, such as automating contract negotiations and legislation drafting. While AI can expedite traditionally laborious tasks, there’s a pressing need to exercise caution in integrating AI to avoid inadvertently absorbing and propagating biases into legal frameworks.

Overall, while AI presents genuine opportunities for the legal spheres, its integration must be approached with prudence. Overreliance on AI in legal proceedings could risk diminishing the human aspect within an already bureaucratic system.

Artificial Intelligence

Amanda Yeo

Amanda Yeo

Amanda Yeo is Mashable’s Australian reporter, covering entertainment, culture, tech, science, and social good. This includes everything from video games and K-pop to movies and gadgets.


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