UK Judges Given Green Light to Use AI to Write Rulings

(VitalNews.org) – The Digital Age marches on as artificial intelligence (AI) systems continue to permeate our modern society. The latest development comes from the United Kingdom, where judges are now permitted to use AI chatbots to assist the court with writing legal rulings, ignoring warnings from those concerned that AI could invent fictional cases.

The UK Judicial Office issued a set of guidelines to thousands of judges throughout England and Wales informing them that ChatGPT or other AI chatbots may be used in some court processes, specifically to summarize lengthy amounts of text. Despite the approval, the Judicial Office also said that even if the chatbot could be used for such operations, the technology would be a “poor way of conducting research” and could possibly invent legal texts or made-up cases.

Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls, commented on the decision, claiming that AI could offer “significant opportunities” to develop “a better, quicker and more cost-effective digital justice system.” Vos said that as technology will only continue to “move forwards,” the judicial system “has to under what is going on” and that “like everybody else,” judges must “be acutely aware” of the inaccurate responses AI could potentially produce “as well as the accurate ones.”

A UK judge admitted in September that he’s used ChatGPT to write a ruling for the Court of Appeals and called the technology “jolly useful.” The judge, Lord Justice Birss, told the Telegraph that what interests him most about “these large language models” is being able to ask the AI “to summarize information.” He said AI “is useful,” that courts will continue to use it, and clarified he’s used it himself.

The systems remain heavily debated due to accuracy concerns. Two lawyers in New York were hit with $5,000 in fines earlier this year after using face citations invented whole cloth by ChatGPT.

Aside from the judicial system, AI is beginning to appear in all areas of modern society, such as in the education system, where its use by schools and teachers is also heavily debated as they try to adapt to the new technology and incorporate it into lessons and assignments.

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