February 29, 2024

The 2023 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary by the US Supreme Court discusses the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal system. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. acknowledged the benefits of AI in providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford a lawyer, but also cautioned about the risks of inappropriately applying AI, particularly in decision-making processes that require human assessment, discretion, and understanding of nuance. The report highlighted concerns about AI-generated bias in the judicial system, especially in criminal cases involving predictions and assessments of flight risk and recidivism. Roberts emphasized that AI has the potential to significantly affect judicial work, particularly at the trial level, and urged courts to consider proper uses of AI as the technology evolves.

The report also highlighted instances where legal professionals have faced consequences for overly relying on AI, such as citing non-existent cases generated by AI chatbots. It cautioned against undue reliance on AI in law, pointing out the dangers of absorbing its biases. While there may be carefully considered use cases for AI in the legal system, the report stressed the need for caution. It also mentioned the use of AI by lawmakers to write legislation, indicating that AI is already impacting the US legal system.

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