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U.S. Supreme Court Warning of Dangers Related to AI in the Legal Profession U.S. Supreme Court Warning of Dangers Related to AI in the Legal Profession
On Sunday, the Supreme Court published the 2023 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary. In the 13-page overview of the past... U.S. Supreme Court Warning of Dangers Related to AI in the Legal Profession

On Sunday, the Supreme Court published the 2023 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary. In the 13-page overview of the past year, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court acknowledged how AI could potentially benefit and harm the legal system.

Within the report, US Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. chose to continue focusing on “a major issue relevant to the whole federal court system,” which it has done yearly since his tenure began. In doing so, the Chief Justice compared AI to past technological advancements that have changed the world such as personal computers.

In the report, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “For those who cannot afford a lawyer, AI can help…It drives new, highly accessible tools that provide answers to basic questions, including where to find templates and court forms, how to fill them out, and where to bring them for presentation to the judge — all without leaving home.

As ODSC reported last year, an AI-powered app hoped to bridge the growing gap between top legal representation and costs. It seems that the Chief Justice is echoing this potential in his report. But, it wasn’t all positive news in terms of AI.

For the court, it has a tradition of being very illusive when it comes to new technology. For example, cell phones recording devices, and cameras are banned in court and are rarely allowed during hearings. For Roberts, his concerns involve the use of prediction, bias, and other issues related to machine learning and its possible effects on due process rights.

In criminal cases, the use of AI in assessing flight risk, recidivism, and other largely discretionary decisions that involve predictions has generated concerns about due process, reliability, and potential bias.”

Continuing, “At least at present, studies show a persistent public perception of a ‘human-AI fairness gap,’ reflecting the view that human adjudications, for all of their flaws, are fairer than whatever the machine spits out.

Roberts did state other benefits of AI. When used correctly and proper controls against harmful bias are executed, AI could help resolve cases in a “just, speedy, and inexpensive“. A breakthrough such as this could go a long way toward allowing everyday petitioners to exercise their rights. He also wrote, “I predict that human judges will be around for a while,”.

Toward the report’s closing Roberts concluded, “But with equal confidence, I predict that judicial work — particularly at the trial level — will be significantly affected by AI. Those changes will involve not only how judges go about doing their job, but also how they understand the role that AI plays in the cases that come before them.

ODSC Team

ODSC Team

ODSC gathers the attendees, presenters, and companies that are shaping the present and future of data science and AI. ODSC hosts one of the largest gatherings of professional data scientists with major conferences in USA, Europe, and Asia.

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