Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Have the Robot Lawyers Arrived?

Ready or not, here come the robot lawyers.

In February, a pro se client will use an AI-powered “robot lawyer” earpiece to receive advice on contesting a traffic ticket in court, according to news reports. The technology comes from DoNotPay, a company that provides AI-powered assistance to clients with legal issues, primarily traffic and parking citations. The court and case specifics were not disclosed.

“Joshua Browder, CEO of DoNotPay, said the company’s AI-creation runs on a smartphone, listens to court arguments and formulates responses for the defendant,” according to CBS News. “The AI lawyer tells the defendant what to say in real-time, through headphones. The firm has already used AI-generated form letters and chatbots to help people secure refunds for in-flight Wifi that didn’t work, as well as to lower bills and dispute parking tickets, among other issues, according to Browder.”

DoNotPay says it has helped more than 2 million customer win service disputes and court cases.

Significantly, the courtroom AI technology is neither legal nor permitted in most states, something Browder readily acknowledges. He doesn’t expect to commercialize courtroom AI anytime soon, according to CBS News.

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ChatGPT Debuts With a Bang

On a related robot front, the tech company OpenAI has launched ChatGPT, an interactive chatbot that provides assistance on everything from “Write a sonnet like Shakespeare” to “Craft a closing argument for my upcoming trial.” Within a week, the company said it had signed up more than 1 million customers.

“ChatGPT has exploded in popularity recently for its ability to spit out coherent essays on wide-ranging topics in under one minute,” writes tech expert Ken Crutchfield for Above the Law. “The technology has drawn interest from investors, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that parent company OpenAI could soon attract investments valuing it at $29 billion.”

Takeaways from the Above the Law piece:

  • Crutchfield says ChatGPT is “scary good and operates at massive scale across many industries and applications. It learns. It admits mistakes. It writes extremely well in English.”
  • ChatGPT provides training and education on risk management issues.
  • It is not connected to the internet, and its answers do not infringe on intellectual property.
  • “ChatGPT has been trained with all types of legal documents including SEC filings, contracts, and other legal information and commentary available publicly. These qualities suggest it could be a highly useful tool for lawyers to have in their arsenal for input into legal issues.”

Read “Are the Robots Finally Here?” in Above the Law.

AI-powered "robot" lawyer will be first of its kind to represent defendant in court - CBS News

ChatGPT - Are The Robots Finally Here? - Above The Law's Legal Tech Non-Event

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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