The news that GPT4 scored in the top 10% on the Bar Exam brings significant implications for the legal profession. Released this week by OpenAI as an underpinning upgrade to previously released ChatGPT, its ability to score above 90% of human students suggests that the legal industry will be one of the first to be disrupted by this fast-evolving technology. Here are a few implications to consider:
Automation of Legal Services
The ability of AI models like GPT4 to perform legal tasks at a high level of accuracy could lead to increased automation of legal services. For example, AI models could be used to draft contracts or legal documents, which would save lawyers and paralegals time and increase efficiency. In addition, AI-based chatbots could be used to provide basic legal advice to clients, helping to reduce the need for face-to-face meetings and potentially making legal advice more accessible.
Improved Legal Research
GPT4's ability to analyze large amounts of legal text and extract relevant information could greatly improve legal research. For example, AI models could be used to analyze case law and identify relevant precedents, which would help lawyers build stronger legal arguments. In addition, AI models could be used to analyze legislative history and identify the intent behind specific laws, which can help lawyers better understand the legal landscape. It could also analyze individual judges' decisions to assist lawyers in building case strategy that is most likely to succeed with them.
Increased Access to Legal Services
The use of AI models like GPT could make legal services more accessible to individuals who cannot afford traditional legal services. For example, AI-based chatbots could be used to provide legal advice to individuals who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. In addition, AI models could be used to automate certain legal tasks, which would reduce the cost of legal services and make them more affordable.
Concerns about Job Displacement
The increased automation of legal services could lead to job displacement for lawyers and other legal professionals. This is already causing concerns about job security and the need for retraining and upskilling. However, it is worth noting that AI is unlikely to completely replace lawyers, as there are many tasks that require human judgment and expertise. Instead, AI is likely to augment the work of lawyers and other legal professionals, making their jobs more efficient.
The use of AI in the legal profession raises ethical concerns related to issues such as access to justice, transparency, and accountability. For example, there are concerns about the use of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants in legal services, which may exacerbate existing inequalities in access to legal advice and representation for vulnerable or marginalized communities. It will be important for the legal profession to address these concerns and ensure that the use of AI in legal services is inclusive, transparent, and accountable. This can be done by developing ethical guidelines and standards for the use of AI that prioritize equitable access to legal services and by implementing transparency and accountability measures to ensure that AI is used in a fair and unbiased manner.
Bottom line, GPT4 scoring in the top 10% on the Bar Exam should set off warning alarms that this professional field is an early target for job role disruption. This should draw immediate attention to the need to quickly establish responsible use parameters. While there are many potential benefits to the use of AI in legal services, we must address the ethical and social implications of this technological evolution.