More than a decade ago, lawyers were singled out as an endangered occupational species, their livelihoods at risk from advances in artificial intelligence.
But the doomsayers got ahead of themselves. While clever software has taken over some of the toil of legal work — searching, reviewing and mining mountains of legal documents for nuggets of useful information — employment in the legal profession has grown faster than the American work force as a whole.
Today, a new A.I. threat looms, and lawyers may feel a bit of déjà vu. There are warnings that ChatGPT-style software, with its humanlike language fluency, could take over much of legal work. The new A.I. has its flaws, notably its proclivity to make things up, including fake legal citations. But proponents insist those are teething defects in a nascent technology — and fixable.
Will the pessimists finally be right?
From The New York Times
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