The case concerned a flier who was injured on an airline and wanted to sue. The airline, the defendant, wanted to dismiss the lawsuit. The prosecution challenged the airline’s request. That challenge came in the form of a written report to the judge that cited and quoted multiple similar, relevant cases that were much like the case in question.
The only problem was that the cited and quoted cases were simply not real. ChatGPT made them up.
How Did This Happen?
What happened was that a lawyer for the prosecution decided to take a shortcut here.
Instead of buckling down and finding cases for himself, the lawyer pretty much told ChatGPT to fetch some for him.
The problem with this is that ChatGPT, at bottom, does not know the difference between “real” and “unreal.” This is why so much has been written about “A.I. hallucination”, which the New York Times has also covered.
So, if you ask it to cite cases to make a legal argument, it may very well just generate fictional cases that could be used to support the argument. These cases’ unreality is not something that the chatbot can truly understand – which can lead to a disaster for the lawyer in question.
Unfortunately, the lawyer did not understand this. He even asked ChatGPT whether the cases were real, and to cite them. ChatGPT simply generated fictional citations to support the fictional quotations.
So this brings us to the catch-22 of using A.I. to monitor A.I. At the end of the day, no matter how great the A.I. becomes, you are always going to want a human fact-checker and editor to ensure that misinformation is not being produced (especially if it’s pertaining to a serious legal matter).
The reason for this is not that A.I. is malicious, but because it simply does not know any better. All it really knows is what words are related to each other, and in what combinations words ought to go in. Deeper questions such as “what is real” cannot even be understood by the A.I., at least not to the extent that humans can grasp the concept.
Fact-Checking Generative A.I. Is Essential in A.I. Collaboration
ChatGPT is also very hit or miss when it comes to citing sources. It is especially problematic in this area because it will only offer text without any hyperlinks that can lead you to the cited sources.
As a result, you are going to need a human who can look up the cited information.
In the lawyer’s case, unfortunately the fact checkers were the defendants in the case, who were able to point out to the judge that the prosecution was using bogus information.
Here’s How Your Business Can Effectively Use ChatGPT
Some may reject the notion that the lawyer should have used A.I. at all, but this is going to be an unrealistic request as A.I. only becomes more sophisticated.
Fact-checking is just the beginning, because you are going to need a dedicated “chatbot editor” who will not only corroborate any claims made in the copy, but rewrite and revise the copy so that it is SEO-ready, readable, and engaging.
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With ChatGPT, artificial intelligence finally had its “iPhone moment”.
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