Over time, through a convergence of philosophical reasoning, mathematical reasoning and creativity, there emerged the idea that we could and would create a machine that would surpass human intelligence. This idea became popularised through science fiction, and then in the 1950’s this very real possibility became a stand-alone science that has experienced steady growth and, more notably, exponential progress in recent years.
Up until OpenAI made ChatGPT available to the public in November 2022, AI has remained largely a wistful thought experiment for those of us not involved in the industry.
In the past six months, ChatGPT has experienced an unprecedented surge in mainstream adoption, propelling it to become the fastest-growing application in history. Remarkably, it achieved a staggering milestone of 100 million active users within a mere two months. OpenAI, the visionary organization behind the development of ChatGPT, enjoys substantial corporate backing. Elon Musk, an early board member, played a pivotal role in its inception. The venture also received substantial financial support from renowned entities such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Infosys, who were part of a group that pledged over $1 billion to kickstart the initiative. Additionally, Microsoft has been a key contributor, investing $1 billion in 2019 and furthering its commitment with an additional $10 billion in 2023.
“Microsoft and OpenAI have partnered closely since 2019 to accelerate breakthroughs in AI, forming our partnership around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform…We’ve also increased our investments in the development and deployment of specialized supercomputing systems to accelerate OpenAI’s ground breaking independent AI research and have continued to build out Azure’s leading AI infrastructure to help customers build and deploy their AI applications on a global scale.”
How does ChatGPT work?
Eager to unravel the inner workings of ChatGPT? Look no further for answers than ChatGPT itself!
The evolution of AI thus far can be likened to the maturation process of a human child’s brain. Just as parents invest around 18 years nurturing their children until they possess the capabilities of an adult and can function autonomously, AI has undergone decades of refinement and development and now find ourselves at a significant juncture, having seemingly reached a crucial milestone in AI’s advancement.
Undeniably, the AI genie has been unleashed from its proverbial bottle, and there is no turning back. Despite discussions around moratoriums and regulations, major tech giants like Meta, Google, and Microsoft remain resolute in their support for AI research.
Microsoft’s approach to the ‘Future of Work’ states:
“We believe that AI is going to be the ultimate amplifier. It will augment the work that people do by freeing up time for more creativity, imagination, and human ingenuity – leading to not only an increase in productivity, but satisfaction. We’re just scratching the surface on the power of these large language models…When people are freed from repetitive or tedious tasks, they can tap into their human ingenuity to focus on more strategic or creative tasks. As AI systems evolve, we expect the nature of some jobs will change, and that new jobs will be created. These shifts are similar to the changes we’ve seen with other major technological advances…We expect this shift will require new ways of thinking about skills and training to ensure that workers are prepared for the future and that there is enough talent available for critical jobs.”
So, what does this mean for law?
The introduction of AI is poised to have a transformative impact on every industry, akin to the profound changes brought about by the industrial and digital revolutions. In the realm of law, this impact manifests initially in the streamlining of laborious and time-consuming tasks, such as extensive legal research, document review, contract analysis, and case preparation. By automating these processes, AI technologies like ChatGPT can alleviate the burden of repetitive and resource-intensive work, enabling small and medium law firms in Australia to operate more efficiently and effectively. Here, ChatGPT provides a summary of how AI is expected to influence the operations of such firms:
According to Andrew Perlman, Dean and Professor of Law at Suffolk University:
“For the legal industry, ChatGPT may portend an even more momentous shift than the advent of the internet. A significant part of lawyers’ work takes the form of written words—in emails, memos, motions, briefs, complaints, discovery requests and responses, transactional documents of all kinds, and so forth. Although existing technology has made the generation of these words easier in some respects, such as by allowing us to use templates and automated document assembly tools, these tools have changed most lawyers’ work in relatively modest ways. In contrast, AI tools like ChatGPT hold the promise of altering how we generate a much wider range of legal documents and information. In fact, within a few months of ChatGPT’s release, law firms and legal tech companies are already announcing new ways of using generative AI tools.”
Furthermore, at Innessco, we challenge the prevailing notion that AI is simply a productivity-enhancing tool. In the context of law firms, it is imperative to acknowledge that AI has the potential to emerge as a formidable competitor. With the rapid introduction of over 100 new AI tools each week, the legal industry is standing at a pivotal moment. Direct-to-consumer options for legal services, encompassing a wide range of documents such as Wills, Power of Attorney forms, Employment Contracts, Leasing Agreements, and Business Agreements, are on the horizon. These services will rely on AI tools that can intelligently pose targeted inquiries and leverage contextual understanding to populate the documents, thereby potentially reshaping the landscape of the legal profession.
How do I start?
Sign up to ChatGPT Plus. While the free version of ChatGPT is accessible at https://chat.openai.com/auth/login, we highly recommend subscribing to ChatGPT Plus for a monthly fee of $20 USD.
Now, you might wonder why you should pay when there’s a free option available. The answer lies in the remarkable accomplishments of ChatGPT-4, exclusively available in the paid version. Notably, ChatGPT-4 achieved an outstanding 90th percentile score in the multiple question section of the US bar exam, a feat that eluded its predecessor, ChatGPT 3.5 (the free version). With a significant tenfold advancement over GPT-3.5, GPT-4 showcases its remarkable ability to synthesize information from multiple sources, exemplifying its enhanced capabilities.
Why not turbocharge your marketing efforts by harnessing the power of ChatGPT? Take the opportunity to experiment and witness firsthand what this remarkable AI is capable of.
To illustrate its potential, consider inputting your professional business profile into ChatGPT and requesting three distinct rewrites. You’ll be amazed as ChatGPT generates three unique versions of your profile. If you’re writing regular newsletters or blog content, you can use ChatGPT to edit your existing content or generate fresh ideas.
ChatGPT can substantially streamline several manual human tasks, revolutionizing the way you work. It can assist with tasks such as:
Document and contract review
Data analysis and organization
Document and contract writing
Identifying historical cases and precedents
However, it is crucial to remember that ChatGPT is a public system, and it is essential not to utilize it for reviewing or editing any client confidential information. Upholding client confidentiality should always be a top priority.
Have you considered that your clients might start using ChatGPT for legal advice?
I’ve grown accustomed to seeking answers from ChatGPT on a wide range of topics. However, I hadn’t yet contemplated a scenario in which individuals might seek advice on legal or domestic situations. If you’re considering utilizing AI technology, it’s worth acknowledging that your clients may also be inclined to do the same. It’s similar to the phenomenon of consulting “Dr. Google.” While Google didn’t replace doctors, it certainly provided patients with additional knowledge, or sometimes led them down a potentially risky path, depending on their critical thinking skills. Whether this development proves advantageous or detrimental to your business, it’s important to recognize that your clients now have access to a vast array of information, both accurate and inaccurate.
To provide an example, I queried ChatGPT about what could be a common scenario for family law clients:
What should your law firm’s strategy be?
We have four pieces of advice for law firms in Australia.
Encourage firm partners to become familiar with the capabilities of AI and hold a partner meeting to facilitate the sharing of information. Staying up to date with AI developments doesn’t have to be a cumbersome task. There are various sources to keep an eye on. Personally, I found it helpful to follow relevant AI scientists on Twitter, join communities like Jasper AI and ChatGPT on Facebook, explore ChatGPT prompt hacks on TikTok, and watch informative how-to videos on YouTube. Whenever I come across something interesting, I cross-reference it with more credible sources.
Designate someone within your firm to stay updated on AI advancements as part of their role. It is crucial to assign the responsibility of staying informed about AI to a specific individual in your organization. AI is rapidly evolving, and it won’t be long before it finds widespread applications in the legal industry. Having someone dedicated to monitoring these developments ensures your firm stays ahead of the curve.
Keep an eye out for a law-trained AI model. Currently, the AI models available are primarily focused on large language processing, generative capabilities, or copywriting tasks. However, it is highly likely that a specialized AI models specifically designed for the legal industry will emerge in the near future. Stay vigilant for advancements in this area as it can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of legal operations.
Recognize the potential emergence of Tech Companies as a direct competitor and the rapid pace at which it could happen. It is crucial to assess the likelihood of AI robots being developed as your direct competitor and identify areas where AI robots may face challenges. Prepare yourself for rapid changes in the types of services your clients will seek from you and the services they may procure from new competitors that don’t exist today.
In light of the significant impact of IT on the competitiveness and service delivery outcomes of law firms, we strongly recommend taking proactive steps to educate yourself and your team about the specific AI applications that are relevant to your firm. The Innessco team is here to assist you in enhancing your IT capabilities and addressing any IT/AI-related concerns or inquiries you may have. Feel free to reach out to us for support by contacting us here.
We are committed to accompanying you on this fast-paced journey into the future of law, ensuring that you stay at the forefront of technological advancements and thrive in the evolving legal landscape.