AI, ChatGPT, Grok, Not Keeping Up? (It’s Not Just You)
The online mediation race, which was settled by Zoom (with room for improvement), seems to have been replaced by the AI race. Will you keep up? It seems everywhere one looks there’s a discussion on generative AI, AI’s impact on the law and ODR, and what it all means for entrepreneurs interested in AI’s potential and leery of its downsides.
The two where I am a licensed attorney (Texas and Florida) have both highlighted generative AI and ChatGPT in recent publications. Even paralegals‘ got some love. But while these State Bars are actively discussing AI technology, many lawyers and mediator, too busy running their practices and serving their clients, are not keeping up with all the AI bustle. Meanwhile, the rulemakers are hard at work setting up AI regulations that will impact every single one of us. For example, the Texas Bar’s Taskforce for Responsible AI in the Law recently updated its mission statement to be: investigate how legal practitioners can leverage AI responsibly to enhance equitable delivery of legal representation in Texas while upholding the integrity of the legal system. The Florida Bar’s Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics will meet end of November to address such points as, whether a lawyer is required to obtain a client’s informed consent to use generative AI in the client’s representation, or whether a lawyer is required to supervise generative AI and other similar large language model-based technology pursuant to the standard applicable to non-lawyer assistants.
In my opinion, the important takeaway about the current AI revolution or the rulemakers’ attempts to regulate the legal profession, is keeping up may be in vain due to the overwhelming speed at which AI technology is advancing. In March, tech leaders, including Elon Musk, warned that a pause was needed in AI experimentation due to the unpredictable consequences this technology’s development presented. Eight months later, even Musk admits such calls to pause were futile. This, while Musk himself announces Grok, yet another AI tool we need to learn and keep up with.
A Real Pause
Maybe it is us lawyers and mediators who need to take the pause. Rather than sprinting to every new shiny AI reveal, perhaps we need to go back to the beginning and reassess some things. Slowing down will let us go back and learn the basics of AI. It will allow us to actually understand the potential benefits and costs of the major platforms. Pausing will also allow us time to follow the people we trust in the field, whether they are journalists, business leaders, or tech giants, who can help us make sense of this expanding technology. If you have the time, you should try to stay on top of the knowledge curve, to the degree you can, for the relevant information concerning advancements in AI. But please, please, don’t think you must. And especially don’t start getting that overwhelming feeling of being left behind because of these rapid changes. AI technology, in fact all technology, is supposed to be a supplement to our lives not a cost to it. It makes my mind go to the infamous case of the Chinese teen who sold his kidney for the latest iPhone. What are we willing to lose to stay current with this now exponentially developing technology powered by super-computers
For my part, I jumped into the AI craze by signing up for Bard some months back, and for ChatGPT more recently. I am currently experimenting with a ChatGPT-based tool by WebWhiz, that is currently incorporated on my child support law blog page to answer basic customer questions. These are all small steps but it’s opening my eyes to what’s possible with AI tools. And this is enough for now. But then again, that’s where many of us need to be–doing something to expand our knowledge, without falling behind.
Follow me as I go on my AI journey. And let me know how you’re working to stay on top of these changes. Just remember, you’re not alone.