Judge Juan Manuel Padilla Garcia, of the First Circuit Court in the city of Cartagena, has become the first judge to use ChatGPT in a decision.
ChatGPT has become one of the fastest-growing consumer apps in history, being used for everything from entertainment to papers. Judge Garcia is the first to use it while rendering a legal decision, however, opening the door to yet another field artificial intelligence may revolutionize.
According to Vice, Judge Garcia posed legal questions about the case to the AI, and included ChatGPT’s responses in his legal ruling.
“The arguments for this decision will be determined in line with the use of artificial intelligence (AI),” Garcia wrote in the decision, which was translated from Spanish. “Accordingly, we entered parts of the legal questions posed in these proceedings.”
“The purpose of including these AI-produced texts is in no way to replace the judge’s decision,” he added. “What we are really looking for is to optimize the time spent drafting judgments after corroborating the information provided by AI.”
Interestingly, while this may be the first known instance of using ChatGPT in a legal case, it’s not the first time AI has been used. In fact, China’s Supreme Court recently told lower courts that they would have to consult with AI before rendering their decisions. The country has spend the last few years feeding cases into an AI so that it can analyze and learn from them.
Despite the advances, some experts warn that AI is not yet to the point where it should be trusted to help render complex judicial decisions.
“It is too early to sell the smart court system as a panacea,” said Sun Yubao, a judge with the People’s Court of Yangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone in Jiangsu province.
“We need to reduce the public’s high expectation of artificial intelligence and defend the role of a judge. AI cannot do everything,” he wrote in a paper in Legality Vision.
It appears Judge Garcia has taken a more measured approach to AI’s use than China’s courts, an approach that will likely be copied sooner rather than later.