Chief justice centers Supreme Court annual report on AI’s dangers

Chief Justice John Roberts warns that courts must consider the appropriate use of artificial intelligence (AI) in his annual report after a tumultuous year for the Supreme Court. described as a new frontier of change.

“We predict that there will be human judges for some time,” Roberts wrote in his report.

“However, with equal confidence, I predict that judicial operations, particularly at the trial level, will be significantly impacted by AI,” he continued. “These changes will include not only how judges perform their jobs, but also how they understand the role AI plays in the cases at hand.”

The report, released Sunday, makes no mention of recent ethics debates at the high court or arguments against judges involved with former President Trump that are likely to have repercussions in the coming months.

Instead, the report marks the Secretary's most extensive public statement yet on AI, building on years of comments on the impact of emerging technologies on the law.

Justices have been grappling with applying centuries-old legal principles to modern machines in the cases before them for years, and this term is no exception.

But Roberts has occasionally emphasized the need for courts to better integrate new technology into their operations. When the Supreme Court announced in 2014 that it would move to an electronic filing system, Roberts lamented that courts “often choose to be late to the harvest.”

“For those who cannot afford a lawyer, AI could help,” Roberts wrote on Sunday. “We are driving a new, highly accessible tool that provides answers to basic questions, including where to find templates and court forms, how to fill them out, and where to take them to present to a judge, all without leaving home. These tools have the welcome potential to address the mismatch between available resources and urgent needs in the court system.”

But while Roberts praised the benefits AI will bring to fields such as law, he also warned that AI requires “caution and humility.”

“One high-profile application of AI made headlines this year for a flaw known as “hallucination,'' which caused lawyers using the application to file briefs citing cases that didn't exist. became. (Always a bad idea.),” Roberts wrote.

Two days earlier, Michael Cohen, President Trump's former fixer and personal lawyer, admitted to using an AI-powered chatbot called Google Bard to give his own lawyers false case citations. Mr. Cohen's lawyers used the citation in a motion seeking an early end to Mr. Cohen's supervised release, a ruling that follows Mr. Cohen's guilty pleas to tax and campaign finance charges.

But Cohen was not the first person to be caught using AI this year.

In June, a federal judge sanctioned two lawyers after one of them used false case citations. approved for use We will realize ChatGPT, a chatbot that utilizes AI. One federal appeals court is currently suggest a lawyer Proved that it does not rely on AI to create court documents.

Roberts suggested that multiple committees of the Judicial Conference, the policy-making arm of the federal judiciary, which Roberts chairs, would be involved in determining the appropriate use of AI.

The Chief Justice argued that AI risks undermining privacy safeguards and dehumanizing the law, and reiterated in his report the idea that machines cannot fully replace humans in court. .

The prediction echoes comments Roberts made to graduates of a Washington, D.C., area high school in 2018, when he told students to “watch out for robots and AI” and warned that technology He suggested that he would not “conquer the world.”

“For example, judges gauge the sincerity of defendants' statements during sentencing,” Roberts wrote Sunday. “Nuance is key. A shaky hand, a shaky voice, a change in intonation, a bead of sweat, a momentary hesitation, a momentary break in eye contact – many things can trigger this. And most people still don't like these things. We trust humans more than machines to recognize clues and draw correct inferences from them.”

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