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Experts delve into the evolving world of AI

Experts delve into the evolving world of AI

September 13, 2023 -- Some courts have been using AI, or artificial intelligence, in limited ways such as automating the accepting and docketing of eFiled documents or simulating human conversation with chatbots. However, the evolution of generative AI, a technology that uses artificial intelligence to generate new content (such as in ChatGPT or Bard), raises both new opportunities and new issues and concerns.

Last month, NCSC launched its first webinar series exploring the emerging technology of AI and its impact on courts.

Developed at the request of Conference of Chief Justices’ President Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the D.C. Court of Appeals, the series, “The Promises and Perils of AI in the Courts,” provides a general introduction to AI and promotes dialogue about more specific issues facing courts and the practice of law.

“The chief justices and state court administrators need to understand how it will impact all of us,” Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby explained during her Aug. 16 webinar introduction.

During the webinar, Jennifer Leonard, chief innovation officer and executive director of the Future of the Profession Initiative at Penn Carey Law at the University of Pennsylvania, discussed how AI and generative AI work and provided an overview of the current landscape.

Retired Michigan Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Casey Kennedy, director of information services for the Texas Office of Court Administration, spoke about the issues generative AI can pose to courts and offered guidance on considerations and steps courts should take to ensure they’re educated and prepared.

“Humans still need to go look at the output of these tools if you decide to use them,” Kennedy said. “As courts, you have to decide what, when and where is it acceptable to use (AI) by not only judges but your staff and other judicial officers; and how do you come up with that decision on what you can use and what you can’t use.”

Court Consulting Services Managing Director Shay Cleary said the webinar series is just one way NCSC is helping courts explore the impacts of AI. In addition to presentations and speaking engagements, the center is testing new AI-related technologies and working to develop guidance and resources for the court community.

Visit the NCSC website for the Aug. 16 webinar playback and materials. The conversation continues on Sept. 21 with “Impact on the Practice of Law.” To learn more or register, visit