Bar Council Issues Guidance on Responsible Use of AI Tools in Legal Services


  • Bar Council issues guidance for lawyers on using AI tools, emphasizing responsible interaction and vigilance to avoid legal risks.
  • Legal professionals urged to understand AI systems like ChatGPT, recognizing risks of anthropomorphism, hallucinations, and information disorder.
  • Bar Chair Sam Townend KC acknowledges inevitable growth of AI in law, emphasizing the need for barristers to use these tools with control and integrity.

In a move to address the increasing integration of AI tools in the legal profession, the Bar Council has released comprehensive guidance on the use of large language model (LLM) software. The guidance, titled ‘Considerations when using ChatGPT and generative artificial intelligence software based on large language models,’ aims to educate legal practitioners on the responsible utilization of AI tools.

The Bar Council’s guidance underscores the importance of a nuanced understanding of AI tools among legal professionals. It clarifies that generative AI systems, such as ChatGPT, operate as highly sophisticated predictive text systems, predicting the likely next word based on input data. However, the guidance emphasizes that these systems do not analyze the content of data, urging practitioners not to take their outputs at face value.

Key risks identified by the bar council

The guidance identifies three key risks associated with the use of generative AI technology:

Anthropomorphism: the tendency of systems to create an impression of human interaction, despite being entirely algorithmic in nature.

Hallucinations: instances where AI-generated outputs may sound plausible but are either factually incorrect or unrelated to the given context.

Information Disorder: The potential for generative AI systems to generate misinformation is a serious concern that legal professionals should be vigilant about.

Vigilance urged amidst risks and consequences

The Bar Council’s guidance serves as a cautionary note to barristers, urging them to exercise extreme vigilance when interacting with generative LLM systems. Importantly, legal practitioners are warned against sharing legally privileged or confidential information, as the input data provided to these systems may be used to generate future outputs that could inadvertently become public.

The guidance highlights that irresponsible use of LLMs could lead to severe consequences, including claims for professional negligence, breach of contract, breach of confidence, defamation, data protection infringements, infringement of intellectual property rights, and damage to reputation. Additionally, it emphasizes the potential for breaches of professional rules and duties, underscoring the importance of adhering to ethical standards.

AI’s inevitable growth in the legal sector

Bar Chair Sam Townend KC acknowledges the inevitable growth of AI tools in the legal sector. The guidance encourages barristers to familiarize themselves with these systems to use them with control and integrity. Townend asserts that those who make efforts to understand AI tools will be best placed to navigate their integration into legal services.

Navigating the future with control and integrity

As AI tools continue to shape the landscape of legal services, the Bar Council’s guidance provides a roadmap for legal practitioners to navigate the future responsibly. The message is clear – understanding the intricacies of AI systems is crucial for their effective and responsible use in the legal profession. The guidance is a timely resource, equipping barristers with the knowledge to harness AI tools with control and integrity.

The Bar Council’s guidance serves as a significant step toward fostering a harmonious relationship between legal practitioners and AI tools. As the legal sector adapts to technological advancements, the emphasis on responsible use remains paramount for maintaining ethical standards and safeguarding the interests of clients and the legal profession at large.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Derrick Clinton

Derrick is a freelance writer with an interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. He works mostly on crypto projects' problems and solutions, offering a market outlook for investments. He applies his analytical talents to theses.

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