Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: A “Neo Frontier” Landscape

Awards Edition 23' Alex Saleh

Modern Cases


Ziad Ali

space race, and the information age only began eight decades ago. Alas, neither is compared to humanity’s greatest leap and most shivering fear, the arrival of the age of that artificial intelligence (the “AI”).

For decades, art and literature foresaw an age where man would have their creations act as equals in terms of behavior and thought. Some feared that man-made creations, especially machines would come to be and realize that it supersedes human intelligence and, subsequently, the need for humans. But between fiction and reality, the truth remained: with technological advancement and reliance on man-made ‘brains’ artificial intelligence had to become something more than a form of technology, but a definition of an era. An era of computers used to understand human intelligence.

The history of AI is a contemporary one. It arguably came to be as back as the 1980s. However, AI only started to become commonplace in our daily lives in the late 2010s. Regardless of how it came to be the defining era, soon enough the legal field seemed to welcome AI and machine learning where AI reliance manifested itself in various forms including the usage of legal precedents and texts to infer laws that will apply to brand-new conditions, understanding data from a legal perspective, visualizing, writing studies, and engaging in legal proceedings (in a way).

To put things into perspective, we saw the first AI “lawyer” in 2015, the AI. Which worked on creating templates available to help people dispute EU-bound flight delays and parking tickets. The AI used OpenAI’s Generative Pretrained Transformer (“GPT”) technology, the very technology that developed a bot that can bargain prices with businesses like Comcast. In February 2023, the AI is set to assist defendants challenge two speeding tickets by guiding their responses to the appointed judges through audio instructions. This will be the first time that AI will be used in court. As the CEO and creator of DoNotPay, Joshua Browder put it, "the law is almost like code and language combined, which makes it the perfect use case for AI." Nevertheless, Browder admits that being the first to use AI in court could be ‘dangerous.’ This probably refers to his plea for anybody with a case that would be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court $1 million to wear AirPods and represent the company's robotic lawyer in court.

The dilemma lies in how the age of AI retells the story of the Industrial Revolution with new details. There was an age where our economies changed from farming and handiwork to factories and machinery. This shift was primarily characterized by technical, economical, and cultural developments. These advancements brought about unique working and living conditions and radically altered society.

In its purest form, the preindustrial family was an economic and social unit. Some of the worst effects of the new circumstances brought by the industrial revolution may have been on the family, which is the most basic social unit. One of the most important technical advances was the creation of new machines like the power loom and spinning jenny, which increased output while using less human labor.

Therefore, only the highly skilled workers who are able to operate the new machines got by, while the poor and working-class workers were forced to quit their jobs and relocate to cities in search of work.

In this new world, economic concepts such as capitalism and socialism were brought into society and became the norm. Nations adopted economic systems where production completely depended on factory owners. It was firmly believed that as the population grew, wages would inevitably fall. The poor and working-class continued to face difficulties; cities became overcrowded, and workers faced housing shortages, unhygienic conditions, illness, and poverty.