ChatGPT: a helpful tool or legal roulette?

As a tech-savvy lawyer, I’m always on the lookout for new tools to make my job easier. But let me tell you, there’s one tool that’s been causing me a lot of trouble lately – ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is an AI language model that can help lawyers find and present legal authorities quickly, but there’s a major hangup – it’s not always accurate. In fact, it’s been known to give some pretty wacky and downright wrong information. I mean, we’re talking about a tool that can give you a citation to a case that doesn’t exist, or reference the wrong section of an act, and provide links to websites that have nothing to do with the authority it references. It’s like playing a game of legal roulette, and we’re not always sure if we’re going to hit the jackpot or come up empty-handed.

In addition to these errors ChatGPT can make other mistakes. For example, it can provide outdated or irrelevant information.  It may also misunderstand the context of the question or inquiry and provide a response that while technically correct, is not useful or applicable to the specific legal issue at hand.

While ChatGPT is a whizz at spitting out information, let’s be real: it’s no substitute for a lawyer. When it comes to complex legal issues or high-stakes matters, ChatGPT simply falls short. It just can’t match the level of analysis or insight that a lawyer can offer and will likely leave you with incomplete or inadequate legal advice. A good lawyer will provide personalised legal advice and guidance that is specific to your situation. They can help you navigate the legal system, negotiate with other parties, and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.

If you’re facing a legal issue, it’s always a good idea to seek out the help of a qualified and experienced lawyer who can provide you with the personalised attention and advice you need. And if you happen to come across ChatGPT in your googling, be sure to take its answers with a grain of salt and double-check any information it gives you.

As a lawyer who loves leveraging the latest technology to enhance my legal practice, I’m excited about the potential of AI language models like ChatGPT to streamline legal research and improve access to legal information. ChatGPT is a relatively new technology and will only improve with time. Therefore, despite its limitations, ChatGPT can still be a useful tool for lawyers. However, I recognise the importance of maintaining a human touch when it comes to legal services. After all, you can’t beat the personalised advice and guidance of a human lawyer who truly cares about your case.

Related news

Guidance for Building Consent Authorities in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle

Natural hazards at a time of significant uncertainty – guidance for Building Consent Authorities in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle Cyclone Gabrielle was one of the largest natural disasters in the history of Aotearoa New Zealand.  Many North Island councils (as well as some South Island ones) have grappled with how to approach building consenting…

Building Act prosecution of Bella Vista Homes builder / developer finally at an end

The curtains have come down on one of the country’s longest running Building Act prosecutions after the Supreme Court had the final say and declined Danny Cancian’s application to bring a third appeal against his convictions. Background Mr Cancian, along with other defendants, including his company Bella Vista Homes Limited, was charged by Tauranga City…

Alcohol LAPse (pun intended)

Of the 33 provisional local alcohol policies (LAPs) developed since 2017, 32 have been appealed, with the average duration from notification of a provisional LAP to adoption being 790 days! Because of the time and costs involved in fighting these appeals, many councils (representing over 50% of New Zealand’s population) have halted or abandoned the…