By: Linda L. Beyea, Vice President, AAA-ICDR® Innovation
As the legal industry continues to evolve, there is an emerging technology that arbitrators need to be paying attention to right now: generative AI. ChatGPT is a generative AI technology that has been making waves in the legal industry in the last few months, and attorneys are beginning to incorporate it into their practices. Here's why arbitrators should pay attention and start experimenting with it now outside of their arbitration practice so as to better understand how it might be used within an arbitration:
ChatGPT has the ability to streamline the arbitration process significantly. With its natural language-processing abilities, ChatGPT can analyze and summarize vast amounts of data quickly and fairly accurately. This means that attorneys can be faster and more efficient in analyzing documents and preparing submissions in arbitration. As a result, arbitrators can expect attorneys to increase productivity, leading to more efficient and effective arbitration processes.
With increased productivity comes a decrease in the cost of arbitration. As attorneys spend less time sifting through documents and preparing for cases, they can charge their clients less. Additionally, lawyers’ use of ChatGPT can help prevent unnecessary delays that may arise from lengthy document reviews, which also can help reduce the cost of arbitration.
Experimentation is Key
It's important for arbitrators to start experimenting with ChatGPT now, outside of their arbitration practice. By doing so, they can gain a better understanding of how the technology works and how it can be used to improve the arbitration process. As ChatGPT still is relatively new, there likely are many undiscovered uses for the technology that only can be found through experimentation. Be sure to experiment on tasks that are not related to an actual arbitration, and in all instances be careful to avoid including confidential arbitration-related information by using prompts for the tool to comply with an arbitrator’s confidentiality obligations under the Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes and the AAA’s rules.
Understanding is Essential
It's also important for arbitrators to understand both the strengths and the limitations of the technology and how it may be used in conjunction with existing processes and procedures. ChatGPT and other generative AI tools are not error-proof and may reflect inherent biases in the datasets on which they are based, so those who use the technology are responsible to ensure that their final work product is accurate. Arbitrators also should be mindful of how both Canon I of the Code of Ethics (preserving the integrity and fairness of the arbitration process) and Canon V (no delegation of duty to decide and the importance of transparency) may impact their use of ChatGPT in the arbitration process. Importantly, if and when arbitrators start using ChatGPT in connection with an arbitration proceeding, to ensure transparency and to comply with their ethical obligations, they must disclose to the parties how they will be using the tool. AAA will be providing additional guidance on the ethical considerations of arbitrators’ use of ChatGPT.
Technology is Accelerating Quickly
Finally, arbitrators must understand that the technology is accelerating quickly. New advancements in natural language-processing and machine learning are being made every day, and it won't be long before ChatGPT is even more powerful than it is today. By paying attention to ChatGPT now, arbitrators can stay ahead of the curve and be ready to take advantage of new advancements as they become available.
In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful technology tool that has the potential to revolutionize the arbitration process. It can help arbitration participants increase productivity, reduce the cost of arbitration, and be in the vanguard of a rapidly changing industry. It's time for arbitrators to start paying attention to ChatGPT and experimenting with it now, before they’re left behind.
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