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June 28, 2023

News & Events: The Big Idea of ‘Did I Write This?'

Zachary Bambacht
Imagine you have a 1,000-word essay and you need it distilled down to 280 characters for a tweet.

Imagine you have a 1,000-word essay and you need it distilled down to 280 characters for a tweet.

Igor Kutyaev via Getty Images

We ended 2022 with some really amazing technologies getting a lot of press. At this point, many, if not most, of us are familiar with OpenAI and its products such as DALL●E, ChatGPT and Point-E. And it seems like there will be plenty of competition in this space for OpenAI. Honestly, because of how accessible they are, these tools can be pretty fun to play with, remarkably useful and, potentially, utterly terrifying. 

I am only going to focus on the practical and fun! DALL●E was the first one I was able to test out, I believe, while it was first in its beta stage. I was able to sign up for a waiting list to allow me initial access. I was immediately impressed. It has the potential of near-infinite or infinite possibilities. You can create images in pretty much any style you can come up with, and they can be as serious or nonsensical as you would like. The magic is, if you can imagine it, it will attempt to create some version of that for you. Needing an image for a publication? It is not a bad resource. Imagine you are writing an article on work-life balance. You can type in “color drawing of an exhausted lawyer falling asleep at the computer, accidentally spilled coffee.” Chances are you might be impressed by the images it returns to you. More of a dogs-playing-poker art fan? Try something along the lines of “A surreal image of three Corgi dogs paddling a banana down a river.” (Full disclosure, some of my choices are to keep a 9-year old child entertained.) All of a sudden you now have low- to no-cost graphic arts that you did not have access to the year before, and you play a role, at least in part, as the creator. Who is the creator? Who owns the copyright? Ugh, someone might actually have to read the terms of service. 

For me, I think I enjoyed toying with ChatGPT more, or at least at first. I was using a search engine to try to find settings for something at home and not getting great search results for what I needed. ChatGPT returned, very precisely, the three settings I needed, and they were correct. Word of advice: Don’t assume the returned results are correct, and don’t skip over fact-checking for yourself! But are products and services like ChatGPT the future of search? They will play a part for sure. Imagine you have a 1,000-word essay and you need it distilled down to 280 characters for a tweet. It does that—and from the examples I have seen, really well. But again, always check the work!

Technology is changing faster than ever; sometimes it’s amazingly simple and perfectly intuitive, and other times complex beyond comprehension for even the smartest person in the room. Legal technology is very much a significant stakeholder in these conversations. There is no better time to participate in the 2024 ABA TECHSHOW, where issues and complexities similar to these will be discussed. Save the dates for February 14–17, 2024!

Zachary Bambacht

Director, Law Practice Division

Zachary Bambacht is the director of the ABA Law Practice Division in Chicago. [email protected]

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