chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Student Lawyer

Career Paths

AI Takes Center Stage at Latest ABA Antitrust Forum

Yousef Ziyadi

Summary

  • Much is unclear about what the future holds with respect to the ways the development of AI will change the law.
  • A new focus has been placed on AI’s worrying ability to process large troves of data without the copyright owner’s consent.
  • AI can accidentally learn bad information, which might lead to harmful misinformation being spread.
AI Takes Center Stage at Latest ABA Antitrust Forum
iStock.com/Andrey Semenov

Jump to:

Didn’t get the chance to attend the 2023 ABA Antitrust Law Section Fall Forum to hear how artificial intelligence is affecting the legal profession? Here’s a high-level picture of what you missed.

At the Ronald Reagan Building on Nov. 9, 2023, law students, attorneys, and scholars—all passionate about antitrust law—convened for a full day of events. After a brief morning breakfast and networking session, attendees filed into the auditorium to hear experts explain what AI is and what its potential applications to the law look like.

AI’s Effect on Consumers, Corporations, Litigation, and Policy

Panelists acknowledged that much is unclear about what the future holds with respect to the ways the development of AI will change the law, in ways both good and bad. And, as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-NY) explained, legislation is working its way through Capitol Hill to help minimize the harm of AI and maximize its beneficial utility.

Throughout the day, the panels teased out the intricacies of antitrust enforcement in a nuanced way, viewing it from different lenses—first through a broad-level introduction, then through consumer protection, corporate information sharing, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, and public policy viewpoints. By leading us through a journey on AI and the law on a route that stopped along these major touchpoints, we were able to get a comprehensive introduction to how to think about AI going forward.

Particularly with rising numbers of lawsuits and enforcement actions surrounding AI—such as the recent suit against OpenAI reported in The New York Times—a new focus has been placed on AI’s worrying ability to process large troves of data without the copyright owner’s consent.

In fact, the first panel (The “Nuts and Bolts” of AI Technology) brought up a critical concern—that AI can accidentally learn bad information, which might lead to harmful misinformation being spread. Clearly, much remains necessary to learn more about AI’s capabilities to ensure it’s a safe technology that can advance societal learning.

The Future of AI Is Still Being Written

The panels weren’t the only highlight of the forum. In between each panel and during lunch, practitioners, students, and academics forged new connections and shared their perspectives on the development of AI and antitrust law. They also reacted to the stimulating questions raised in panel after panel.

The richness of the issues raised during our sessions at the forum aren’t ones that can be answered or even fully explored overnight. Rather, they’re concepts that will inform how we view and use AI going forward in our studies and in our legal practice. Most importantly, they are complexities the ABA’s Antitrust Law Section will continue to develop and discuss at future events.

    Authors