Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has advanced tremendously in recent years, and users’ needs for and dependence on it are increasing. AI-powered chatbots such as ChatGPT are a common tool used frequently in professional fields and learning environments. However, certain institutions have prohibited use of AI-powered chatbots. In my institution, students are not allowed to use ChatGPT, especially for assignments or exams. After speaking to law students and having my own experiences using ChatGPT, I have learned that AI has its advantages and disadvantages, which I describe below:
Pros of AI:
ChatGPT has proven to be a resource to students who need to craft resumes and cover letters. It also helps students prepare for job interviews. For example, a user can type in the ChatGPT chat box, “What are the job responsibilities of a legal intern,” and the AI will provide the user with certain information related to that topic. So, AI can be helpful in providing background knowledge on specific subjects.
Easing learning curves
AI is so broad that it can be overwhelming and scary but also beneficial and easily accessible in advancing learning. For example, AI can be used for research and as a source of supplemental information for an individual’s learning.
Writing is an essential part of the legal field, and AI can be used for proofreading tasks, such as correcting grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. AI can also be used for organizing information, such as what will go into a contract.
Cons of AI
Although AI might be good at producing a depth of information that is readily accessible, it can often be “too good to be true.” An example of this is the now-famous case where a New York attorney used ChatGPT to write a legal case brief for a federal district court. The document included references to nonexistent cases and opinions. This is any lawyer's biggest fear, and for law students, it’s quite alarming. It’s understandable why some institutions prohibit students from using ChatGPT for school-related assignments.
Ambiguity & Plagiarism
As described above, AI can be used for supplemental learning and other benefits, such as conducting research. Interestingly, AI does not provide references or citations, which can lead to plagiarism. In addition, word choice can be ambiguous, and thus although AI may sound accurate, it often is not.
Although ChatGPT is a good tool for advancing learning, creating templates, proofreading, and other tasks it also has downsides. An important fact every user should learn is that AI does not always give accurate information. Hence, if you use it, always reference your work and double-check the information you receive.