Artificial Intelligence and Legal World

AI has been a part of our life for many years but in recent years AI has become an inseparable part of our lives. AI has developed a lot in the last few years. From self-driving cars to smart speakers like Alexa and Siri with many functions that lessen human work AI has significantly improved.

AI in the legal world is still in its implementation stage. Law firms and lawyers have been using AI to do tasks that are exhausting and menial. Software like Kira, Ross Intelligence, etc is used for the analysis of cases, maintaining clients’ legal databases, research, due diligence, and various other documentation.

As every coin has two sides AI also has certain disadvantages. AI’s brainchild

ChatGPT has been a lot in use these days. ChatGPT is a large language model (L.L.M) that generates human-like responses when asked questions. It helps with research, drafting, analysis, and much more. Even though the work is simplified it cannot be relied upon. Since humans have no control over the information generated by it, accuracy is a big question in the legal world where the entire case depends upon how accurate is the research, analysis, and evidence.

AI also has another disadvantage in cyber security. According to the American Bar Association, 35% of legal companies have experience breaches of security and privacy due to AI. On the other hand, AI software is very costly and only large law firms can afford it.

AI has many advantages like increased efficiency in legal work, easy access to legal databases, and data management but on the other end there also exists threats like infringement of copyright, breach of privacy and security, and increased costs.

For AI to be useful in a legal field appropriate laws are to be developed and the risks associated with it are to be mitigated.

Copyright issues about AI in India:

AI also raises the question of copyright. Can information generated by AI have a copyright of its own? In India, all laws relating to copyright are in Copyright Act 1957. For AI to have a copyright in its name for its original work, AI has to be granted the status of Artificial Legal Person which does not fall under the definition of ‘author’ in the Act. According to section 2(d) of the Act ‘author’ means any literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work which is computer generated, the person who causes the work to be created. Here the person means someone with human intellect or a legal person.

Since AI is not someone with human intellect or granted a legal person status, the copyright laws do not include AI. The ownership of work is still in ambiguity and left to interpretation.

In 2021, India granted copyright to a painting called SURYAST generated by an AI painting app named RAGHAV. It was registered as a co-author with Ankit Sahni, the owner of the app but later a withdrawal notice was issued questioning the legal status of the app and that the copyright of an artistic work would be with the artist himself.  The logic behind the withdrawal was that AI-generated the painting due to the algorithms input by a human. Therefore the ownership vests with the artist.

In Tech Plus Media Private Ltd vs Jyoti Janda and Ors 2014 (60) PTC 121 Del.

It was held that Plaintiff cannot be the owner of the databases merely containing email addresses of the visitors to the news portal. Since Plaintiff is a juristic person it cannot claim copyright of the same.

Can AI replace lawyers in the future?

AI has significantly increased the efficiency in the work of lawyers. But the legal sector is driven by analysis, strategies, decision-making, and presentation of the cases and evidence which solely depends on the

lawyer’s intellect and abilities. AI can only automate and increase the efficiency and quality of the work but it cannot generate strategies and does not have a decision-making power of its own.

AI works on the algorithm which is input by its creator and it relies on the data from various sources like past judgments and precedents etc which may not be relevant to every case since every case is based on different circumstances and situations.

Therefore AI can become efficient in clerical tasks but in my opinion, can never replace a lawyer.

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