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U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Foresees Major AI Impact on Legal Practice

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  • U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts predicts that AI will have a significant impact on legal work, particularly at the trial level.
  • Roberts emphasizes the need for caution and humility when using AI in the legal field, highlighting the technology’s potential benefits and risks.

In his annual report for the Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has made a noteworthy prediction, stating that artificial intelligence (AI) will have a


impact on legal work. While expressing confidence in the continued presence of judges, he foresees substantial changes, particularly at the trial level, brought about by AI.

Roberts acknowledges that AI-driven transformations will not only affect how judges perform their duties but also reshape their understanding of AI’s role in the cases they handle. He emphasizes that as AI technology evolves, the courts must carefully consider its appropriate applications within the realm of litigation.

One of the key contributions AI can make to the current judicial system is assisting in the pursuit of Rule No. 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, which seeks the

“just, speedy, and inexpensive”

resolution of cases. Roberts believes that AI can

“indisputably assist”

in advancing this goal.

However, the Chief Justice also issues a crucial word of caution. He points out the potential pitfalls of AI, including instances where the technology generates inaccurate or misleading information presented as factual, often referred to as AI


A recent example involved AI-generated fake citations in legal documents, leading to concerns about the reliability of AI-generated content.

Roberts stresses that

“caution and humility”

are essential when employing AI in legal proceedings. He underscores the irreplaceable role of key human actors within the courtroom, highlighting the significance of nuances that machines may overlook. Factors like body language, voice inflection, and other subtle cues can carry great weight in legal proceedings, making human judgment indispensable.

In conclusion, Chief Justice Roberts’ message underscores the transformative potential of AI in the legal field while highlighting the need for responsible and judicious utilization. His perspective aligns with recent AI guidance provided by senior judges in the United Kingdom, emphasizing the importance of AI’s cautious integration into the judicial process while recognizing its inherent risks.

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Ralf Klein is a computer engineer specializing in database technology, and as such, he was immediately fascinated by the possibilities of blockchain when he first heard about it, especially since this distributed, tamper-proof technology can be the foundation for much more than just cryptocurrencies. At ETHNews, he translates the articles of his English-speaking colleagues for the German readers. Business Email: info@ethnews.com Phone: +49 160 92211628