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Texas judge bans filings solely created by AI after ChatGPT made up cases

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A Texas judge has ordered attorneys to attest that they will not use ChatGPT or other generative artificial intelligence technology to write legal briefs because the AI tool can invent facts.

U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr of the Northern District of Texas is specifically requiring that attorneys file a certificate to indicate either that no portion of any document they file was generated by an AI tool like ChatGPT, or that a human being has checked any AI-generated text.

The new requirement comes after a lawyer representing a man suing an airline used ChatGPT to prepare a legal brief, which was discovered to be laden with errors, including made-up court cases.  

The judge acknowledged that AI does have a place in the profession, but that it is limited in its capabilities. It can be relied on to generate standard legal documents, for example. 

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"These platforms are incredibly powerful and have many uses in the law: form divorces, discovery requests, suggested errors in documents, anticipated questions at oral argument. But legal briefing is not one of them," Judge Starr wrote in his ban

He laid out his reasoning for banning court filings generated solely by AI, noting that generative AI has a tendency to hallucinate— or portraying fabricated responses as "facts" — and can be unreliable.

"These platforms in their current states are prone to hallucinations and bias. On hallucinations, they make stuff up — even quotes and citations," Judget Starr wrote. "Another issue is reliability or bias. While attorneys swear an oath to set aside their personal prejudices, biases, and beliefs to faithfully uphold the law and represent their clients, generative artificial intelligence is the product of programming devised by humans who did not have to swear such an oath."

Unlike attorneys who have sworn to faithfully uphold the law on behalf of their clients, AI tools are "unbound by any sense of duty, honor, or justice," he added.

The court will not accept any filings that are not accompanied by the sworn attestation.

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