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John Roberts warns AI will ‘transform’ Supreme Court but ignores Trump and ethics in report


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The Washington Examiner

Christian Datoc, White House Reporter
January 01, 2024

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts published his annual year-end report on Sunday and focused his review on the promise and pitfalls artificial intelligence poses to the judiciary.

Roberts made no mention of the controversial ethics code justices adopted over the past year or the multiple cases spilling out of former President Donald Trump's dozens of federal indictments and 2024 election campaign.

"Every year, I use the Year-End Report to speak to a major issue relevant to the whole federal court system. As 2023 draws to a close with breathless predictions about the future of Artificial Intelligence, some may wonder whether judges are about to become obsolete," Roberts wrote. "I am sure we are not — but equally confident that technological changes will continue to transform our work."

The chief justice noted that AI could provide equity in extending legal resources to low-income people and "have the welcome potential to smooth out any mismatch between available resources and urgent needs in our court system."

Roberts also cautioned, however, about the dangers of using AI without verification presented to lawyers, specifically "hallucination," a trend in which lawyers use AI tools to "submit briefs with citations to non-existent cases. (Always a bad idea.)"

The report concludes by predicting "human judges will be around for a while" but that "judicial work — particularly at the trial level — will be significantly affected by AI."


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