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With rapid advancements consistently being made in the fields of science and technology, including in artificial intelligence (AI), growing numbers of people are voicing their concerns on the topic, calling for the need for heightened legal guidance and clearer policies related to such advancements.

The American Bar Association (ABA) has recently put forth a resolution urging courts and lawyers alike to address the emerging ethical and legal issues related to the use of AI. Whilst legal technology experts welcome the proposal by the ABA’s science and technology law section, they suggest it is long overdue. Indeed, unlike other industries which have latched onto modernisation through legal technologies, the legal profession, which is largely known for being resistant to change, has been slower at embracing and adapting to such technological progress.

The resolution, which is one of 57 to soon be voted on by the ABA’s policy-making body, states that ‘Artificial intelligence promises to change not only the practice of law but our economy as a whole. […] For all the advantages that AI offers for lawyers, there also is a genuine concern that AI technology may reflect the biases and prejudices of its developers and trainers, which in turn may lead to skewed results’. The resolution also raises the point that legal AI should be ‘audited and auditable’, enhancing the tool’s transparency and trustworthiness.

On the cusp of an AI revolution, Law applicants may do well to reflect on the legal issues linked with and surrounding the use of AI and other fast-evolving technologies, perhaps considering the most effective ways of designing implementable policies and solutions which are aimed at eliminating potential bias and increasing transparency when using such technologies.

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