Chat GPT was launched on 30th November 2022 and has quickly become a social media sensation. Created by San Francisco company OpenAI, Chat GPT is a natural language processing tool and provides human sounding responses to prompts or questions. Driven by artificial intelligence it can answer questions, assist with tasks, and even tell jokes!

And perhaps rather worryingly it can simulate the work of solicitors. So, will this new super whizzy Artificial Intelligence make solicitors obsolete?

The short answer is no. And here’s why.

ChatGPT is a machine learning system, therefore it does not have the same level of understanding and judgement as a human solicitor when it comes to interpreting legal principles and precedent. This could lead to problems in situations where a more in-depth legal analysis is required.

There are other limitations too:

It doesn’t understand your business’s quirks and complexities

ChatGPT lacks the background knowledge humans have. It doesn’t have the ability to seek out the necessary information required to provide the right legal advice for your business or personal circumstances. Although it can produce legal templates in broad terms it will not be able to draft them in a way which is bespoke to your particular circumstances. It might even produce something that could create problems in the future.

It has trouble generating long-form content

While the tool is super at providing short answers and grammatically correct sentences, it lacks the ability to create long form documents. Therefore, for anything more than a paragraph long, and let’s face it that’s highly likely when it comes to the law, it’s not going to be much use in creating any legal document.

Lacks up to date legal knowledge

Although ChatGPT has access to a substantial amount of information, it does not compare to the knowledge solicitors have honed from years of experience practising the law, and will not be able to answer questions about very specific or niche legal concepts.

Furthermore, due to its release date it is only able to access information from 2021 or earlier, so it will not have any knowledge of changes to the law since then. That means that anything it produces will not be relying on up to date legal information.

Accuracy problems or grammatical issues

Currently, ChatGPT’s ability to identify typos, grammatical, and spelling mistakes is limited. Additionally, whilst it is possible for the model to provide responses that are technically accurate, those responses may not be entirely relevant or appropriate in the context of what is likely to be a unique legal matter. This limitation may present difficulties, especially when working with intricate or specialised legal requirements, where precision and exactitude are essential.

Lastly and by no means least we must remind ourselves here that ChatGPT is a robot. It does not possess human level common sense, and therefore is in no way suitable to deal with a unique legal situation you find yourself or your business in. There is also the possibility that it could generate biased responses due to the potential bias and prejudices the tool is trained on.  

In conclusion, although this new AI technology is a marvel and one to watch for the future, it’s quite clear there’s still a long way to go for ChatGPT to replace the need to instruct an experienced solicitor to deal with your business or personal legal issues. In our opinion, just at the moment, it’s really not worth the risk in ‘giving it a go’.

PS: this article was written by a human!