AI Chatbot Leads to Regret for Attorney

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The rapidly growing popularity of AI chatbots can pose a risk as these machines, capable of generating text, may churn out fictitious facts leading users to incorrect conclusions. This downside became a cruel irony for attorney Steven Schwartz of the law firm Levidow, Levidow & Oberman, who utilized an AI chatbot, ChatGPT, while working on a case for his client, Roberto Mata.

Roberto Mata filed a lawsuit against Avianca airline after sustaining injuries from colliding with a service cart during a flight in 2019, alleging negligence on the part of the airline’s employee. Steven Schwartz, an attorney at Levidow, Levidow & Oberman, who has been licensed to practice law in New York for over three decades, sought assistance from ChatGPT to gather information about previous similar cases, the outcomes of which could potentially favor his client.

However, it was revealed that ChatGPT provided Schwartz with made-up facts, leading him to face potential license revocation. In late April, attorneys from Condon & Forsyth, representing Avianca, addressed a letter to Judge Kevin Castel of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, questioning the authenticity of the cases cited by Schwartz.

Upon review, the Judge noted in his ruling that at least six cases presented by Schwartz as precedents “appear to be fictitious judgments with fictitious quotes and fictitious internal references to the source.”

In a sworn written statement on April 25, Schwartz stated that he had never used ChatGPT as a legal information source before this case, and therefore “was unaware of the possibility that its content could be false.” He added that he “deeply regrets using generative artificial intelligence to supplement the legal research conducted here, and will never do so in the future without absolute verification of its authenticity.”

Author Profile

Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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