27 Sep 2023

Group to look at how artificial intelligence could intersect with the courts

7:47 pm on 27 September 2023

New Zealand's judiciary will explore how artificial intelligence could affect the courts and justice system, with an advisory group set up to explore the topic. Photo:

An AI advisory group has been set up to help courts and judges, and will start by looking at the benefits and pitfalls posed by the likes of Chat GPT.

The court system is going fully digital under a programme called Te Au Reka, expected to cost $169 million over four years.

In getting their heads around new tech, the judiciary in April set up the new group to look at artificial intelligence.

"The group's initial priority was to prepare guidelines regarding generative AI in the context of New Zealand courts," said the office of the Chief Justice.

The chief justice set up the group, led by the judiciary.

RNZ asked if the group had any industry-affiliated members, or researchers independent of the judiciary.

Its includes representatives from the senior courts and District Court, judicial support staff, court registries, and the Ministry of Justice, the office said.

The three lots of guidelines cover security risks, where the AI might help and where it would not help the courts.

Lawyers, academics and community groups were now being asked for their say on the guidelines, with feedback closing in mid-October.

Recently, [https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/491407/government-ministry-blocks-ai-technology-from-staff-use

the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment banned staff] from using AI such as ChatGPT, citing data and privacy risks.

In March, the Law Society said its libraries had started receiving requests from lawyers for details of cases an AI chatbot - such as ChatGPT - had told them about, but which turned out to be made up.

"Next time you use ChatGPT for a legal query, just remember the cases cited in its response could be fake; made up by a well-intentioned AI tool," the society said.

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