ABA forms task force to study impact of AI on legal profession

American Bar Association President Mary L. Smith announced the creation of the ABA Task Force on Law and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to examine the impact of AI on law practice and the ethical implications for lawyers. The AI Task Force will explore:

• Risks (bias, cybersecurity, privacy, and uses of AI such as spreading disinformation and undermining intellectual property protections) and how to mitigate them

• Emergent issues with generative AI

• Utilization of AI to increase access to justice

• AI governance (the role of laws and regulations, industry standards, and best practices)

• AI in legal education

The AI Task Force is chaired by Lucy L. Thomson, an attorney and cybersecurity engineer in Washington, D.C. Thomson is a past chair of the ABA Science & Technology Law Section (SciTech) and a founding member of the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force.  The Vice Chairs of the AI Task Force are Cynthia Cwik, Laura Possessky, and James Sandman.

The Special Advisors are thought leaders in law and technology and include:

• Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, The Chertoff Group

• Ivan Fong, former General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Medtronic

• Daniel Ho, member of the National AI Advisory Committee and William Benjamin Scott and Luna M. Scott Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Associate Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

• Michelle Lee, former undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and CEO and founder of Obsidian Strategies

• Trooper Sanders, member of the National AI Advisory Committee and CEO of Benefits Data Trust

• Miriam Vogel, chair of the National AI Advisory Committee and President and CEO of EqualAI

• Seth Waxman, former U.S. solicitor general and partner, WilmerHale

The AI Task Force will identify important work and reports by government agencies, universities, think-tanks, and industry leaders and inform lawyers about how AI can affect a lawyer’s ethical responsibilities, pose threats to confidential client data, and risk inadvertent waiver of attorney-client and attorney work product privileges.

It also will look at how AI can increase access to justice and develop resources to make this technology understandable to lawyers and judges.

A full roster of the AI Task Force can be found at ambar.org/ailaw.


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