Will ChatGPT Steal Our Jobs? We hope not!

Jul 25, 2023

Blue Flower
Blue Flower

Here is a popular question that crosses through most of our minds these days. We are not here to confirm or deny the strength of ChatGPT and its constantly emerging areas of use, but we can present 3 facts off the bat, that are especially related to legal document automation software.

Thoughts & Feelings

The advantage that humans still have over AI is the ability to read between the lines that are sometimes not even given. In reciprocal matters such as negotiations, it is important to relate to and understand both parties. No matter what the legality consists of (family, real estate, bond transactions etc.), emotions are bound to be involved whether in the shape of frustration, boredom or excitement. The parties of a legal arrangement could have a turbulent history that affects the negotiation processes that ChatGPT just cannot relate to in its current state. We are only human after all, but in this case, that's not to our disadvantage. 

In addition, one thing that seems to be missing from the discourse around ChatGPT is the tool’s inability to pose questions. It does sometimes ask for more details to make sure the answer provided gets as accurate as possible, however it lacks the ability to pose follow-up questions that a human would casually bring up to have a better contextual understanding. Why is this important? Simple. After hearing about a case, an experienced, senior lawyer would be able to step outside the box and ask relevant questions based on their previous experience working a similar case. Chat GPT on the other hand, is only about placing the box around the already-raised questions.

Standardisation of the Non-Standard

In the field of law, there are documents that you use almost on a daily basis, so why not automate them? Well, with every current event, financial, social or political crises that emerges within the world, legal documents are bound to change their content in order to maintain the same level of protection from the years before. Therefore, no matter how automised the field can get, there will always be a need for actual lawyers. It is actual lawyers who are aware of the dynamics around them, rather than reproducing standard clauses. They are aware that standards can change as quickly as they come. Speaking in relation to the current state of ChatGPT, it cannot be expected for this tool to take social cues into account while arranging a contract. 

The Comparability Issue

One of the biggest perks of using a document automation software is the ability to track changes in an efficient manner. In theory, you could ask ChatGPT to compare contract sections and come up with how these sections are different from one another. However, it would still require a lot of attention to detail and leaves room for human error as it would still be a human task to determine which sections would be compared. ChatGPT does not underline or highlight texts in any way that would catch our attention. Also, ChatGPT is still very limited when it faces long texts, which completely destroys the possibility of inserting legal documents. Luckily, there are ways to beat that, without completely disregarding AI! When embedded in a contract automation platform that carries this feature such as Template.io, the human task would be to make sense of the differences between two contract versions and verify the necessity of said differences. Plus, the AI integrations behind this platform allows us to track changes in our documents anyway. Let's put it this way: We should use what AI has to offer, but we cannot rely on it completely.

So, then what can we use ChatGPT for?

One of the biggest areas of use for ChatGPT when talking about legal automation solutions could be referred to as a “paraphrasing guide”. Referring to the paragraph before, although our human mind is still crucial in legal considerations, it may sometimes overthink things and make it harder for other parties to understand. Clarity is a must-have attribute of negotiations, as all parties would not want to face loopholes in the future. When our mind overcomplicates things and that reflects on our writing, ChatGPT can be allowed in so that it can simplify what you are trying to say. The words may no longer be yours, but the main ideas are. Thankfully, ChatGPT is not at a point where it's asking for credits, so we should be fine. 

For parties who are not as familiar with legal terminology, ChatGPT can also step in as a dictionary of sorts. Dictionaries are usually limited in the sense that they only provide a certain number of definitions and you might end up grasping at straws. ChatGPT however, can explain as much as you want until you are sure that you are grasping the concept. Thanks to this, we can dig into unfamiliar legal concepts, see if we agree with them and if not, we can negotiate on a knowledgeable basis. 

Long story short, there is nothing to be alarmed about just yet. Surely, it is always important to keep a sense of humility when talking about digital development. We should avoid the trap that Charles H. Duell, a commissioner of the US patent office, fell into. In 1889, he was quoted  saying “Everything that can be invented has been invented”. Clearly, Duell lost that duel to technology. It is a humbling reminder that there is a middle ground between the paranoia of ChatGPT replacing us as employees, and completely disregarding the advancements of technology. We should stay in that middle ground for as much as we can. 

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