Law librarians are no strangers to discussion and critique of artificial intelligence systems and their potential benefits and hazards, both in legal practice and in society at large. A short list of recent law librarian scholarship in this area includes:
- Kim P. Nayyer, Marcelo Rodriguez & Sarah Sutherland, Artificial Intelligence & Implicit Bias: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Addressing the Biases Inherent in the Datasets That Drive AI Applications and Their Algorithms, 24 AALL Spectrum 14 (May/June 2020).
- Paul D. Callister, Law, Artificial Intelligence, and Natural Language Processing: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Search Results, 112 Law Libr. J. 161 (2020).
- Elyssa Kroski, ed. Law Librarianship in the Age of A.I. (ALA Editions, 2019).
- Jamie Baker, 2018 A Legal Research Odyssey: Artificial Intelligence as Disruptor, 110 Law. Libr. J. 5 (2018).
- Mary Ann Neary & Sherry Xin Chen, Artificial Intelligence: Legal Research and Law Librarians, 21 AALL Spectrum 16 (May/June 2017).
- Nancy B. Talley, Imagining the Use of Intelligent Agents and Artificial Intelligence in Academic Law Libraries, 108 Law Libr. J. 383 (2016).
With the growing number of stories of A.I.-gone-wrong, such as the (now scrubbed) A.I. system Amazon tried to introduce into their recruiting program a few years ago that was discovered to disfavor female applicants, several initiatives have arisen, calling for certification of artificial intelligence. In March, Lyle Moran, writing for the ABA Journal, reported on this wave of projects, focusing particularly on one spearheaded by Gillian Hadfield, a law professor at the University of Toronto. Her project, a partnership between U. Toronto’s Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology & Society and AI Global, aims to develop an international framework for identifying ethically responsible A.I. systems.
I won’t spoil the whole article for you, but if you are interested in the increasing influence of A.I. systems in law and society and efforts to ensure their responsible development and implementation, I encourage you to give Moran’s article a read (and watch for a shoutout to Casetext’s Compose product!). As many members of the law librarian community have noted for years, attorneys’ exposure to A.I. systems, whether through their clients’ A.I. use or within the legal industry itself, demands that legal practitioners understand the implications of A.I. in the law; as trained information evaluators, law librarians are poised to provide this education and expertise.