Articles and Columns for August 2023
- The Case For Large Language Model Optimism in Legal Research From A Law & Technology Librarian – The emergence of Large Language Models (LLMs) in legal research signifies a transformative shift. This article by Sean Harrington critically evaluates the advent and fine-tuning of Law-Specific LLMs, such as those offered by Casetext, Westlaw, and Lexis. Unlike generalized models, these specialized LLMs draw from databases enriched with authoritative legal resources, ensuring accuracy and relevance. Harrington highlights the importance of advanced prompting techniques and the innovative utilization of embeddings and vector databases, which enable semantic searching, a critical aspect in retrieving nuanced legal information. Furthermore, the article addresses the ‘Black Box Problem’ and explores remedies for transparency. It also discusses the potential of crowdsourcing secondary materials as a means to democratize legal knowledge. In conclusion, this article emphasizes that Law-Specific LLMs, with proper development and ethical considerations, can revolutionize legal research and practice, while calling for active engagement from the legal community in shaping this emerging technology.
- Unforgotten on the Day of the Disappeared: Missing human rights advocates – On August 30th each year the world is reminded that hundreds of thousands of people in at least 85 countries don’t know where their loved ones are, or even whether they are alive or dead. For the victims of enforced disappearance and their families, every day is the Day of the Disappeared. The unrelenting uncertainty and anguish of not knowing the truth of what has happened to their family member is a recognized form of torture for both the disappeared and their families. The crime of enforced disappearance cuts off the disappeared from any access to legal representation or judicial remedies – they are placed “outside all protection of the law.” “Rampant” global impunity for enforced disappearance has led the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, and UN bodies to call on all countries to ratify or accede to the Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearances (Convention or ICPPED). Catherine Morris brings much needed attention to the fact that of the UN’s 193 countries, only 72 have ratified or acceded to the Convention. Canada and the United States (US) are not yet among them. The unrelenting uncertainty and anguish of not knowing the truth of what has happened to their family member is a recognized form of torture for both the disappeared and their families. The crime of enforced disappearance cuts off the disappeared from any access to legal representation or judicial remedies – they are placed “outside all protection of the law.”
- AI in Banking and Finance – August 30, 2023 – This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government reports, industry white papers and academic papers on the subject of AI’s fast paced impact on the banking and finance sectors. Four highlights from this week: Are Large Language Models Finance’s Second Shot At AI?; Convergence of AI and blockchain: Unlocking new possibilities; Generative AI in Operational Risk Management: and Generative AI in Operational Risk Management: Harnessing the Future of Finance.
- The Case for AI Guardrails – Kevin Novak sets the table with his opening statement: Whatever you think about the U.S. government or our elected officials, it does have guardrails in place to protect its citizens. For pharma and food products, it’s the FDA. For workplace safety there’s OSHA. For mobility safety, it’s the Department of Transportation. For safe investments, there’s the SEC. For consumer protection, there’s the Federal Trade Commission. For AI and emerging tech, there’s nothing.
- Design Your Law Practice – Jerry Lawson recommends the new book, Design Your Law Practice: Using Design Thinking To Get Next Level Results, to any law firm or lawyer interested in innovation that will make their practice more profitable and attract more clients.
- We Found 650,000 Ways Advertisers Label You – If you spend any time online, you probably have some idea that the digital ad industry is constantly collecting data about you, including a lot of personal information, and sorting you into specialized categories so you’re more likely to buy the things they advertise to you. But in a rare look at just how deep—and weird—the rabbit hole of targeted advertising gets, Investigative Data Journalist Jon Keegan and Visualizations Engineer Joel Eastwood of the The Markup analyzed a database of 650,000 of these audience segments, newly unearthed on the website of Microsoft’s ad platform Xandr. The trove of data indicates that advertisers could also target people based on sensitive information like being “heavy purchasers” of pregnancy test kits, having an interest in brain tumors, being prone to depression, visiting places of worship, or feeling “easily deflated” or that they “get a raw deal out of life.”
- Georgia’s indictment of Trump is a confirmation of states’ rights, a favorite cause of Republicans since Reagan – Prof. Stefanie Lindquist elucidates a critical fact respective to the Trump indictment. All U.S. citizens are actually citizens of two separate governments: They are citizens of the United States as well as citizens of the state in which they live. And they are subject to two systems of law as a result.
- Can you trust AI? Here’s why you shouldn’t – Security expert Bruce Schneier and data scientist Nathan Sanders believe that people who come to rely on AIs will have to trust them implicitly to navigate daily life. That means they will need to be sure the AIs aren’t secretly working for someone else. Across the internet, devices and services that seem to work for you already secretly work against you. Smart TVs spy on you. Phone apps collect and sell your data. Many apps and websites manipulate you through dark patterns, design elements that deliberately mislead, coerce or deceive website visitors. This is surveillance capitalism, and AI is shaping up to be part of it.
- AI in Banking and Finance – August 15, 2023 – This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government reports, industry white papers and academic papers on the subject of AI’s fast paced impact on the banking and finance sectors. Five highlights from this week: AI in the financial industry: Machine learning in banking; Machine Learning Boosts Profits – Banking Giant’s Deep Dive; Banks embracing the AI future need to pay attention to its risks; and the S.E.C.’s Chief Is Worried About A.I.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, August 26, 2023 – Four highlights from this week: Four highlights from this week: Potential New York Times lawsuit could force OpenAI to wipe ChatGPT and start over; Health Data Breach Lawsuits Surge as Cyberattacks Keep Climbing; Biden administration unveils new crypto tax reporting rules; and Imposter scams are the top U.S. fraud.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, August 19, 2023 – Four highlights from this week: National Archives will make its AI use case inventory public; Data Breaches and Lawyers: Highlights from IBM’s 2023 Report; Microsoft limits use of AI Services in upcoming Services Agreement update; and Two Women Accuse Tile of Marketing Its Devices as Stalking Aids.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, August 12 , 2023 – Four highlights from this week: Zoom Contradicts Its Own Policy About Training AI On Your Data; ‘Hypnotized’ ChatGPT, Bard Generate Malicious Code, Bad Advice; SEC charges big banks with doing business through messaging apps without keeping records; and White House announces cybersecurity plan to protect nation’s public schools.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, August 6, 2023 – Four highlights from this week: Canon warns of Wi-Fi security risks when discarding inkjet printers; New Attack Impacts Major AI Chatbots; U.S. Hunts Chinese Malware That Could Disrupt American Military Operations; and New Attack Impacts Major AI Chatbots.
LLRX.com® – the free web journal on law, technology, knowledge discovery and research for Librarians, Lawyers, Researchers, Academics, and Journalists. Founded in 1996.