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Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart PLLC
Newsletter – Volume 23, Issue 15

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Ready Attorney One

By Alexander JSW Johnson

I have a prediction: in the next year, expect a Netflix series lampooning Apple’s Vision Pro and ChatGPT-fumbling legal research together. 

The announcement of Apple’s new spatial computing headset (available early 2024) and recent news of an attorney affidavit admitting reliance on a fake court case produced by ChatGPT (links above) together conjure a strange mix of reactions. 

On the one hand, it feels like sci-fi coming to reality—Tony Stark and his spatial display computers combined with Stark’s generative AI assistant, F.R.I.D.A.Y.: Female Replacement Intelligent Digital Assistant Youth (successor to J.A.R.V.I.S.).

On the other hand, it evokes expectations of less elegant outcomes, a mixture of large language model overreliance and spatial computing gone awry. The kind of goofball future state Mel Brooks could spoof with an 80-minute film titled Ready Attorney One: Fake Cases, Real Games starring Rick Moranis as Phony Spark, Esquire, easily befuddled and overfond of his VR headset and AI-provided false knowledge as he blunders his way through a virtual reality future, one legal gaffe after another, and complete with a virtual briefcase secured by the combination 1-2-3-4-5.

But give the Vision Pro a bit of time after its release and another year of GPT tech advances, and that silly-sounding film might be based on real events. Like the kind we’ve seen already with ChatGPT’s ignominious misuse when it was relied upon to provide case law citations. It did provide a case as directed, but it made it up, as it does so well by design. ChatGPT was made to predict the next word in a sequence, not to conduct authoritative research, so the lawyer-user in that scenario asked and ChatGPT answered.

Perhaps these technologies have us headed for a dystopian future, like the one depicted in Ready Player One where escape into a digital universe is the standard lifestyle. Or maybe the new tech is sending us toward a foible-filled future like the fictitious Rick Moranis-starring film hypothetically suggested above.

A more optimistic outlook, in the legal context—for clients and their attorneys alike—might be this: lawyers and clients donning the Apple spatial computer headsets, collaboratively gesturing this augmented reality headwear to draft contracts on live video calls using GPT-based software trained on libraries of prior agreements (not ChatGPT). Clients and attorneys see these real-time drafts composed and revised live on the spot, and in a visually impressive and expansive view, surely accompanied by aesthetically pleasing, optically relaxing, and intuitive user displays of the AI-generated, client-desired, and lawyer-vetted content.

The guardrails to prevent this future state from going awry? First, closed network access to prevent disclosure of client confidences. Second, all AI suggestions are attorney-ratified to prevent bad suggestions from getting through. And third, as the attorney works in the platform, future AI suggestions are updated based on the attorney’s past work, re-training the AI continually. 

Clients will appreciate the cost efficiency, lawyers the impressive user simplicity, and both will benefit from shifting even more of the lawyers’ time to guidance and counsel, and away from time as a typist and drafter. 

Less costly and more advice? Now, that future seems a little less Phony Spark and a little more Tony Stark.

While this vision of a real-life Ready Attorney One world—not the Brooks-ish spoof kind but the live drafting-with-clients kind—may seem fanciful now, developments in the tech world are already pushing toward that future. In the legal field, we are seeing many new GPT-leveraging software applications including in the Intellectual Property space for patent claim drafting

The volume of creativity, intellectual property, and intellectual capital that will be built on these breakthroughs will be a joy to watch unfold.

Ready Attorney One? This one is ready.

Alexander JSW Johnson is an attorney at Fishman Stewart with more than 10 years of extensive experience in trademark and intellectual property matters. He works in the firm’s Trademark Practice Group. He holds a B.A. in Art (studio emphasis) and Journalism. Check out his full bio here.

This week’s accolade highlights Lily Barash, who recently completed her first year at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City.  We welcome Lily as a full-time law clerk with Fishman Stewart this summer and her continued clerkship as she heads into her second year.  Moreover, Lily was just appointed as an Editor of the Cardozo International and Comparative Law Review.  Congratulations Lily!


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