Articles Posted in Science and Technology

Law libraries are undergoing a transformation fueled by Artificial Intelligence (AI). While AI isn’t replacing librarians, it’s becoming a powerful tool that’s changing how legal research is conducted and how libraries serve their patrons.

The history of artificial intelligence in law libraries is a fascinating journey marked by technological evolution, legal industry demands, and the gradual integration of advanced tools to support legal research, information management, and decision-making processes. Here’s a historical overview of this subject:

Early Beginnings and Development

The Federal Trade Commission announced today, January 25, that it issued orders to five companies requiring them to provide information regarding recent investments and partnerships involving generative AI companies and major cloud service providers.

The agency’s 6(b) inquiry will scrutinize corporate partnerships and investments with AI providers to build a better internal understanding of these relationships and their impact on the competitive landscape.  The compulsory orders were sent to Alphabet, Inc.,, Inc., Anthropic PBC, Microsoft Corp., and OpenAI, Inc.

According to Sage Lazzaro writing in Eye on AI, “The agency is investigating three multi-billion dollar deals that have shaped the AI landscape as we know it: Microsoft and OpenAI, Google and Anthropic, and Amazon and Anthropic. The FTC issued orders to all of the involved companies, seeking specifics about their agreements, the practical implications of these partnerships, analysis of the transactions’ competitive impact, competition for AI inputs and resources, and more information. This investigation could have major ramifications for these companies and the AI and technology landscape.”

The current edition of Sci Tech e-Merging News published by the Science and Technology Section of the American Bar Association,  contains announcements of upcoming events and updated research discussing issues of special interest to both members of the legal profession and others outside the legal profession who face similar concerns. These events include the following:

Open-Source Software Security: Areas of Long-Term Focus and Prioritization

Thursday, January 18, 2024 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Yesterday, December 12, 2023, we received an email from Open AI announcing changes to their Terms of Use and Privacy Policy that will make it easier to understand what to expect from Open AI  when you use their services. The changes will become effective on January 31, 2024. Below is a copy of an overview of the updates we are posting for the convenience of our readers. To see the complete documents click on the links below:


We want to let you know about some upcoming changes to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. These changes will make it easier for you to understand what to expect from OpenAI as you use our services. The Terms of Use and Privacy Policy will take effect on January 31, 2024.
We encourage you to read the updated policies, but here is a quick overview of some key changes:
Terms of Use
  • Separate business terms. We’ve removed the sections of the Terms of Use that relate to the use of our services for businesses and developers, namely ChatGPT Enterprise and our APIs. We’ve created a new set of Business Terms that apply to those services.
  • Updated arbitration procedures. We’ve updated some of the procedures by which we will resolve any arbitrated disputes.
  • Improved readability. We’ve re-organized and clarified some parts of our Terms of Use (yes, with a little help from ChatGPT) to make them simpler and easier to understand.
Privacy Policy
  • Personal information we collect. We’ve provided additional details and examples about the information we collect, such as when you participate in OpenAI’s events or surveys.
  • Business accounts. We’ve provided information about how administrators of ChatGPT Enterprise and team accounts can access and control accounts associated with their organization.
If you have questions about any of these changes, please see this Help Center FAQ.
You don’t need to take any action in response to this update. By continuing to use our services after January 31, 2024, you are agreeing to the updated Terms of Use and acknowledge that our Privacy Policy applies to data processed in OpenAI’s services. If you do not agree to the updates, you may delete your account.

In a previous posting on this blog, Reflections of a Retired Law Librarian: From Mimeograph to Generative AI, I urged professional organizations, including the American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), to appoint committees or commissions at the highest level to  facilitate the development and implementation of standards sufficient to address the real ethical and safety concerns related  to the increasingly rapid adaption of AI, including  Generative AI, as a technology of choice in the workplace.

It is gratifying to learn from recent announcements from the American Bar Association that it has already been taking steps to address the legal challenges of Ai faced by the legal community. As Mary L. Smith, President of the American Bar Association, has said: “As a national voice for the legal profession, the ABA must play a  leadership role in helping to identify for the legal community the benefits and risks of continually changing AI and machine learning systems and capabilities.”

Measures already taken by ABA include Resolution 112 adopted in August, 2019, Resolution 604 adopted in February, 2023, various articles and podcasts published by its various Sections, including the ABA Business Law Section and the Sci Tech Lawyer published by the ABA Science and Technology Section.

August 4, 2023.

As ordered Reported  by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability on July 12, 2023.


Since Open AI released ChatGPT for public use on November 30, 2022, its rate of adoption by the public has been explosive and appears to be increasing at a near exponential rate.  Within two months after its public release, it had acquired an estimated 100 million users and surpassed one billion page visits by the end of February, 2023 — an increase unprecedented and creating strong incentives for other generative AI systems to join the fray.

In its official announcement of the release to the public of ChatGPT, Open AI stated very clearly that the system would sometimes generate errors of fact and other types of mistakes in a random manner difficult to predict. It also warned potential users of the urgency of checking ChatGPT responses to user queries against other sources for verification. Most other Generative AI systems have issued similar warnings.

The cumulative impact of the public release of ChatGPT, followed by the public release of other generative AI chat systems, is yet to be determined. However, it will be disruptive— at least in the near term — and may require significant changes to the workplace. Some of these changes might very well involve introducing what I would call error management systems to help manage the deluge of items generated by ChatGPT and other systems in a more organized manner.

November 12. 2010 is the twentieth anniversary of a research proposal that is remaking our world. As Ben Zimmer tells it in his November 14 On Language column, WWW: The 20th Anniversary of a Research Proposal That Remande the Language in the New York Times, Tim Berners-Lee, a British software programmer working at CERN outside Geneva, was attempting to “sketch out a global system for sharing information over the Internet. After submitting a document in 1989 on the topic which generated little interest, Berners-Lee tried again in 1990, collaborating with a Belgian engineer Robert Cailliau. It was this paper, WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a Hyper Text Project, submitted on November 12, 2010, that is the true basis of the World Wide Web as we know of it today. There are a number of articles, papers, and media events commemorating this seminal event, but for a quick read that is also informative, Mr. Zimmer’s colum in the Sunday November 14, 2010 New York Times comes highly recommended.

David Badertscher

A program presented by the state trial judges during the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in San Francisco at the Marriott Marquis On August 5, from 1:30-4:30 p.m..

Attendees registered for the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting are invited to join the National Conference of State Trial Judges for an in-depth look at search and seizure of digital evidence and the Fourth Amendment implications. This program is designed to provide an understanding of the sources and types of digital evidence encountered in modern litigation, including the introduction of meta data; examine the approaches courts take to address the search and seizure of digital evidence; explore cutting-edge issues such as search and seizure considerations with cell phones, e-mails, virtual worlds, and the like; and discuss judicial management of cyber-crime cases.

The program will end with a final segment titled “Technology Tools for Judges,” that focuses on digital tools available for judges to use while dealing with electronic documents and data, and metadata, now so prevalent in the courts. Participants will learn the components of Knowledge Management systems, how security issues have been treated, and the relative merits of generic search systems vs. legalspecific systems.

David Badertscher*

Some jurors have always had an urge to visit a crime scene or research a case they’re considering while on jury duty, but now the Internet is making it much easier to play detective.

“As simple as it might have been to research facts on their own in the past, now jurors don’t have to have a brother-in-law who’s a doctor or a next-door neighbor who’s a dentist. Everyone has access to the world of doctors and dentists,” says Laura A. Miller, the chair of the criminal litigation section of the American Bar Association and a partner at Nixon Peabody.

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