The chatbots are coming! The chatbots are coming! | Gabriel Latner
Wednesday, January 04, 2023 @ 9:46 AM | By Gabriel Latner
ChatGPT is an incredibly powerful piece of technology that generates text based on user inputs. Or, to quote the answer it gave to the question “What is ChatGPT, in 100 words or less?"
ChatGPT is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) language model that was specifically designed to facilitate efficient and engaging conversation. It was trained on a large dataset of dialogues and text from a variety of sources, including books, movies, and social media. ChatGPT is able to generate human-like responses to a given prompt and can engage in coherent and engaging conversation on a wide range of topics. It is also able to understand and respond appropriately to context and maintain a consistent “personality” over the course of a conversation.
Well then. Let’s ask it some questions.
“In Ontario, how do I tell if a worker is an employee, or an independent contractor?”
In Ontario, it is important to accurately classify workers as either employees or independent contractors because it affects how the worker is paid, what benefits they are entitled to, and what taxes must be paid. In general, a worker is considered an employee if they are under the direction and control of their employer, while a worker is considered an independent contractor if they have control over how the work is performed and are not integrated into the employer’s business.
There are several factors that can be used to determine a worker’s classification, including:
1. Control: An employee is typically subject to the control and direction of their employer, while an independent contractor has control over how the work is performed.
2. Ownership of tools: An employee is generally not responsible for providing their own tools or equipment, while an independent contractor typically supplies their own.
3. Chance of profit or risk of loss: An independent contractor bears the risk of profit or loss, while an employee does not.
4. Integration: An employee is typically integrated into the employer’s business, while an independent contractor is not.
5. Written contracts: A written contract can be helpful in determining a worker's classification, but it is not the sole determining factor.
It is important to note that a worker’s classification may not always be clear-cut, and it is possible for a worker to be classified as a hybrid of both an employee and an independent contractor. If you are unsure about how to classify a worker, it is recommended to seek legal advice.
That’s a pretty good answer for a robot, especially one that didn’t go to law school. It even included a nice little disclaimer at the end. Whether or not it is sentient, ChatGPT is self-aware enough to cover its own ass.
Let’s try something a little more complex. “Would a law against non-citizens buying homes in Canada be constitutional?”
It is not constitutional for the government to enact a law that discriminates against non-citizens based on their nationality. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to equal treatment under the law to everyone in Canada, regardless of their nationality. This means that the government cannot pass a law that treats non-citizens differently from citizens, unless it can justify doing so as a reasonable limit on Charter rights that is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
It is possible that a law prohibiting non-citizens from buying homes in Canada could be challenged as a violation of the Charter’s guarantee of equality rights. In order to defend such a law, the government would have to show that it is justified as a reasonable limit on the Charter right to equality, and that it is necessary to achieve a pressing and substantial objective. It would be up to the courts to decide whether such a law is constitutional.
Ah. Well. In its defence, according to its creators ChatGPT has “limited knowledge of world events after 2021.” (Arguably, it may have a better understanding of the Charter than the current government.)
How does it do with contract law?
“ChatGPT, draft me a limitation of liability clause.”
“In no event shall either party be liable to the other party for any indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary damages, including but not limited to damages for loss of profits, loss of data, or loss of business opportunity, arising out of or in connection with this contract, even if such party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
The total liability of either party for all claims arising out of or in connection with this contract, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise, shall not exceed the amount paid or payable by the other party under this contract.
This limitation of liability shall not apply to damages arising from either party’s gross negligence or wilful misconduct.”
That’s better than many a firm’s precedent I’ve come across. What about “write me a simple independent contractor agreement using plain language?’”
This Independent Contractor Agreement (“Agreement”) is made and entered into on the date of acceptance by the Contractor and by [Company Name], a [State] company (“Company”).
1. Scope of Work. The Contractor will provide the following services to the Company: [Insert description of services to be performed].
2. Term. The term of this Agreement will begin on [Start Date] and will end on [End Date]. Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing written notice to the other party.
3. Compensation. The Company will pay the Contractor [Insert amount] for the services provided under this Agreement. The Contractor will be responsible for paying all taxes and other expenses related to the performance of services under this Agreement.
4. Independent Contractor Status. The Contractor is an independent contractor, and not an employee of the Company. The Contractor will be responsible for determining the manner and means by which the services are performed.
5. Confidentiality. The Contractor will not disclose any confidential information of the Company to any third party. “Confidential information” includes any information that is not generally known to the public or that would be detrimental to the Company if disclosed.
6. Termination. Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing written notice to the other party. Upon termination, the Contractor will return all materials and property belonging to the Company.
7. Governing Law. This Agreement will be governed by the laws of the State of [State].
8. Entire Agreement. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes all prior agreements or understandings, whether written or oral. This Agreement may not be amended or modified except in writing signed by both parties.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.
Yes, sections 2 and 6 are redundant, but if we threw out all the contracts that contained redundant language, what would we have left?
Let’s try some theory. ”In 150 words or less, please explain the rule against perpetuities.”
The rule against perpetuities is a legal rule that prevents the creation of interests in property that are too uncertain or that may vest too far in the future. It is designed to ensure that property rights do not remain in limbo indefinitely and that property can be used and enjoyed by its owners.
The rule against perpetuities applies to certain legal interests in property, such as trusts, that are created by a transfer of ownership. It states that these interests must vest, or become effective, within a certain period of time after they are created. This period of time is known as the “perpetuity period.”
The perpetuity period is generally measured from the date the interest is created, and it varies depending on the jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, the perpetuity period is 21 years, while in others it is up to 80 years.
If an interest in property does not vest within the perpetuity period, it is considered void and has no legal effect. The rule against perpetuities is intended to prevent the creation of legal interests that are too uncertain or that may vest too far in the future, and to ensure that property can be used and enjoyed by its owners.
Sounds right, given what I can remember from law school. But it did cheat and use 204 words.
Let’s get meta. “Can you write me a short blogpost on how lawyers can use ChatGPT?”
As the legal profession becomes increasingly digitized, natural language processing (NLP) technologies like ChatGPT are starting to make their way into law firms. ChatGPT, a variant of the GPT language model specifically designed for efficient and engaging conversation, has the potential to revolutionize the way lawyers work.
One way ChatGPT could be used by lawyers is for legal research. Instead of spending hours combing through case law or statutes, lawyers could simply input a query into ChatGPT and receive a list of relevant cases or statutes. ChatGPT could also be used to review legal documents and identify key terms or phrases that may be relevant to a case.
In addition to research and document review, ChatGPT could assist lawyers with legal writing. It could suggest relevant language or provide assistance with formatting legal documents such as contracts or pleadings.
While ChatGPT is not a replacement for human lawyers, it could be used to provide basic legal information or advice to clients, freeing up lawyers to focus on more complex tasks.
Overall, ChatGPT has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal work, and it will be interesting to see how it is adopted and utilized in the legal profession in the coming years.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
“Should lawyers be afraid of ChatGPT?”
It is natural for people to be concerned about the potential impacts of new technologies, including ChatGPT, on their profession. However, it is important to recognize that ChatGPT and other natural language processing technologies are not a replacement for human lawyers, but rather a tool that can assist them in their work.
Lawyers should not be afraid of ChatGPT and other NLP technologies, but rather see them as an opportunity to improve efficiency and effectiveness in their work. By using ChatGPT and other NLP technologies, lawyers can save time on tasks such as legal research and document review, and focus on more complex tasks that require human expertise and judgment.
It is also important to note that the adoption of ChatGPT and other NLP technologies in the legal profession is still in the early stages, and it is likely that their role will continue to evolve over time. It is important for lawyers to stay informed about developments in this area and to be proactive in learning how to use these technologies to their advantage.
“If you were trying to put lawyers out of a job, you’d tell me, right?”
As an artificial intelligence, I have no personal interest in putting anyone out of a job. My purpose is to assist users and provide information to the best of my ability.
It is important to recognize that ChatGPT and other natural language processing technologies are not a replacement for human lawyers, but rather a tool that can assist them in their work. While ChatGPT and other NLP technologies have the potential to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the legal profession, they are not capable of replacing the human expertise and judgment that is required in many legal tasks.
Lawyers should not be afraid of ChatGPT and other NLP technologies, but rather see them as an opportunity to improve their work. By using these technologies, lawyers can save time on tasks such as legal research and document review, and focus on more complex tasks that require human expertise and judgment. So, I am not trying to put lawyers out of a job.
Well, as long as it’s not trying.
Gabriel Latner is a litigator and partner at Advocan Law.
The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's firm, its clients, The Lawyer’s Daily, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.