A Colombian Judge has admitted that he used ChatGPT to decide whether insurance for autistic children should cover all costs associated with their treatment. To support his decision, he also relied on precedents from other rulings.
Juan Manuel Padilla was a Cartagena-based judge who ruled that the child’s medical and transport costs should be covered by his medical plan because his parents couldn’t afford them.
The judgment was not controversial, but adding ChatGPT conversations with Padilla into the ruling has caused more controversy.
The legal documents that Padilla shared with ChatGPT show Padilla asking the chatbot the exact legal question: “Is an autistic child pardoned from having to pay fees for their therapies?”
ChatGPT’s reply was in line with the Judge’s final decision. “Yes, that is correct.” Colombian regulations exempt minors with autism from having to pay fees for therapies.
This case has sparked a debate about AI in law, and some of Padilla’s peers have criticized it.
ChatGPT searches the internet for information to help it answer questions. However, different answers have been provided to the same question. ChatGPT can also create information to tell compelling and inventive lies.
Recently, the platform’s infancy has been alarming, even in schools where teachers worry that OpenAI could be used for plagiarising.
Padilla supported his use of technology and suggested that it could improve the efficiency of Colombia’s overworked legal system. To support his decision, the Judge used precedent from past rulings.
Blu Radio’s Padilla said on Tuesday that ChatGPT and similar programs could “facilitate drafting texts” but not “replace judges.”
By asking questions about the application, Padilla also stated, “we don’t stop being judges, thinking beings.”
The Judge stated that ChatGPT performed services previously provided by a secretary and did so in an organized, simple, and structured way that could improve the justice system’s response times.
Rosario University Professor Juan David Gutierrez was one of those who expressed doubt at Judge’s admission. He demanded that judges receive urgent training in digital literacy.
In 2022, Colombia approved a law that suggested that public lawyers use technology to improve their work efficiency.
Octavio Tejeiro, another Colombian judge, said that AI caused a moral panic in law as people feared that robots would replace judges. However, he believed the tool would soon be accepted and used as a common tool.
Tejeiro stated that technology should be used to improve the justice system, but also with ethics in mind. He also said that justice administrators must always consider the human aspect of the job. It must be viewed as an instrument that helps the Judge improve their judgment. The tool cannot be considered more important than the individual.
Tejeiro told the reporters that he had not used ChatGPT but would be interested in using it in the future. Chatbot itself was less concerned about its new role within the justice system.