What are the Risks of Using AI as an Alternative to Advice from a Professional?

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has experienced a supersonic boom in its use and development within the last year, with solutions such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard becoming household names. 

Such AI solutions have garnered significant public attention, mostly owing to its impressive ability to engage seamlessly in human-like conversations to assist users with various tasks. 

This unique and broad functionality has fuelled the ongoing debate on whether the work carried out by professionals (or aspects of it) could be completed as accurately, efficiently and cost-effectively by an AI counterpart. 

This technology blog explores some of the risks of using AI to replace such professional services.

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What are the Risks of Using AI as an Alternative to Advice from a Professional

What are the risks of obtaining advice via AI?

Lack of expertise and contextual understanding

The key, and perhaps most significant motivation behind instructing a professional, is that a client benefits from extensive expertise derived from years of experience in a chosen field, navigating the intricacies of a profession and solving complex problems for clients on a daily basis.

A professional, therefore, possesses the ability to advise each client on their unique requirements, necessitating a careful and considered application of knowledge and commercial acumen.

Turning to AI, whilst the solutions available are able to provide answers to most queries, the output (or answer) is based on data that the platform has been trained on.

Even if a professional spent hours training the platform, it is likely that they would, at best, be able to provide the system with generalised, out-of-context knowledge that would likely not be applicable to very specific queries input by a user – the same as would be achieved by typing a question into an online search engine and receiving a generalised response.

Therefore, AI lacks the ability a professional possesses to answer a specific query and exercise independent judgment in a client’s best interests. 

Legal matters often require interpretation and application of complex laws, regulations, and legal precedents that are constantly changing to provide advice that is not only legally accurate but also commercially viable, considering the client’s individual commercial, personal, and financial objectives. 

Relying solely on an AI solution’s response may lead to inaccurate or incomplete advice which does not account for contextual nuances, potentially resulting in costly legal and commercial consequences for the user. 

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What are the risks of obtaining advice via AI

Potential for incorrect answers and incomplete or outdated information

AI is a constantly evolving language model. This means it is prone to making mistakes until more sophisticated solutions are developed. An AI solution may produce convincing and well-drafted answers which seem plausible.

However, its response may be based on inaccurate or incomplete information. 

For an AI solution to produce an answer, it must be “trained”; therefore, the quality of the answer it produces is contingent upon the quality of such training.

It is possible, therefore, that a period of time could elapse between a significant event taking place and the AI being made aware of this via training or the training to be incorrect or incomplete in the first instance.

Such a gap could result in the solution providing incomplete or outdated information repeatedly to users until it is re-trained with correct, up-to-date information. 

In a legal matter, where accuracy and precision in interpreting legislation and drafting documents are critical, the potential for inconsistencies and errors highlighted above could have consequences for a user resulting in potentially significant financial and legal detriment.

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Potential for incorrect answers and incomplete or outdated information

Privacy and privilege issues

Information shared between a professional and a client is ordinarily protected by confidentiality obligations contained within the contract.

For legal services, information shared between a legal professional and their client is also protected by the concept of “privilege” (irrespective of whether a written contract has been entered into).

Privilege is a crucial legal concept that protects confidential communications between clients and their legal representatives, enabling clients to disclose potentially damaging or commercially sensitive information.

This enables clients to receive legal advice which is reflective of a fully informed position by the legal adviser and is secured by high standards of ethics and professionalism required by regulatory bodies.

In contrast, AI is not subject to the same regulatory control as solicitors practising in the UK and therefore does not offer any confidentiality or legal privilege protection, potentially jeopardising the privacy and confidentiality of sensitive matters.

Where an AI solution leaks confidential information, a client cannot seek redress by way of regulatory action or a claim for breach of contract that it would do had a solicitor breached its confidentiality obligations.

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Privacy and privilege issues


While AI technologies, like ChatGPT and Bard, offer convenience and quick access to information, relying solely on them for legal matters carries significant legal risks.

Legal issues demand the expertise, experience, and contextual understanding that legal professionals provide.

To navigate legal complexities effectively, it is crucial to consult qualified legal professionals who possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to mitigate legal risks and ensure compliance with the law.

AI does, however, offer opportunities to assist professional service providers and law firms to streamline their delivery of services to clients and, in doing so, pass on cost-saving efficiencies.

For example, AI solutions are now being developed specifically for use within law firms to reduce the administrative burden of client onboarding processes and ID verification required as part of “Know Your Client” regulatory obligations.

Such streamlined processes offer the opportunity for professionals to reduce administrative costs for their clients whilst focusing their time on providing clients with the complex professional advice they require.

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Conclusion v8

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