Cohen confesses to using AI to craft bogus case citations.

Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen admitted to submitting fake legal citations generated by artificial intelligence in an effort to end court supervision of his case. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance and tax evasion charges in 2018 and is now set to be a key witness in a Manhattan criminal case against Trump. Other attorneys have also acknowledged submitting fake legal citations and this highlights the ethical questions surrounding the responsible use of artificial intelligence in the legal profession.

Cohen claimed that he was unaware that AI sites like Google Bard could generate false information and believed them to be “super-charged” search engines. Google Bard was introduced earlier this year as a competitor to Microsoft’s ChatGPT. While the tools can quickly generate text based on user prompts, they are prone to making things up, also known as “hallucinations.”

Cohen attributed the submission of the fake citations to his lawyer and longtime friend, blaming him for failing to validate their accuracy. He asked the judge to show mercy towards his lawyer, stating that it was an “honest mistake” and not an intent to deceive. The admission by Cohen raises questions about the trustworthiness of his testimony as a witness in the criminal case against Trump.

The use of artificial intelligence in the legal profession is a topic of ongoing debate. While it can offer efficiency and accuracy in certain aspects of legal work, its capabilities to generate fake information pose ethical challenges. Attorneys and legal professionals must navigate the responsible use of AI tools in order to maintain the integrity of the justice system.