A lawyer used ChatGPT and now has to answer for its ‘bogus’ citations

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A rendition of OpenAI’s logo, which looks like a stylized whirlpool.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT is a lot of things, but a lawyer it is not. | Illustration: The Verge

Lawyers suing the Columbian airline Avianca submitted a brief full of previous cases that were just made up by ChatGPT, The New York Times reported today. After opposing counsel pointed out the nonexistent cases, US District Judge Kevin Castel confirmed, “Six of the submitted cases appear to be bogus judicial decisions with bogus quotes and bogus internal citations,” and set up a hearing as he considers sanctions for the plaintiff’s lawyers.

Lawyer Steven A. Schwartz admitted in an affidavit that he had used OpenAI’s chatbot for his research. To verify the cases, he did the only reasonable thing: he asked the chatbot if it was lying.

Image: SDNY
This case isn’t going very well.

When he asked for a source,…

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