AI Update: DLA Piper & Sam Altman, Data Issues For Training Legal AI, Another AI Forum In D.C.


DLA Piper’s client coaching played a significant role in the “genuine and authentic” performance of OpenAI’s Sam Altman in court this week, Politico reports, adding that “DLA Piper has been advising Altman on how to testify before Congress and charm lawmakers since at least the spring of 2023.” The firm has long been enthusiastic about AI and, according to Politico, was an early adopter of OpenAI’s GPT-4 language model, which the firm intends to use to build its own AI legal assistant.

Microsoft seems unfazed by the risk of copyright lawsuits resulting from use of its Copilot AI tools, which are used for generative AI in Office and other products, Bloomberg Law reports. The tech giant promised last week to defend customers from lawsuits over output from Copilot tools, a move one legal academic characterized as “good for PR and reassurance.”

The issue with generative AI in legal technology isn’t one of underpowered tools but of a lack of usable data on which to train those tools, Legaltech News’ Isha Marathe writes in a new analysis. Limitations from data owners regarding what legal data from, for example, documents used in a discovery process, can be used for mean limits on the degree to which generative AI can be trained on that data.

At a summit in Washington, D.C. this week, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sundar Pichai joined lawmakers for a “private forum” organized by Sen. Chuck Schumer regarding how to regulate AI, according to the Associated Press. “Among the ideas discussed was whether there should be an independent agency to oversee certain aspects of the rapidly-developing technology, how companies could be more transparent and how the United States can stay ahead of China and other countries,” the news outlet reports.

“Tech companies are meaningfully engaging, and governments are starting to get proactive. This hasn’t always happened, so we are already going in the right direction,” AI entrepreneur Mustafa Suleyman tells the New York Times in a brief interview ahead of the launch of his new book, “The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma.” Suleyman, who co-founded the now Google-owned AI product DeepMind, advocated for governments to step up their domestic regulation of artificial intelligence and use soft power to influence AI regulation abroad.

Ethan Beberness is a Brooklyn-based writer covering legal tech, small law firms, and in-house counsel for Above the Law. His coverage of legal happenings and the legal services industry has appeared in Law360, Bushwick Daily, and elsewhere.

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