Thomson Reuters has officially completed its acquisition of Casetext, a legal tech company focused on using machine learning and AI to develop products like the company’s CoCounsel — an AI legal assistant powered by GPT-4. “The acquisition supports Thomson Reuters ‘build, partner and buy’ strategy to bring generative AI solutions to its customers and the company’s efforts to redefine the future of professionals through applications of generative AI,” the company said in a press release.
Casetext also appeared in an ABA Journal story regarding how CoCounsel helped the California Innocence Project draft emails and memos and conduct legal research, enabling the pro bono organization to become more efficient with its limited resources. “I think that this is a profound opportunity for the legal profession to live up to its ideals,” Pablo Arredondo, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Casetext, says of AI’s potential to close the justice gap.
Despite having built products that rely on OpenAI’s GPT-4 and GPT-3.5 models, legal tech companies seem mostly unfazed by the growing number of lawsuits against the AI giant, LegalTech News reports. As the suits progress, companies may have to begin looking for alternative models to power their own offerings or embrace an “LLM independent mindset.”
Speaking of lawsuits against OpenAI, the New York Times has begun exploring legal action against the ChatGPT creator “to protect the intellectual property rights associated with its reporting,” NPR reports, adding that the news organization and OpenAI “have been locked in tense negotiation over reaching a licensing deal in which OpenAI would pay the Times for incorporating its stories in the tech company’s AI tools.”
In the latest chapter in the agency’s crackdown on data brokers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau intends to propose new restrictions on sales of personal data for use in digital advertising and artificial intelligence, Bloomberg Law reports. The new restrictions would “seek to ban the sale of consumer data, including so-called ‘credit-header data’ like a person’s name, address, or Social Security number, for the purpose of targeting advertisements.”
AI Trainer, a new product from contract lifecycle management company Agiloft, enables “non-technical legal and business professionals to train its AI to identify key terms and clauses,” according to LawSites. The goal? Reducing the need for specialists when it comes to training generative AI on a firm’s unique preferences and style.
Some experts believe that gaining the public’s trust should be a priority for AI companies looking to stay ahead of legislative pressures, according to Bloomberg Law’s coverage of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Indianapolis. Transparent practices on the part of tech companies and regulation that balances the “risks and rewards of the emerging technology” will be essential factors in building public trust.
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.