Illinois Supreme Court Forms Generative AI Task Force

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The Illinois Supreme Court launched a task force investigating uses of generative artificial intelligence, with a roster that includes judges, administrators and attorneys, a spokesperson at the courts has confirmed to Law360 Pulse.

The task force will learn about generative artificial intelligence and recommend ways that the Illinois judicial branch should both regulate and leverage the technology, a spokesperson for the Illinois courts said on Friday.

The initiative's objective involves exploring the appropriate uses and misuses of AI, recommending policy and guidelines for its use and suggesting opportunities to incorporate AI as a means to enhance operations and customer service.

The members of the task force include 21 individuals, according to documents provided by the Illinois courts. Tom Jakeway, a trial court administrator in the 17th Judicial Circuit, and Jeffrey A. Goffinet, an associate judge in the 1st Judicial Circuit, will serve as co-chairs from their locations in Rockford and Marion, respectively.

Since the emergence of popular generative AI tools like ChatGPT, the legal industry had broadly sought to incorporate and research the technology throughout 2023 and into the new year — with both positive and negative outcomes — making it one of the areas of greatest concern for legal tech leaders moving into 2024.

Other task force members include George Bellas, an attorney with Bellas & Wachowski; Robert Blackwell Jr., chairman of the board at software company EKI-Digital; Gwendelyn Daniels, deputy director of Illinois Legal Aid Online; and Timothy C. Evans, chief circuit judge of Cook County.

Another task force member, Daniel Linna, a professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, gave testimony in December to the Illinois House Judiciary and Cybersecurity Committees regarding AI.

Linna said, "AI technology is in the early stages, perhaps the first inning of nine. But from an AI policy perspective, we're already in the seventh inning, with a lot to be done. We desperately need policy focused on capturing the tremendous benefits of AI, and mitigating the risks. Now is the time to take bold action."

A recent study by FTI Consulting Inc. and the Association of Corporate Counsel Singapore found that generative AI has been widely adopted by in-house legal counsel in Asia, though a majority also note a lack of guidance by companies regarding such technologies.

While generative AI has the potential to speed up legal work, the technology also presents risks and challenges for legal tech companies and law firms, making the technology an area of concern for legal tech leaders this year.

--Additional reporting by Sarah Martinson. Editing by Nicole Bleier.

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