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The Truth About Hallucinations in Legal Research AI: How to Avoid Them and Trust Your Sources

Rebecca Fordon – AI Law Librarians – “Hallucinations in generative AI are not a new topic. If you watch the news at all (or read the front page of the New York Times), you’ve heard of the two New York attorneys who used ChatGPT to create fake cases entire cases and then submitted them to the court. After that case, which resulted in a media frenzy and (somewhat mild) court sanctions, many attorneys are wary of using generative AI for legal research. But vendors are working to limit hallucinations and increase trust. And some legal tasks are less affected by hallucinations. Understanding how and why hallucinations occur can help us evaluate new products and identify lower-risk uses.  A brief aside on the term “hallucinations”.  Some commentators have cautioned against this term, arguing that it lets corporations shift the blame to the AI for the choices they’ve made about their models. They argue that AI isn’t hallucinating, it’s making things up, or producing errors or mistakes, or even just bullshitting. I’ll use the word hallucinations here, as the term is common in computer science, but I recognize it does minimize the issue. With that all in mind, let’s dive in…”

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