What’s This all about?

Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs), particularly with ChatGPT, GPT•3, and text to image generators like DALLE•E and Stable Diffusion have in recent months caused a sensation.

ChatGPT is considered the fastest growing technology ever in terms of user adoption, with a reported 100 million users by Feb 1 2023, just two months after its launch.

Many predict that these technologies will transform professions, industries, perhaps society as a whole. Though new technologies (we’ve seen this recently with ‘the metaverse’ and cryptocurrencies) often come with similar hype, and rarely live up to it.

We do believe there is a ‘there there’ (we’ll get to who ‘we’ are in a minute), but rather than focus on how these technologies might change everything, we’ll going to narrow that focus on a specific area, the practice of law. Why? We’ll get to that in a moment too.

Who are ‘we’?

Peter Allsopp

Peter Allsopp is a lawyer, a legal writer and publisher who has practiced law in Australia for many years. He’s worked at legal publishers, and publishes his own very popular blog focussed on wills and succession, Heirs and Successes.

He has had a long standing interest in technology, and its intersection with the law, and advised some of the earliest blockchain startups in Australia a decade or more ago.

John Allsopp

John Allsopp studied law and computer science in the 1980s. He has a very long standing interest in Artificial Intelligence, the World Wide Web and the promise of software to help humans manage and work with information and knowledge.

I’ve seen, and participated (to at least some extent) in the 3 genuinely transformative shifts in technology in the last 40 years–the personal computer revolution, the coming of the Web, and the mobile/cloud transformation. I’ve also seen hyped technologies come and go (like the early to mid 1990s ‘push technologies‘), or explode then fade (such as NFTs) or persist as a perennial future (AR/VR)–always just a few years off.

Ironically AI has, since the 1960s, probably been best characterised as a perennially ‘just around the corner’ breakthrough. Marvin Minsky, below average human being (to say the least) but pioneer in AI predicted in 1967

Within a generation the problem of creating ‘artificial intelligence’ will be substantially solved

Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines 1967

Quotes of this nature can be found among AI luminaries for the last half century or more. Successive innovations in AI over the last half century have at times made real breakthroughs appear imminent.

But it’s the rise of Generative AI, built on Transformers, a relatively recent innovation in machine learning, that is what makes technologies like GPT feel more than just hype.

Why Large Language Law?

OK, so we believe there is substance to the hype around generative AI. We think one of the areas that will be significantly transformed by these technologies is the practice of law.

With our long standing interest in, study and practice of the law, as well as decades long experience creating software and technology companies and advising technology companies, we feel we are well placed to help lawyers, and others in legal practice demystify the landscape of generative AI and its impact on the practice of law, call out the hype, and point folks in the right direction.

We don’t have a product to sell in this space–other than our advice (and for now that’s entirely free on this site and via our newsletter–why not signup now?)


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