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Michael Cohen Alleges AI-Generated Fabrications in Court Filing Against Trump

Fasle case citations

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Michael Cohen, former fixer and lawyer to Donald Trump, faces an unusual situation. Court papers reveal the use of artificial intelligence in generating fake case citations.

Unintended AI Inclusion

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In a sworn declaration, Cohen admits to inadvertently incorporating fictitious case citations. These citations originated from the AI program Google Bard and were included in an official court filing.

Google Bard AI Chatbot

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Google Bard, an AI chatbot developed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is revealed as the source of the erroneous case citations. This showcases the evolving role of AI in legal processes.

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Motion for Supervised Release

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The fake citations found their way into a motion seeking an early end to Cohen’s supervised release. This followed his imprisonment for campaign finance violations.

Judge’s Discovery

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U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman identifies the nonexistent cases. He directs Cohen’s lawyer, David Schwartz, to address potential sanctions for citing fabricated legal precedents.

Cohen’s Admission

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Cohen, disbarred five years ago, acknowledges that the citations originated from his online research. He expresses surprise that they were included without verification.

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Lack of Awareness

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Cohen reveals that he was unaware of the capabilities of Google Bard, describing it as a generative text service akin to ChatGPT. This highlights the risks associated with emerging legal technology.

Regret and Apology

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Expressing regret, Cohen acknowledges any problems caused by Schwartz’s filing. He emphasizes the unintended consequences of incorporating AI-generated content.

Court Deadline

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Judge Furman sets a deadline for responses from Schwartz and prosecutors. He allows them until Wednesday to address Cohen’s filing and consider the implications of AI errors in legal proceedings.

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Legal Tech Challenges

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The case underscores the challenges courts face in regulating the use of generative AI programs like ChatGPT and Google Bard in legal proceedings. It raises questions about the need for guidelines and oversight.

Past Incidents

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Reference is made to a prior incident in June where New York lawyers faced sanctions for submitting a legal brief with fictitious case citations generated by ChatGPT. This highlights the recurring challenges in AI implementation in the legal domain.

Cohen’s Ongoing Role

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Michael Cohen, a crucial witness in various cases against Trump, including a civil fraud case and a state criminal case, continues to navigate legal complexities. This poses questions about the impact of AI on legal proceedings and the potential for increased scrutiny in future cases.

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