The hype cycle for chatbots—software that can generate convincing strings of words from a simple prompt—is in full swing. Few industries are more panicked than lawyers, who have been investing in tools to generate and process legal documents for years. After all, you might joke, what are lawyers but primitive human chatbots, generating convincing strings of words from simple prompts?
For America's state and local courts, this joke is about to get a lot less funny, fast. Debt collection agencies are already flooding courts and ambushing ordinary people with thousands of low-quality, small-dollar cases. Courts are woefully unprepared for a future where anyone with a chatbot can become a high-volume filer, or where ordinary people might rely on chatbots for desperately-needed legal advice.
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