Is AI the Answer to Law Firms’ Legal Content Creation Needs?

Is AI the Answer to Law Firms’ Legal Content Creation Needs?

A woman's face facing a robot's face

Unless you’ve been living under a very large rock, you’ve heard about ChatGPT, OpenAI’s new chatbot that can perform a variety of tasks – including creating content that is very close to what a human could create.

Its abilities have set the marketing world abuzz, with many observers predicting that it will fundamentally change the way we do business across all industries. Recently, ChatGPT has passed the multiple choice portion of the MBE, a Wharton Business School Test, and the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam. In fact, an AI-powered “lawyer” is set to appear in court next month, whispering in the defendant’s ear what to say through headphones. It’s undoubtedly a very exciting technology, and many people are looking into how to leverage it to cut costs and improve efficiencies in their daily processes.

ChatGPT for Content Generation

It’s true that ChatGPT can generate content. Here’s what it spits out when I ask it to write a product description for ski bindings:

Pretty good, right? Now let’s try it with a question about a legal issue:

 ChatGPT continues to provide good information – so should you use this when creating legal content for your website?

ChatGPT Has some Serious Issues

Before you start generating tons of content and throwing it onto your site, it’s important to understand that there are some issues with AI-generated content.

ChatGPT Doesn’t Know What it’s Talking About

ChatGPT does not understand the content it is spitting out. It is trained on a vast amount of data and predicts what word should come after any given word without any regard for factual accuracy. As such, the content it creates can often be very confident bullshit.

Google May Treat AI-Generated Content as Spam

Google has made various statements on AI-Generated content over the years. As recently as April of 2022, Google’s John Mueller said that content created by AI writing tools is considered spam. On the other hand, more recent statements from Google’s Danny Sullivan indicate that it may not be spam so long as it is “useful.”

There is speculation that Google can sniff out AI-generated content, as it has its own AI technologies at the heart of the search algorithm. Furthermore, the fact that OpenAI has itself discussed cryptographically watermarking ChatGPT content to address ethical concerns may render Google’s ability to spot AI-generated content moot.

ChatGPT May Plagiarize

Since ChatGPT generates content based on content it has already “read,” there is a good chance that the content that it creates is similar to existing content on the internet. Fundamentally, it operates like a highly advanced article spinner, which Google has unequivocally said is spam. Additionally, if you don’t do your due diligence and check AI-generated content for plagiarism, you may inadvertently wind up infringing on another firm’s content.

How to Use ChatGPT to Help in Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts

In light of these (and other) issues, it would be a bad idea to have ChatGPT write you a piece of blog or practice area page content and post it on your site. That said, there are certainly ways you can use ChatGPT to improve your marketing efforts and generally get things done faster. Some of the things you can safely and ethically use AI for include the following:

  • Keyword research
  • Generating blog topics
  • Outlining articles
  • Writing social media posts
  • Creating email templates
  • Legal research
  • Write ad copy
  • Statistical research

AI + Human Expertise is a Winning Combination

At this time, the best use case of AI is as an assistant – whether that comes to writing, research, or any other tasks you use it for. As amazing as it is, it is not sentient and does not understand its outputs. As such, it may create false, misleading, or even offensive outputs.

At Lexicon Legal Content, we are actively using AI in many aspects of our processes. In fact, we have been using AI for years – our initial editing and plagiarism check involves putting a piece of content through Grammarly, an AI-powered language and grammar-checking tool. Our human/AI hybrid approach to content creation results in factually accurate, compelling, individualized, unique, and advertising rules-complaint content that helps law firms sign more cases.

And if you’re wondering how much of this article was written by ChatGPT – it was just the title.

Contact us today to learn more.