One wonders if there is ever a moment when the internet is devoid, in one form or another, of hype and hysteria over a new video, song, software, thought, controversy or challenge (N.B. think bitcoin, the Kardashians, NFTs, memes, Harry & Meghan, etc.).

In our case, we are talking about the virtual firestorm of activity around a new generation of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) software. The latest entry in the AI world, is ChatGPT. As of today, Google shows 413,000,000 search results for ChatGPT!

So, what is ChatGPT? Technically speaking, it is “Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer” (commonly called ChatGPT), and is a chatbot launched by OpenAI in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of large language models, and is fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques.  It’s a chatbot, that quickly garnered attention for its detailed responses and articulate answers across many domains of knowledge.

Beyond the hype, many businesses, industries and professions are looking at how ChatGPT may change their work environment, primarily to create business process efficiencies (although ultimately, there will be many more benefits arising out of this form of AI). And like all industries, the legal profession is considering how ChatGPT may be a “game-changer”, in the delivery of legal services.

So, how likely is it that ChatGPT will help lawyers, and therefore, help clients?

We think it is likely that ChatGPT and other language generation models, and many other forms of AI, will be used to assist lawyers in law firms, with tasks such as document drafting and review, legal research, and client communication (some of this happens, right now). However, the specific use cases and the extent to which the technology will be adopted, will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific needs of the law firm, the quality of the technology, and the willingness of lawyers to adopt and use the tools.

As of today, we are in the very earlier stages of AI adoption, and ChatGPT has only been publicly available since November 2022.  With all of that said, I thought I would put ChatGPT to a simple test, to get some tangible idea of what ChatGPT can do.

I asked ChatGPT to: “Draft a contract for the co-ownership of recreational property”. The output from ChatGPT (unedited), is set out below. 

ChatGPT certainly shows promise, but I think it is fair to say, that there is still much work to be done. Take a look at what it produced.

ChatGPT output:

Co-Ownership Agreement for Recreational Property

This agreement (the “Agreement”) is made and entered into on ____________ by and between the following co-owners:

_________________________ (the “First Co-Owner”)

_________________________ (the “Second Co-Owner”)

The parties hereby agree as follows:

Property Description: The parties hereby co-own the following described property (the “Property”): _________________________. The Property is located at _________________________.

Purpose of Property: The Property shall be used solely for recreational purposes. The co-owners shall have the right to use the Property for any lawful recreational purpose, including, but not limited to, camping, hunting, fishing, and boating.

Co-Ownership Interest: The First Co-Owner and the Second Co-Owner shall each have a ____________% interest in the Property.

Costs and Expenses: The co-owners shall share equally in all costs and expenses associated with the Property, including, but not limited to, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and improvements.

Right of Possession: The co-owners shall have the right to possession of the Property on a rotating basis, as agreed upon by the co-owners.

Decision Making: All decisions regarding the Property shall be made by mutual agreement of the co-owners.

Duration: This agreement shall remain in effect for ____________ years, after which time it will be automatically renewed for successive ____________ year terms, unless either party gives written notice of their intent to terminate the agreement at least ____________ months prior to the expiration of the current term.

Termination: This agreement may be terminated by mutual agreement of the co-owners, or by either party in the event of a material breach of this agreement by the other party.

Governing Law: This agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of ____________.

Severability: If any provision of this agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.

Entire Agreement: This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties concerning the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, whether oral or written.

Binding Effect: This agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective successors and assigns.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this agreement as of the date first above written.

First Co-Owner Second Co-Owner

Notary Public Notary Public