The ABA recently adopted Resolution 604, which includes guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence (AI), at its 2023 Midyear Meeting in New Orleans. The organization previously adopted resolutions regarding AI as it relates to the legal profession, but Resolution 604 is more broadly focused on the design, development, and deployment of AI by technology organizations. The ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force sponsored the resolution. According to the ABA website, the task force serves as “a clearinghouse regarding cybersecurity activities, policy proposals, advocacy, publications and resources” and is Co-Chaired by Maureen Kelly with Northrop Grumman and Claudia Rast of Butzel Long.

Lucy Thompson, a Delegate from Washington, DC, and founding member of the Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, moved the resolution. In her remarks, she stated, “Resolution 604 presents basic principles that should guide the development of AI. Following the proposed guidelines will enhance AI, reduce its inherent risks, and facilitate the development and use of AI in a trustworthy and responsible manner.”

Specifically, Resolution 604 states that AI developers should: ensure their products are subject to human authority, oversight, and control; include accountability measures if developers have not taken reasonable steps to mitigate harm or injury; and provide transparency and traceability for their products. The resolution also encourages federal and state lawmakers and regulators to follow the same standards when making AI policy. 


Delegate Al Harvey with the Senior Lawyers Division spoke in favor of the resolution, particularly as it relates to AI’s impact on the legal profession. He cited the struggles law professors are having with law students’ use of ChatGPT. He also noted that legal services organizations are trying to bring AI into performing legal services for clients. Mr. Harvey stated that as policymakers try to develop laws and regulations regarding AI, “The ABA needs policy on it. We need to have a seat at the table when these matters are being discussed.”

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