Michael Cohen employed AI-generated fake cases in an attempt to terminate his probation

By Danilo Ezequiel Carando, CNN Week

Updated 02:15 Am December 30, 2023

In a recent court filing, Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for Donald Trump, revealed that he unknowingly provided his attorney with fake case citations generated by artificial intelligence (AI). Cohen used Google Bard, an AI chatbot, to create these citations as part of an attempt to end his probation on charges of tax evasion and campaign finance violations. He admitted to giving these citations to his attorney, David M. Schwartz, who included them in a motion filed with a federal judge. However, the judge could not find any of the cited cases and requested an explanation. Cohen claimed that he was unaware of the risks associated with AI technology and believed Google Bard was a powerful search engine. He expressed surprise that Schwartz included the citations without verifying their existence. The mistake was eventually caught by Cohen's new attorney, E. Danya Perry, who provided genuine case citations. This incident highlights the increasing use of AI in the legal industry but also the potential pitfalls. It is worth noting that this is not the first time Manhattan federal judges have encountered lawyers using fake AI-generated citations. In a separate case earlier this year, two lawyers were fined for using ChatGPT to create bogus case citations.
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