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Daily Archives: June 5, 2023

Lawyer cites fake cases invented by ChatGPT, judge is not amused

Simon Willison’s Weblog: “Legal Twitter is having tremendous fun right now reviewing the latest documents from the case Mata v. Avianca, Inc. (1:22-cv-01461). Here’s a neat summary: So, wait. They file a brief that cites cases fabricated by ChatGPT. The court asks them to file copies of the opinions. And then they go back to ChatGPT and ask it to write the opinions, and then they file them? Beth Wilensky, May 26 2023

Here’s a New York Times story about what happened. I’m very much not a lawyer, but I’m going to dig in and try to piece together the full story anyway. The TLDR version: A lawyer asked ChatGPT for examples of cases that supported an argument they were trying to make.

ChatGPT, as it often does, hallucinated wildly—it invented several supporting cases out of thin air. When the lawyer was asked to provide copies of the cases in question, they turned to ChatGPT for help again—and it invented full details of those cases, which they duly screenshotted and copied into their legal filings. At some point, they asked ChatGPT to confirm that the cases were real… and ChatGPT said that they were. They included screenshots of this in another filing. The judge is furious. Many of the parties involved are about to have a very bad time. A detailed timeline: I pieced together the following from the documents on…” [Very detailed and well cited evaluation of this matter. The insights are most welcome after the brouhaha to date.]

Awesome Privacy Guides

Awesome Privacy – List of free, open source and privacy respecting services and alternatives to private services, such as those provided by Google/Alphabet. Anonymity, Privacy, and Security are often used interchangeably, but they actually represent distinct concepts. It is important to understand the differences between them. Read more in this section below.The primary focus of… Continue Reading

Inside Snopes: the rise, fall, and rebirth of an internet icon

Fast Company: “America’s premier fact-checking site was failed by the two men who had charge of it, critics say. As Snopes turns a corner, here’s the tale of what went so right—and so wrong….Snopes predated, created by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2003, and, created in 2007 by the Tampa Bay Times—now… Continue Reading

How The Economist reached 2.7 mln subscribers with its LinkedIn newsletter

Mapping Journalism, Francesco Zaffarano – Q&A: How The Economist built one of its most successful newsletters on LinkedIn. For this issue, I spoke with Aaron Coultate, head of newsletters at The Economist. Aaron is responsible for a rich portfolio of newsletters, but there is one I was particularly interested in. One year ago, he worked… Continue Reading

Florida Higher Ed Faces an Ideologically Driven Assault Unparalleled in US History

American Association of University Professors: “Earlier this year, the AAUP established a special committee to review the apparent pattern of politically, racially, and ideologically motivated attacks on public higher education in Florida. Today, after interviewing dozens of faculty members at multiple public colleges and universities in the state, the committee has released a preliminary report… Continue Reading

Office of Civil Rights Issues Guidance on HIPAA Compliant Use of Meta Pixels

ABA: “A Meta Pixel is a code embedded in websites that tracks users’ online activities and sends such activities as discrete packets of user data to Meta, the parent company of Facebook. The Meta Pixel can track “users as they navigate through a website, logging which pages they visit, which buttons they click, and certain… Continue Reading

Short Supply – The Health and National Security Risks of Drug Shortages

U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs – Majority Staff Report, Short Supply – The Health and National Security Risks of Drug Shortages – March 2023: “Shortages of critical medications continue to rise—including drugs used in hospital emergency rooms and to treat cancer, prescription medications, and even common over-the-counter treatments like children’s cold… Continue Reading