I have recently been employed as a company secretary and head of legal department by a foreign company engaged in real estate business in Zanzibar. My first assignment is to reduce the costs of retainer fees for litigation, drafting opinions and contracts with a law firm. In an attempt to reduce the costs for legal service, I intend to present to our board that we use AI chatbot which can perform the work of legal practitioners. I want our in-house lawyers to use AI chatbot for research, drafting opinions and pleadings instead of retaining law firms. Based on your extensive experience in the legal industry, I would like your thoughts on this issue.
We are aware of the AI chatbot being used as an alternative way of obtaining legal services especially in the USA and some countries in Europe. Since this technology is still new the legal framework governing it in Tanzania does not exist. However, as per the definition of an advocate (legal practitioner in Zanzibar under the Advocates Act of 2020), AI chatbot does not qualify as an advocate. That being the case if you intend to use AI chatbot you can use it as any other online legal research platform but it cannot notarise documents or substitute the work of an advocate.
In addition we wish to inform you that should you opt to use the chatbot, the following are possible risks associated with the use of AI chatbot. To begin with there is no guarantee of privacy on the information you are putting in the AI chatbot, it is like you are sharing the information with the entire world. In addition the information provided by AI chatbot is based on what has been uploaded. Considering the fact that we are still in the process of uploading new case laws and amendments to the laws, AI chatbot’s search results may be inaccurate, incomplete, misleading and out of date. We recommend you move with caution.