AI Tool Updated To Help Immigration Attys With Legal Tasks

By Britain Eakin | January 18, 2024, 3:47 PM EST ·

The American Immigration Lawyers Association and software platform released an updated version of an artificial intelligence legal research tool that now has an expanded library and a document upload feature.

AILA and rolled out the AI tool called Gen for testing in June but released the official, updated version on Tuesday, dubbed Gen version 1.0. co-founder and immigration attorney Greg Siskind told Law360 that Gen's library now has more content to fill in gaps related to asylum and removal.

The prior library content heavily favored employment and business immigration, according to Siskind, founding partner of Siskind Susser PC. He said Gen previously gave less than stellar answers to asylum and removal questions, which at the time were based largely on government sources in Gen's library.

Answers on asylum and removal issues are vastly improved now thanks to beefed-up content, especially from AILA sources, some of which are not publicly available, Siskind said. But attorneys still need to check Gen's work.

"You still have to be the lawyer. You have an ethical duty, and that means if a paralegal does research for you, or a lawyer in your firm does research for you, you still have to actually do some diligence on your end to make sure you're comfortable with it," Siskind said.

During development, AILA members came up with a list of baseline questions they knew the answers to in order to test Gen's accuracy, Siskind said during a virtual demo on Wednesday. The answers are right most of the time now, but when they're not, Siskind said that likely means the library lacks materials containing the answer.

According to the website, Gen's library of resources, including immigration laws, publications and articles, will be continuously expanded, which should further refine answers as the tool evolves.

Among other new features in the updated version, attorneys can now upload documents to Gen, which will analyze the content and provide a summary of the main points or help attorneys develop counterarguments. Siskind said Gen 1.0 can handle documents of any size, and the tool allows users to design their own prompts, which will let attorneys get creative with how they use Gen.

For example, Siskind recently experimented with inputting the monthly U.S. Department of State visa bulletins, which show when green card applications can proceed. With a list of clients and their priority dates, nationalities and green card categories, Gen can quickly sort out which of those clients can move forward with their green card applications.

"In the past, you'd have to … hire a programmer and develop a custom piece of software to do something like that. Here, it's just a question of uploading a document and then just writing a prompt out and telling the AI to do it," Siskind said.

Unlike ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI that responds to questions and creates written content, Siskind said Gen has built-in privacy protections. While OpenAI can save user content that is visible to the public, Gen 1.0 keeps all confidential data within the tool's system, he noted.

Gen does use OpenAI's application programming interface for its language model, but no user information provided to Gen flows back to OpenAI. Users can also delete or modify their data according to their preferences, Siskind said.

Among other safeguards, Gen provides citations with links to the original source it pulled from to answer a question, so lawyers can quickly and easily check Gen's work. And unlike OpenAI's ChatGPT, which will provide an answer no matter what — even a made-up one — Siskind said Gen will tell a user when it doesn't have an answer to a question in its library.

More updates are planned for Gen, including features for complex document drafting that Siskind said he hopes will be ready by spring. The first among them will help attorneys draft O-1 visa petitions for clients with extraordinary abilities. These petitions currently take attorneys about eight to 15 hours to complete, Siskind said.

According to Siskind, the feature will ask attorneys to provide key documents and information — a step he said will take about 15 minutes — and then Gen will start drafting the petition section by section. Attorneys can make edits along the way that will populate through the entire petition. The entire process will take about 45 minutes to an hour, Siskind said.

"There's some really compelling time savings that will be coming over the next few months," he said.

--Editing by Nicole Bleier.

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