Supreme Court (SC) associate justice Mario V. Lopez said during the commencement exercises of the Arellano University School of Law on July 20 at the PICC that artificial intelligence (AI) is unlikely to replace lawyers anytime soon.
Addressing the law graduates, he emphasized that AI is a mere tool for human utilization and not intended to replace humans, especially in the legal profession.
“AI has no deep understanding of abstract concepts like justice, equity, compassion, and good conscience. Unlike judges, a robot cannot decide cases through the lens of judicial temperament, open-mindedness, integrity, and independence. Unlike lawyers, AI cannot think outside the box or be creative in its approach or cry out for fairness or detest injustice with courage and perseverance,” said Lopez.
While Lopez acknowledged that AI can process information with accuracy and speed which humans cannot keep up with, he, however, stressed that it will not render lawyers obsolete.
“The legal profession is more than simply applying the law to the facts, but rather, it is about filling these crevices of the law with our human reasoning,” he said, adding that “AI can never replace the human heart, moral values, critical thinking skills, and respect for the rule of law.”
Calling them “digital natives,” Lopez then reminded the future lawyers to use social media responsibly and to be guided by the new Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability, one of the key initiatives under the SC’s blueprint of action for reforms — the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027.
In closing, he expressed optimism that as future lawyers, they will become proactive partners of the court in reforming the judiciary with the use of technology.