Brazil recruits OpenAI in brave bid to slash court battle costs

Bills from legal fights reach 1% of GDP. Hallucination rate no doubt higher

Brazil has apparently hired OpenAI in an attempt to help prosecutors get better at handling cases and save the administration money.

The American super-lab's technology will be used to "expedite the screening and analysis of thousands of lawsuits," by "mapping trends and potential action areas for the solicitor general's office," and "flag to government the need to act on lawsuits before final decisions," Reuters reports, whatever that means.

Using generative AI to summarize documents and judgments, highlight problems, pick more easily winnable cases, and avoid costly mistakes, we guess. Microsoft will provide access to OpenAI's models via Azure, and it isn't known what models Brazil will be using nor how much the nation will be coughing up.

Losing court cases has been getting very expensive for the Brazilian government, which is forecast to spend at least 100 billion reais ($18.7 billion) this year on legal cases, more than double the costs from ten years ago, which is apparently equivalent to about one percent of the country's GDP.

Brazil's former economy minister Paulo Guedes reportedly said in 2021 he wasn't sure why costs were increasing so dramatically, suggesting "maybe we fell asleep at the wheel."

It's got so bad that the country has, since 2021, allowed itself to spread out the payments of its court-related debts over several years, until 2027 when it needs to clear its remaining tab.

Estimates vary for how big these debts will be by 2027, with one report giving estimates of 687.5 billion reais ($128.3 billion) in the worst case scenario.

Allowing OpenAI and its LLMs to take the reins to some degree could cut down substantially on time spent by officials, and advise on which cases to fight and which to walk away from, perhaps. Granted, OpenAI and Microsoft will undoubtedly get paid for its services, but it would probably be cheaper than the alternative, assuming the scheme works.

According to the news wire, the solicitor general's office said LLMs won't put its staff out of work. "It will help them gain efficiency and accuracy, with all activities fully supervised by humans," it reportedly said.

This isn't the Brazilian legal scene's first run-in with AI, as the city of Porto Alegre passed legislation written by ChatGPT in December albeit unwittingly. Now machine learning is being welcomed into the nation's court system. ®

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