AAA on Artificial Intelligence: A New Horizon in Arbitration and Mediation (video)

The New York legal community gathered December 12, 2023 at the American Arbitration Association® (AAA®) offices in Midtown New York City and online Tuesday for a panel discussion hosted by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) on the role of artificial intelligence in arbitration and mediation. Panelists, including Diana Didia, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at the AAA-International Center for Dispute Resolution®, shared their insights into this rapidly evolving technology’s potential benefits and pitfalls.

In his introduction to the event, titled “Artificial Intelligence: Its Potential Role in Arbitration and Mediation — Risks and Opportunities, a Program for Neutrals and Litigators,” co-moderator Charles J. Moxley Jr., principal of MoxleyADR LLC, invoked a sense of pioneering spirit among the attendees, likening the exploration of AI to embarking on a space voyage.

This optimism was primarily maintained throughout the discussion, with panelist Colin Rule, CEO of ODR.com, saying that while there is “a lot of doom and gloom and dystopian visions of where AI is leading us,” he doesn’t believe this is the case.

“The AIs will only do what we asked them to do. And the challenge now becomes how do we get really good at asking them to do things?” Rule said.

Rule focused on what AI may be able to do for arbitrators and mediators in the future, such as case research and strategy, reframing communication, and evaluating best and worst alternatives to negotiated agreements.

“Eventually, we may get to a point where we take all the evidence in our case, and we provide it to an AI. And then we say to the AI, ‘Hey, go give me the best resolution you can.’ And that AI may go out on its own volition and maybe communicate with another AI, maybe even sit in front…of a digital arbitrator and then get an outcome and bring it back to you and say, ‘Hey, look, I got this resolution,’” Rule said.

During the discussion, Didia focused on the AAA’s proactive stance on AI.

“We have a lot of experimentation going on. We’ve encouraged all of our staff to be in ChatGPT, to be in CoCounsel, to be on Claude,” she said.

Some of the AAA’s AI initiatives include the AAAi Lab, a resource center for innovative and responsible uses of AI; Gen AI Town Halls, which include updates and demos of generative AI tools, educational resources, and guest speakers; ClauseBuilder AI, which will assist with writing clear and effective arbitration and mediation agreements; and experimenting with a chatbot for filing cases.

Didia said one of the AAA’s most compelling AI initiatives is creating automated scheduling orders. A Zoom transcript of a preliminary hearing is given to a chatbot, which then creates the scheduling order.

“We actually have it working for fast-track construction [cases], and we want to now keep experimenting [until] we can get it to work for a very complex case,” she said.

“If it saves you 45 minutes out of an hour, we’ve just saved the customers’ time [and money]…”

Co-moderator Jeffrey T. Zaino, vice president of the Commercial Division at the AAA, added that the AAA seems to be leading the AI movement in alternative dispute resolution.

“I don’t see other providers aggressively pursuing this like we are,” he said.

Panelist William A. Tanenbaum, partner at Moses Singer, lent his expertise to the discussion by outlining potential disputes arising from AI’s intersection with privacy and confidentiality.

“AI is going to get better and better every day. Today is the worst day of generative AI capability from now for the next 100 years…and we all have to work together to improve it to make sure it lives up to our objective for fast, fair and transparent dispute resolution,” Tanenbaum said.

author

Kendal Enz

Kendal Enz is the senior communications lead for the American Arbitration Association. She has a background in journalism, creative writing and software engineering, and enjoys building websites and writing about harnessing the power of AI. She’s based in Brooklyn, NY, and enjoys going on long runs through the city.

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