Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo has called on Congress to craft laws governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and ensure that AI “will be beneficial to our people and will respect, protect, and uphold their rights.”
Gesmundo, in his keynote speech at the Manila Social Good Summit 2023 on Sept. 16 in Taguig City, said: “Technology must be used for the benefit of the people to address longstanding problems like inequality and injustice.”
“There is a need to engage with technology critically and not to embrace the same heedlessly,” the Supreme Court top magistrate cautioned.
“Even as we use its tools—more and more of them becoming indispensable in how we live and work—we have to be mindful. We have to make space to think of things like ethical considerations, social impacts, environmental consequences, even its impacts on our own selves and relationships with others,” Gesmundo said.
Gesmundo also highlighted the importance of sustaining dialogue among the government, the technology industry, advocates, and experts from different areas of discipline, civil society, and ordinary citizens.
Gesmundo in another forum further said the latest strides in technology should not lead those in legal research astray from their roles in assisting in the administration of justice for all.
“While the tools and processes have changed with new technologies, the end to be pursued remains the same. Legal research must contribute to assisting the court in doing justice to every case,” Gesmundo said in his keynote address at “A Colloquium on Legal Research in the Digital
Age” organized by the Information and Publications Division of the
University of the Philippines Law Center in Diliman, Quezon City.
Gesmundo reminded the members of the legal profession that with excellent research work supporting their arguments, lawyers effectively take an active part in the efficient and fair administration of justice.
“It remains the primary duty of lawyers to present to the court the facts of the case and relevant laws fairly and accurately, to aid the court in arriving at a correct decision,” he added.
The chief magistrate also recognized the potential of emerging technologies to power the judiciary’s reform agenda under the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027.
“Digital transformation of the judiciary serves as a potent arsenal in our long battle against the perennial problems of inefficiency, delay, and corruption, which has long afflicted our judicial system,” Gesmundo said, stressing the role of technology in judicial reforms.
He further said that with the arrival of the digital age, legal research should proportionately upgrade the standard for what counts as quality legal research work.
“With improved efficiency comes higher expectations in the accuracy and authenticity of authorities cited and sourced online,” he said.