A Columbian judge used ChatGPT to make court ruling, first ever


In an unprecedented move, a judge in Columbia has made a court ruling with the help of an ChatGPT – AI text generator – while deciding whether an autistic child’s insurance should cover all the costs of his medical treatment.

Juan Manuel Padilla, a judge in the Caribbean city of Cartagena, concluded that the entirety of the child’s medical expenses and transport costs should be paid by his medical plan as his parents could not afford them.

According to a court document dated January 30, 2023, Judge Juan Manuel Padilla Garcia used the AI tool to pose legal questions regarding the case and included its response in his decision.

The legal questions which were posed to the AI took included, “Is an autistic minor exonerated from paying fees for their therapies? And Has the jurisprudence of the constitution court made a favourable decision in similar cases?”

ChatGPT’s response corresponded with the judge’s final decision.

“Yes, this is correct. According to the regulations in Colombia, minors diagnosed with autism are exempt from paying fees for their therapies,” the response read.

The VICE has reported that the judge included the chatbot’s full responses in his decision – making its first ever such judicial move.

According to the report, the judge also included his own insights into applicable legal precedents, and said that ‘AI was used to ‘extend the arguments of the adopted decision.’

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Explaining the purpose of including AI-product text in his judgement, the Columbian judge claimed that they are looking towards optimizing the time spent in drafting judgments after corroborating the information provided by AI-powered ChatGPT.

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