April 1, 2024

This Foreword overviews an unprecedented Symposium on these wide‑ranging topics titled The New AI:  The Legal and Ethical Implications of ChatGPT and Other Emerging Technologies.  Hosted by the Fordham Law Review and cosponsored by Fordham University School of Law’s Neuroscience and Law Center on November 3, 2023, the Symposium brought together attorneys, judges, professors, and scientists to explore the opportunities and risks presented by AI, especially GenAI like ChatGPT.  The discussion raised complex questions concerning AI sentience and personal privacy, as well as the future of legal ethics, education, and employment.  Although the AI industry uniformly predicts ever more swift and striking technological advancements, the Fordham Law Review’s Symposium issue presents foundational work that will remain at the forefront of the coming progress.

This Foreword organizes the Symposium’s Essays in two parts.  Part I examines developments in AI and their impact on law, legal education, and post–law school practice, as well as how AI has advanced over time.  The discussion also analyzes whether AI could attain personhood or allow nonhuman beings to achieve a similar standing under the law.  Part II overviews AI’s impact, our reliance on AI for decision-making, and the need for regulatory frameworks for governance and national security, including whether to employ algorithmic decision-making for complex human situations.  The commentary also considers how to ensure that lawyers use AI ethically, whether GenAI should be regarded as non-expressive use under copyright law, and what benefits may stem from federalizing AI governance.