Canadian Lawyer

August 2023

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Like ESG disclosure, using AI can be riddled with risk despite good intentions. Hallucinations, a lack of nuance, and privacy violations are all possible when these tools aren't used carefully M andatory ESG – environmental, social, and governance – reporting is coming to Canada. While regulators' intentions are undoubtedly good, these requirements can cause anxiety for in-house counsel. "This is the year that everything changes, from a disclosure perspective," says Conor Chell at MLT Aikins LLP (p. 36). "Up until now, virtually all ESG disclosure has been made voluntarily, which means that companies have had unlimited discretion in terms of the topics they pick and the manner in which it happens." Chell says that transitioning from voluntary to mandatory ESG reporting is risky for businesses and may even lead to a spike in the already-growing threat of ESG-related litigation. Reporting can give claimants ammunition to commence actions and reveal retrospective evidence of "greenwashing." Similarly, developments in generative artificial intelligence are causing nervousness for many legal professionals afraid of being rendered obsolete by tools such as ChatGPT. While many lawyers are wary about jumping on the AI bandwagon, "at some point, it's going to be irresponsible not to use it," says Scott Stevenson, co-founder of legal tech tool Spellbook (p. 4). Like ESG disclosure, however, using AI can be riddled with risk despite good intentions. Hallucinations, a lack of nuance, and privacy violations are all possible when these tools aren't used carefully. But both developments may be good news for lawyers willing to put in the time and effort. Stephen Pike at Gowling WLG says mandatory ESG disclosure means "there is a chance here for businesses to think about how they can tell their story in a way that will foster greater engagement and positively enhance their relationships with their stakeholders, which can include everyone from investors, consumers, suppliers, governments and regulators." By automating grunt work and administrative chores, AI can make the justice system more equitable, efficient, and publicly accessible, University of Toronto law professors Benjamin Alarie and Abdi Aidid argue in their new book, The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better. So, a healthy dose of anxiety and dread is understandable at the pace of change in these new areas. But take a breath and realize that this also means opportunity. Tim Wilbur, managing editor 1 EDITOR'S DESK UPFRONT ESG, AI, oh my ISSUE 47.02 | SEPTEMBER 2023 Canadian Lawyer is published 2 times a year by KM Business Information Canada Ltd. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are used under licence by KM Business Information Canada Ltd. CANADIAN LAWYER is a trademark of KM Business Information Canada Ltd. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2023 GST/HST Registration #799898465RC-0001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 RETOURNER TOUTE CORRESPONDANCE NE POUVANT ÉTRE LIVREÉ AU CANADA AU SERVICE DES PUBLICATIONS 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 KM Business Information Canada Ltd 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910 Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 tel: +1 416 644 8740 EDITORIAL Managing Editor Tim Wilbur Senior Editor Zena Olijnyk Editor Aidan Macnab Production Editors Christina Jelinek, Karen Atienza Writers Lucy Saddleton, Angelica Dino, Bernise Carolino, Kiezzsa Cruz ART & PRODUCTION Designer Noel Avendaño Vice President, Production Monica Lalisan Production Coordinators Kat Guzman, Loiza Razon Client Success Coordinators Dyanne Dimatulac, Kristina Reyes SALES & MARKETING Director, Business Development Lynda Fenton Digital Development Director Kevin Shields Sr. Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Jacquie Rankin Account Executive Mathew Oriel CORPORATE President Tim Duce Director, People and Culture Julia Bookallil Vice President, Strategic Event Development Chris Davis Vice President, Strategic Alliances John Mackenzie Chief Revenue Officer Dane Taylor Chief Information Officer Colin Chan COO George Walmsley CEO Mike Shipley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES NAUK SUBSCRIPTIONS CO-ORDINATOR Donnabel Reyes tel: 647 374 4536 ext. 243 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES

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