Harvard Law School’s Library Innovation Lab Launches the Open Legal AI Workbench

Harvard Law School’s Library Innovation Lab Launches the Open Legal AI Workbench From a Library Innovation Lab Post: We want academics and nonprofits at the table in discovering the next generation of legal interfaces and helping to close the justice gap. It is not at all clear yet which legal AI tools and interfaces will work effectively for people with different levels of skill, what kind of guardrails they need, and what kind of matters they can help with. We need to try a lot of ideas and effectively compare them to each other. That’s why we’re releasing a common framework for scholarly researchers to build novel interfaces and run experiments: the Open Legal AI Workbench (OLAW). In technical terms, OLAW is a simple, well-documented, and extensible framework for legal AI researchers to build services using tool-based retrieval augmented generation. We’re not done building this yet, but we think it’s time to share with the legal technology and open source AI communities for feedback and collaboration. [Clip] What is OLAW for? OLAW itself is not a useful legal AI tool, and we didn’t build it to be used as-is. Instead, OLAW is intended to rapidly prototype new ideas for legal tools. OLAW is an excellent platform for testing questions like: How are legal AI tools affected by the use of different prompts, models, or finetunings? How can legal AI tools best incorporate different data sets, such as caselaw, statutes, or secondary sources? What kind of search indexes are best for legal AI tools (boolean, semantic search etc.)? How can users be best instructed to use legal AI tools? What interface designs cause users at different skill levels to engage with the tool effectively and manage its limitations? What kind of safety guardrails and output filters are most effective and informative for legal AI tools? What kind of information about the tool’s internal processes should be exposed to users? What kind of questions are better or worse suited for legal AI tools, and how can tools help guide users toward effective uses and away from ineffective ones? Learn More, Read the Complete Launch Announcement, View Video See Also: New From The Library Innovation Lab at Harvard Law School: “WARC-GPT: An Open-Source Tool for Exploring Web Archives Using AI” (February 2024) Filed under: Archives and Special Collections, Data Files, Libraries, News, Patrons and Users About Gary Price Gary Price ([email protected]) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.