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Can I trust a chatbot to plan my estate?

| Sep 16, 2021 | Estate Planning

Little by little, artificial intelligence (AI) is being integrated into our daily lives. Every industry is being affected by AI, some for the better. Thankfully, there are still some things that humans are much better at, like practicing law. 

Law seems like a concrete set of data that should produce consistent and accurate results once fed into AI. However, as anyone that has read a good John Grisham book knows, the law is the ultimate expression of nuisances, subjectivity and interpretation. Practicing law is an art and a science. AI can be a great tool that attorneys can use to do some of the heavy lifting on research and due diligence, but it could never replace an experienced attorney.

3 reasons to not trust AI in estate planning

If the thought of trusting AI with the great responsibility of getting your estate in order makes you uncomfortable, you are not alone. Estate planning can be the last act of love and care for those you leave behind. Here are three reasons why estate planning is better off left in the hands of professionals:

  • Turing test: This is the classic test of AI proposed in 1950 by English mathematician Alan M. Turing. Turing proposed that if, after interrogating AI, a person thought they were interacting with a human, this would mark AI becoming a sentient being. AI is currently far from passing the Turing Test. How many times have you typed or yelled into a virtual assistant, “I want to talk to a human”? Can you imagine allowing the same chatbot to write your will? 
  • Sentient beings: “Sentient” refers to one having the capacity to have feelings. AI is not sentient and is therefore unable to understand our feelings and wishes for the end of our lives. 
  • Sympathy, but not empathy: Since AI is not sentient, it is also not capable of having true empathy. Empathy is not to be confused with sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone else. Empathy is feeling or understanding what the other person is going through. Empathy is distinctly human, and estate planning is best carried out from an empathetic human mindset. 

AI will continue to aid attorneys in practicing law, but chatbots and other such tools could never practice law themselves. How could you sue an algorithm, after all?

When considering a comprehensive estate planning strategy, having human guidance is the humane choice.