Dirk Auer on AI Legal Services

ICLE Director of Competition Policy Dirk Auer was quoted by Law.com in a story about the use of artificial intelligence in legal services. You can read the full piece here.

Dirk Auer is director of competition policy at the International Center for Law & Economics.

He and a colleague have written many papers on the topic of AI and the perception of anti-competitiveness.

He suggests that it may not be a case of being late to the party.

Drawing similarities between law firms and big business, it can be viewed that smaller firms that fear Generative AI may outpace them would do well to think smarter and view AI not as an unfair advantage.

“You’ve seen regulators worrying that, for example, a company like Amazon, with an important web hosting market position, may use that position to dominate the fields of generative AI. Or you see regulators worrying that Google may use its search position and online ecosystem to succeed in the field of generative AI,” Auer said.

He said there is a rising fear that large Internet 2.0 companies may use the advantage they’ve acquired in those markets to dominate generative AI, but in reality, it doesn’t seem like Web 2.0 companies have been very successful in doing this.

“The latest example that we have … is Google releasing Gemini. And while a lot of people have joked about Google Gemini’s perceived ideology, I think the bigger point is that Google’s Gemini seems years behind Open AI rival generative AI service,” Auer said.

Auer says we need to remember that AI can also be used by competitors to enter markets more effectively.

“AI could be used by firms to make collusion more stable, but AI could also be used by firms to detect markets where there is collusion and to enter those markets because there are profits to be made,” Auer said. “If you look at it, sort of the big picture, it’s not entirely clear that AI does more to facilitate collusion than what it does break collusion.”