An AI bot tried to emulate Ruth Bader Ginsburg's thinking, but her former clerk says it 'could do better'

An AI bot tried to emulate Ruth Bader Ginsburg's thinking, but her former clerk says it 'could do better'
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020.Joshua Roberts/Reuters
  • Israel's AI21 Labs developed an AI bot that mimics Ruth Bader Ginsburg's opinions.
  • A former clerk of the late Supreme Court Justice told The Washington Post he was unimpressed.

An Israeli AI firms has developed a bot designed to respond in the manner of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after feeding it with her legal opinions, interviews and speeches.

AI21 Labs scraped some 600,000 of the late Justice's words to feed into the AI that was released on Tuesday.

However, a former law clerk of Ginsburg, Paul Schiff Berman, told The Washington Post he was unimpressed with the bot's responses.

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"If this is the best the [AI] can do, we've still got a ways to go," Berman said after asking the bot a simple legal question.

He also said that the technology failed to reflect the late Justice's unique speaking style.


On the Supreme Court's upcoming decision on whether to overturn the Roe vs Wade abortion ruling, the simulation said: "I think they're wrong on the law, but on the facts, no."

Ginsburg died in September 2020 after 27 years sitting on America's highest court.

The debate around AI sentience escalated this week after a Google engineer was placed on leave for claiming that its chatbot had become sentient and could perceive like a human.

AI experts have questioned his claim. Sandra Wachter, professor of AI ethics at the University of Oxford, told Insider: "We are far away from creating a machine that is akin to humans and the capacity for thought."

AI21 Labs said that users should take the bot's answers "with a grain of salt."


Its marketing chief, Eran Yacobovitch,, said the bot is "sometimes uncannily accurate, sometimes not wrong but not as informative as the late judge would have been, and sometimes (though not often) wrong."

He added that engineers at AI21 Labs "essentially agree" with Berman's assessment, and that the bot is "intended as a fun demo, not a product."

AI21 Labs took several weeks to develop the bot, using a general-purpose AI software model that has been in the works for months.

"Ask Ruth Bader Ginsburg" is available on the AI21 Labs website. The company's slogan is: "When machines become thought partners."