Love.Law.Robots. by Ang Hou Fu


A mouse looks up to a sky with a moon and stars

I’ve been kinda hot and cold on Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG).

I rushed in and experimented early using an overview of Singapore law. After seeing other locals try to implement them, I scoffed at it. I dismissed it as “grab three relevant articles from my vector db and ask #ChatGPT to write an answer on it”. Now I am going to have a second go.


Cover Image by <a href="">Mohamed Hassan</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

I used to think #chatbots are lame. You type stuff in and pray the “AI” understood what you said. If you knew what you want, you’re not going to ask nicely. Just give me a button or a dropdown!

With #GenAI like #ChatGPT, the odds of hitting the mark with your program have improved. I explored making a legal chatbot early on but I hit a dead-end when I couldn’t figure out what the use case is.

Even if I did figure out a use case, the next problem if I wanted to take it to the next level is pricing. How do you charge someone for using your legal chatbot?


Watching large language models spew words at each other hasn't improved my understanding of them.



Houfu dreams of having his #MachineLearning tool for years but will still have to wait longer.

Screenshot from Prodigy showing a/b testing of prompts


I attended a roundtable organised by the #Singapore Academy of Law titled “Generative AI and the Impact on Law and Society”. Although they weren't able to end the seminar without talking about misinformation, I was glad that the technical detail (both on the engineering and legal level) were more advanced. I even heard the word of a Legal #GPT trained on the datasets of local legal materials.


Large language models like #ChatGPT present a unique opportunity to train #lawyers in new ways. I discuss a simple courtroom #simulator I created that is able to mimic the cuts and thrusts of advocacy, and wonder whether anyone will use it.

A cockpit with many lights; Photo by <a href="">Johannes Blenke</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>


The angst about #AI apocalypse shouldn't be about the Cthulu apocalypse. At least, it should be something that works.

Nottsuo - nottsuo.deviantart - -, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Fresh from learning what happens if you use #ChatGPT (wrongly) in court, it seems that not a day goes by without some dire warning about large language models and AI.


A #lawyer uses #ChatGPT to do legal research and faces likely sanctions. Don't be a fool, and take my free prompt engineering course.

Feature photo by Hanson Lu / Unsplash

It was bound to happen, right? At least if you fall into the same hole, you won't be the first one there now.

In a court filing that would have me die of embarrassment, a lawyer attests that he asked ChatGPT whether the cases it made up were real:

“Is varghese a real case,” he typed, according to a copy of the exchange that he submitted to the judge.

“Yes,” the chatbot replied, offering a citation and adding that it “is a real case.”

Mr. Schwartz dug deeper.“What is your source,” he wrote, according to the filing.

“I apologize for the confusion earlier,” ChatGPT responded, offering a legal citation.

“Are the other cases you provided fake,” Mr. Schwartz asked.

ChatGPT responded, “No, the other cases I provided are real and can be found in reputable legal databases.”

Many online comments claimed that the lawyer concerned should be disbarred for being so incompetent (read: stupid).


I share my experience and process of generating daily newsletters from Singapore Law Watch using ChatGPT, serverless functions and web technologies. #Featured

Feature Photo by Food Photographer / Unsplash


It's easy to be impressed with Large Language Models like #ChatGPT and GPT-4. They're really helpful and fun to use. There are a ton of uses if you're creative. For weeks I was mesmerised by the possibilities — this is the prompt I would use. Using this and that, I can do something new.

When I got serious, I found a particular itch to scratch. I wanted to create a product. Something created by AI that people can enjoy. It has to work, be produced quickly and have room to grow if it is promising. It should also be unique and not reproduce anything currently provided by LawNet or others.🤔

There is one problem which I felt I could solve easily. I've religiously followed Singapore Law Watch for most of my working life. It's generally useful as a daily update on Singapore's most relevant legal news. There's a lot of material to read daily, so you have to scan the headlines and the description. During busier days, I left more things out.

So… what can ChatGPT do? It can read the news articles for me, summarise them, and then make a summary report out of all of them. This is different from scanning headlines because, primarily, the AI has read the whole article. Hopefully, it can provide better value than a list of articles.


I discuss how ChatGPT can be augmented with custom data to improve its performance using Singapore law as an example.

My DALL-E prompting still needs improving.

🔷 Update (31 May 2023): (1) Added a reference to Intellex's Scott; (2) Streamlit now embeds your apps, so there's a convenient way to access the Compare app.

#ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI, with 1.5 billion parameters. It is capable of generating high-quality text in response to prompts and has been used for a variety of natural language processing tasks. It was trained on a large corpus of text from the internet and has achieved state-of-the-art performance on a number of benchmark datasets. Its versatility and accuracy make it a powerful tool for a wide range of applications.

It’s made me excited, and also many others in the legal profession as well.

One of the biggest questions I had was how it would perform on the subject of Singapore law. Law is a specialised area, and Singapore law is an even smaller niche in that. I suspected that statistically, ChatGPT wouldn't know much about it. I wouldn’t be holding my breath.