A Tale of Property and Dread, ChatGPT Pens Story about Land Contracts (in the style of Edgar Allan Poe)

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It seems that artificial intelligence makes its way into conversation more and more lately. In the classroom at Albany Law School, faculty and students are discussing how technology like ChatGPT will impact learning, academics, and the law.

In Intro to Lawyering, students are also learning about the risks that AI presents in the legal profession. In Mata v. Avianca, an attorney used ChatGPT for his research and the cases turned out to be made up. Professor Victoria Esposito used the case to spark a conversation about competence and due diligence with her class.

She also wanted to show the benefits the technology offers and have students think of ways to allow the program to assist them when appropriate. She showed her class how ChatGPT could help brainstorm legal research keywords that students could plug into legal research databases like Westlaw and Lexis to find relevant case law.

And just for fun, she prompted ChatGPT to draft a story about a land contract. But not in the typical legal jargon, in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. The main character? A raven, of course.



Video transcript:

Once upon a dimly-lit eve, in the shadowed corners of New York State, there lingered a tale of property and dread. A tale not of bricks and mortar, but of contracts forged in ink and sealed with secrets untold. In this gloomy realm, where the echoes of the past danced upon timeworn floorboards, a raven perched upon a windowsill, its ebony feathers ruffled by the whispers of those who dared to venture into the enigmatic realm of land contracts.
The raven, a creature of ominous mien, seemed to possess an otherworldly wisdom, as if it were a harbinger of truths both strange and unsettling. Its ebony eyes bore into the souls of those who sought to unravel the mysteries of land ownership, as if to say, "Beware, for within the realm of land contracts, treachery and deceit may lie hidden beneath the surface."
Amongst the darkened corridors of legal jargon, a land contract, much like a cursed parchment, lay in wait. A pact between buyer and seller, a pact that held the promise of property's embrace, yet concealed within its clauses the specters of obligations and consequences. The raven's caw echoed through the chambers, a haunting reminder that every stroke of the pen could shape destinies and invoke the forces of the unknown.
As the moon cast its eerie glow upon the landscape, a lone figure, trembling with anticipation and apprehension, approached the raven. With quivering hands, the seeker of land stepped forth, seeking the raven's guidance amidst the labyrinthine corridors of legal intricacies. The raven's beady eyes fixated upon the land contract, as if imparting an unspoken warning of the path that lay ahead.
But lo, the raven did not offer counsel, for its wisdom lay in its ominous silence. It merely observed as the seeker grappled with the complexities of property rights, obligations, and the spectral whispers of previous owners. Each clause, each provision, seemed to carry a weight beyond its words, a weight that could tip the scales of fate.
And so, under the watchful gaze of the raven, the seeker traversed the murky waters of land contracts, guided by a sense of foreboding and the ever-present reminder that within the shadows of this legal realm, mysteries abounded and the raven's caw lingered like an echo of the unspoken.
In the end, as the ink dried upon the contract and the seeker's fate was sealed, the raven took flight, disappearing into the night with a final, haunting caw. The tale of the land contract and the raven's presence faded into the annals of history, leaving behind a sense of unease and a lingering question: What secrets and mysteries lay hidden within the realm of property and law, waiting to be unearthed by those who dare to venture forth?


As seen on Above the Law: ChatGPT? More Like Edgar Allan Esquire