Interview with Benjamin Kunde, CFE, Vice President – Investigations, Interfor | International

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In November 2020, exactly two years before the first release of the now-viral and ubiquitous artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT, Ben Kunde wrote in this publication about how AI is transforming the world of corporate investigations (“Wind of Change – Corporate Investigations weathering COVID-19 and AI” here.

In this issue, Thomas Wegerich invited Ben Kunde back to speak specifically about what effects ChatGPT will have on private investigators in their role as trusted advisors to law firms and in-house legal departments.

Business Law Magazine: ChatGPT is on everyone’s mind these days. What potential does it have to change the corporate intelligence industry as we know it?

Ben Kunde: ChatGPT, is an AI-powered language bot developed by OpenAI and, in my opinion, has the potential to revolutionize the field of corporate investigations. As you know, corporate investigations are often conducted to prevent and uncover fraud, embezzlement, and other financial misconduct within a company. These investigations can be time-consuming and costly, and often require the use of multiple tools and techniques to gather and analyze information.

Along the same lines of what I mentioned in my article here two years ago, one of the main ways ChatGPT and other AI tools can change corporate investigations is by automating the process of data collection and analysis. The model can be trained to search through large amounts of data, such as emails, financial records, and social media posts, to identify relevant information. This can save investigators significant amounts of time and resources, as they no longer have to manually sift through data.

One application I find fascinating is that ChatGPT can also be used to analyze natural language data, such as emails and social media posts, to identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate financial misconduct. The model can be trained to recognize certain keywords and phrases that are commonly associated with fraud, such as “off the books” or “kickback”.

Additionally, ChatGPT can be used to identify connections between individuals and organizations, which can be valuable in uncovering complex schemes involving multiple parties.

Private investigators can also use ChatGPT to generate leads by feeding it with the details of the case they are working on, and then asking for potential leads or people of interest. ChatGPT can then use its vast database and natural language processing capabilities to provide potential leads and relevant information to the investigator.

Business Law Magazine: It sounds like ChatGPT can really help process and analyze data after complex frauds have occurred. But what about fraud prevention and detection? Corporate investigators always highlight the importance of due diligence to shine a light on potential business partners and employees.

Ben Kunde: Another way ChatGPT can change corporate investigations is by providing real-time insights. With the ability to analyze large amounts of data quickly, ChatGPT can alert investigators to potential issues as they arise, rather than after the fact. This can enable companies to take action more quickly to address the problem and minimize the damage caused by the misconduct. ChatGPT can also be used for predictive analysis to identify potential patterns or behaviors of a subject that may help in solving a case.

Business Law Magazine: How could attorneys benefit from working with corporate investigators that utilize ChatGPT?

Ben Kunde: Private investigators and attorneys can use ChatGPT to assist in case preparation, information gathering, document analysis, jury selection, predictive analysis, and potentially even client communication.

For example, ChatGPT can be used to conduct research on potential witnesses, opposing parties, or legal issues related to the case. The insights provided by ChatGPT can help investigators and attorneys prepare more thoroughly for litigation.

ChatGPT can also help investigators and attorneys gather information relevant to the case. They can input specific queries or keywords to retrieve relevant information from a wide range of sources.

Further, ChatGPT could be utilized to analyze large amounts of documents quickly and accurately. This can help investigators and attorneys to identify relevant information and trends in a case, including important evidence.

In the US, attorneys could use ChatGPT and investigators to help with jury selection by inputting criteria for ideal jurors, and ChatGPT can generate profiles of potential jurors that meet those criteria.

One interesting application that I believe will slowly make its way from customer service centers of large US companies to law firms could be the use of ChatGPT as a sort of initial help desk for clients.

This will obviously take some time to develop and will likely meet a lot of resistance, particularly in the context of “old-school” law firms in Germany, but attorneys could use ChatGPT to improve client communication by creating chatbots that can answer common questions or provide updates on a case. This can help to keep clients informed and reduce the workload of the attorney.

Business Law Magazine: What are some potential downsides and limitations of ChatGPT?

Ben Kunde: Despite the advantages I mentioned, it is important to note that ChatGPT is not a panacea for corporate investigations. The model is not capable of making decisions or drawing conclusions on its own. It is a tool that can be used to assist investigators, but the final decision-making authority remains with human attorneys and investigators. Additionally, ChatGPT is not immune to bias and errors, and it is important to ensure that the model is trained on a diverse and representative dataset to minimize these issues.

Some specific potential disadvantages to consider with respect to AI tools in general and ChatGPT in particular are:

  1. Accuracy: Although ChatGPT is a powerful tool for analyzing and generating text, it is not always 100% accurate. In some cases, the information it provides may be inaccurate, incomplete, or biased.
  2. Dependence on technology: Overreliance on technology can also be a disadvantage for private investigators. Relying too heavily on ChatGPT could result in neglecting other important investigative skills such as conducting field work, building rapport with witnesses, and analyzing data manually.
  3. Data privacy and security: Private investigators need to ensure that the information they input into ChatGPT, as well as the results it produces, are kept secure and confidential. As with any technology, there is always a risk of data breaches or leaks, which could compromise the integrity of the investigation.
  4. Legal issues: The use of ChatGPT could potentially raise legal issues if the investigator uses it to conduct surveillance, gather evidence, or interview witnesses without proper consent or authorization.
  5. Ethical concerns: Lastly, the use of ChatGPT by private investigators could raise ethical concerns, particularly if it involves collecting and analyzing personal or sensitive data without the knowledge or consent of the individuals involved.

In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the field of corporate investigations. The model can automate data collection and analysis, provide real-time insights, and improve the accuracy and reliability of investigations. However, it is important to remember that ChatGPT is a tool to assist investigators and attorneys, not a replacement for them, and it should be used in conjunction with other techniques and tools to provide a comprehensive understanding of the situation.

Business Law Magazine: Thank you very much for your insights on a topic that will be of enormous interest in the future.

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