Advice from ChatGPT is advice from you

Mark Pestronk

Q: I read that artificial intelligence software can provide detailed travel recommendations. So, I tried ChatGPT, and sure enough, it did provide an apparently useful report about hotels and activities at a destination that I am not familiar with. If I provide this advice verbatim to my agency’s client, could my agency be liable for mistakes that caused the client to suffer a loss? Is the report’s wording covered by copyright law? Would the client’s claim be covered by our errors and omissions insurance policy?

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A: It is quite risky to use ChatGPT for business purposes in its current state of development. Based on my experience, it commits strange errors and publishes inaccurate information.

When I asked it to explain “Who is Mark Pestronk?” it said that I am “an attorney specializing in travel law and the co-founder of the law firm Pestronk & Silverman.” I don’t even know anybody named Silverman.

Also, ChatGPT’s database ended in September 2021, so you cannot get current information from it. For example, it could not tell you anything about the bankruptcy of Crystal Cruises or the Russia-Ukraine war.

If your agency provides travel advice, it is deemed to be your advice, regardless of where it comes from. You have a legal duty to disclose reasonably obtainable, relevant information about destinations, suppliers or properties that a reasonably informed consumer would not necessarily know.

When you fail to perform that legal duty, your agency could be liable for the client’s loss, regardless of the origin of the advice. For example, if a destination requires U.S. citizens to obtain a visa in advance of travel and you fail to advise about it because ChatGPT does not disclose it, your agency would certainly be liable if the client had to cancel the trip because he did not have a visa.

The sole exception would be the case where you used a disclaimer such as those at, which say that the client is solely responsible for destination requirements. Disclaimers such as those deter lawsuits as well as help win them.

  • Related: What will ChatGPT mean for the travel industry?

Since mistaken advice coming from ChatGPT would be deemed to be your advice, it would presumably be covered under your agency’s errors and omissions insurance policy, but you would have to read the exact wording of the policy, as there are many coverage exceptions.

My analysis of liability assumes that ChatGPT has made an objective mistake or material omission. Of course, if ChatGPT is used only to produce opinions, such as on the most luxurious hotel on the Amalfi Coast, then you would not have any liability under any circumstances, even if it recommended a property that no knowledgeable travel advisor would agree about.

Interestingly, the wording of a ChatGPT report would not be covered by U.S. copyright law, which covers only words produced by human beings, not by machines, so you are free to use such a report for commercial purposes if you really want to do so. 

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