Science in the age of AI

Report by the Royal Society: “The unprecedented speed and scale of progress with artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years suggests society may be living through an inflection point. With the growing availability of large datasets, new algorithmic techniques and increased computing power, AI is becoming an established tool used by researchers across scientific fields who seek novel solutions to age-old problems. Now more than ever, we need to understand the extent of the transformative impact of AI on science and what scientific communities need to do to fully harness its benefits. 

This report, Science in the age of AI (PDF), explores how AI technologies, such as deep learning or large language models, are transforming the nature and methods of scientific inquiry. It also explores how notions of research integrity; research skills or research ethics are inevitably changing, and what the implications are for the future of science and scientists. 

The report addresses the following questions: 

  • How are AI-driven technologies transforming the methods and nature of scientific research? 
  • What are the opportunities, limitations, and risks of these technologies for scientific research? 
  • How can relevant stakeholders (governments, universities, industry, research funders, etc) best support the development, adoption, and uses of AI-driven technologies in scientific research? 

In answering these questions, the report integrates evidence from a range of sources, including research activities with more than 100 scientists and the advisement of an expert Working group, as well as a taxonomy of AI in science (PDF), a historical review (PDF) on the role of disruptive technologies in transforming science and society, and a patent landscape review (PDF) of artificial intelligence related inventions, which are available to download…(More)”

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