Science in the age of AI

The Science in the age of AI report explores how AI is transforming the methods and nature of scientific research.

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*, 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 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, a historical review on the role of disruptive technologies in transforming science and society, and a patent landscape analysis of artificial intelligence in scientific research, which will be available to download soon. 

Our current Working Group includes Professor Alison Noble CBE FREng FRS (Chair), Professor Paul Beasly, Dr Peter Dayan FRS, Professor Sabina Leonelli, Alistair Nolan, Dr Philip Quinlan, Professor Abigail Sellen FRS, Professor Rossi Setchi and Kelly Vere.  

*Science in the age of AI will be published on 28 May 2024