AI tools provide opportunities to improve scientific impact: Opinion

Dashun Wang (Northwestern University) discusses how AI tools could be used to improve the impact of scientists’ work and address societal needs. Wang highlights how AI tools can help to identify the gaps and bottlenecks that hinder research breakthroughs, as well as the scientists and researchers that tend to be overlooked. While AI is presenting this opportunity, Wang writes that the role of science in society is shifting to have a greater interest in use-inspired and applicable research. However, Wang warns that universities must consider the consequences of prioritizing the pursuit of practical applications over work facilitating education and fundamental research. “If research and development could be made even 5% more efficient,” he concludes, “the returns could be immense.”