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Scientists’ Perspectives on the Potential for Generative AI in their Fields

Meredith Ringel Morris
arXiv (2023)

Abstract

Generative AI models, including large language models and multimodal models that include text and other media, are on the cusp of transforming many aspects of modern life, including entertainment, education, civic life, the arts, and a range of professions. There is potential for Generative AI to have a substantive impact on the methods and pace of discovery for a range of scientific disciplines. We interviewed twenty scientists from a range of fields (including the physical, life, and social sciences) to gain insight into whether or how Generative AI technologies might add value to the practice of their respective disciplines, including not only ways in which AI might accelerate scientific discovery (i.e., research), but also other aspects of their profession, including the education of future scholars and the communication of scientific findings. In addition to identifying opportunities for Generative AI to augment scientists’ current practices, we also asked participants to reflect on concerns about AI. These findings can help guide the responsible development of models and interfaces for scientific education, inquiry, and communication.