Artificial Intelligence in Science

Challenges, Opportunities and the Future of Research

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The rapid advances of artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years have led to numerous creative applications in science. Accelerating the productivity of science could be the most economically and socially valuable of all the uses of AI. Utilising AI to accelerate scientific productivity will support the ability of OECD countries to grow, innovate and meet global challenges, from climate change to new contagions.

This publication is aimed at a broad readership, including policy makers, the public, and stakeholders in all areas of science. It is written in non-technical language and gathers the perspectives of prominent researchers and practitioners. The book examines various topics, including the current, emerging, and potential future uses of AI in science, where progress is needed to better serve scientific advancements, and changes in scientific productivity.

Additionally, it explores measures to expedite the integration of AI into research in developing countries.

A distinctive contribution is the book’s examination of policies for AI in science. Policy makers and actors across research systems can do much to deepen AI’s use in science, magnifying its positive effects, while adapting to the fast-changing implications of AI for research governance.


Is there a narrowing of AI research?

Large technology companies have largely driven recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) by developing or deploying deep-learning techniques at scale. This essay examines the current state of play in AI research, including rationales for preserving technological diversity. It subsequently identifies two mutually reinforcing economic processes that may work to reduce this diversity: economies of scale and scope, and collective choice problems. The role of the private sector in further narrowing diversity is also explored. The essay ends with suggestions on how policy makers could promote technology diversity in AI research from both supply and demand sides.


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