How can AI democratise science and academia?

AI language models like ChatGPT could potentially revolutionize academia by democratizing education and enhancing knowledge, according to Mushtaq Bilal, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern Denmark. Bilal believes that when used thoughtfully, AI language models can help users generate structured and sophisticated answers by employing techniques like incremental prompting. By breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps and providing prompts, language models can save time and effort for researchers and academics.

Bilal demonstrates ChatGPT’s potential by using incremental prompting to generate a “brilliant outline” for a journal article. He also emphasizes the importance of AI in making education more democratic, as it can assist individuals in brainstorming ideas and formulating research, even without direct access to renowned professors.

Additionally, Bilal mentions several other AI-powered tools for academic writing and research. Consensus, an AI-powered search engine, provides answers based on the consensus of the academic community. Elicit serves as an AI research assistant, while Scite provides real citations to published papers and offers the ability to verify claims. Research Rabbit is described as the “Spotify of research,” facilitating the organization and discovery of academic papers. ChatPDF aids in reading and analyzing journal articles.

The potential impact of AI in research and education is compared to the transformative effects of earlier technological advancements, such as the microprocessor, personal computer, internet, and mobile phone. AI language models like ChatGPT can potentially transform academia by democratizing education and enhancing knowledge. Through techniques like incremental prompting, these models can generate structured and sophisticated answers, saving time and effort for academics. AI-powered tools, such as Consensus, Elicit, Scite, Research Rabbit, and ChatPDF, offer various features to support academic writing and research. The future of research is seen as greatly influenced by AI, promising a revolutionary impact comparable to that of earlier technological advancements.