From scientists to “intellectual cyborgs”

From scientists to "intellectual cyborgs"

The future of science could be in the hands of “intellectual cyborgs”, thanks to the advancement of generative artificial intelligence. This was revealed by the investigation Intellectual cyborgs and the future of science published in the prestigious magazine Trends in Cognitive Sciencesled by the director of the Latin American Institute of Brain Health (BrainLat UAI), Augustin Ibanezwhich explains how the advancement of generative artificial intelligence is capable of making revolutionary changes in all stages of scientific research.

UAI Communications.- The best known example of this type of AI is ChatGPT, which is capable of processing more flexible and open content. Augustin Ibanezauthor of the research, explains that this new technology “poses ethical and regulatory challenges, without proactive regulation and ethical considerations, we could expand our scientific minds to dimensions never before achieved”. Our cognitive processes are extended and augmented by the environment, whether natural or artificial. For centuries, external tools like pencils, magnifying glasses, calculators, smartphones, and the Internet have helped us navigate scientific and everyday worlds more efficiently. Generative artificial intelligence will accelerate this process in unprecedented ways.

What is a generative AI?

There are three essential aspects that differentiate generative AI from the rest of artificial intelligence: the creation of content, the transformation of scientific practices and the intellectual “cyborgs”.

Regarding the first point, the study explains that generative AI focuses on the creation of flexible, open and original content, in addition, it uses large-scale language models, unlike other AIs that solve specific problems. “They can generate hypotheses and predictions that can lead to significant discoveries and breakthroughs.”, explains Ibáñez.

Along the same lines, it could transform scientific practices rapidly and exponentially. Researchers could use it to write, check spelling, but also to formulate hypotheses, analyze data, and even write and submit each scientific paper for publication. Ibanez explains that “These tools could even connect with other programs to identify research gaps, generate new hypotheses, analyze data, and interact with scientific journals.”.

Finally, another difference is that it could transform scientists into “intellectual cyborgs”, since AI could take over routine scientific research tasks and allow authors to focus on other aspects such as creativity and ethics. “As a result, generative AI could extend our cognitive abilities to never-before-reached spatiotemporal dimensions.”, concluded the author.

international regulation

“Efforts have been made in several countries to regulate AI, however, there is no global work on this topic” explains the author. Most of the initiatives that currently exist are spearheaded by the G7, who have recognized the need to establish an international legal framework for generative AI, called the “Hiroshima AI Process”, which could have a regulation later this year. Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, was appointed as the leader of the process. One of the most emblematic cases regarding the regulation of this AI was when Italy prohibited the use of ChatGPT, considering that it put the digital rights of its citizens at risk, although the ban was lifted shortly after.

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Written by Editor TLN

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