Artificial intelligence in the research process

The rise and convergence of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaping the way we live our lives. Recent research funded by XR Stories explores the role of AI within the research process to investigate how it is impacting education and university research. 

Jenn Chubb, Research Fellow at XR Stories, Darren Reed, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of York and Peter Cowling, Professor of AI at Queen Mary University London analysed interviews with leading scholars on the potential impact of AI on research practice and culture to show the issues affecting academics and universities today. 

Drawing on interviews with leading scholars across a range of disciplines including media, interactive technologies, and AI, the research reflected on the role of AI in the research process and its implications. 

Interviewees identified positive and negative consequences with respect to collective and individual use of AI. AI is perceived as helpful for information gathering and other narrow tasks, and in support of impact and interdisciplinarity. On the other hand, using AI as a way of ‘speeding up’ to keep up with bureaucratic and metricised processes, may proliferate negative aspects of academic culture in that the expansion of AI in research should assist and not replace human creativity.

Research into the future role of AI in the research process needs to go further to address these challenges, and ask fundamental questions about how AI might assist in providing new tools able to question the values and principles driving institutions and research processes. 

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Read Jenn’s blog 

Published on 28 October 2021

Filed under: Research, XR Stories