Science unbound: AI and open data accelerate the pace of discovery

[Tartila/Adobe Stock]

Scientists have long been perceived and portrayed in film as old people in white lab coats perched at a bench full of bubbling fluorescent liquids. The present-day reality of scientific research is quite different from old stereotypes, with AI-driven scientific breakthroughs emerging as a major driving force behind new discoveries. Scientists are increasingly data jockeys in hoodies sitting before monitors analyzing enormous amounts of data. Modern day labs are more likely composed of sterile rows of robots doing the manual handling of materials, and lab notebooks are now electronic, in massive data centers holding vast quantities of information. Today, scientific input comes from data pulled from the cloud, with algorithms fueling scientific discovery the way bunsen burners once did.

Advances in technology and especially instrumentation, enable scientists to collect and process data at an …

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