Global Survey Unveils Rising AI Adoption in Scientific Practices

Global Survey Unveils Rising AI Adoption in Scientific Practices

Marina Vasilievich
3 min read

The Growing Influence of AI in Scientific Practices

A recent global survey by Elsevier, conducted from December 2023 to February 2024 with nearly 3,000 researchers and clinicians from 123 countries, revealed extensive AI integration in scientific workflows. 96% of respondents are familiar with AI, 54% have used it, and 31% have integrated it into their work. ChatGPT emerged as the most recognized AI tool, with 89% awareness and 25% professional use. Regional differences show AI usage varying, with 39% in China, 30% in the US, and 22% in India. Researchers are more likely to use AI (37%) compared to clinicians (26%). Despite optimism about AI transforming their fields, concerns persist about its potential misuse, critical errors, and impacts on critical thinking.

The survey also highlighted that 72% of respondents expect significant changes in their fields due to AI, with 95% predicting faster knowledge discovery and 94% expecting increased research productivity. Concerns include 94% fearing AI-driven disinformation, 86% worried about critical errors, and 81% apprehensive about reduced critical thinking skills. Respondents emphasize the need for AI models to prioritize accuracy, ethics, and safety, with 58% seeing these as crucial for trust. A separate study by the University of Tübingen and Northwestern University noted that at least 10% of scientific abstracts on PubMed have been influenced by AI text generators, with some countries and disciplines showing up to 35% influence, suggesting underreporting as many authors may revise AI-generated texts.

Key Takeaways

  • 96% of the surveyed researchers and clinicians are familiar with AI, with 54% having utilized it and 31% incorporating it into their professional engagements.
  • 72% anticipate AI to significantly impact their fields, with 95% believing it will expedite knowledge discovery.
  • Concerns encompass a range of issues, including the potential exploitation of AI for disinformation and concerns about critical errors.
  • Regional disparities in AI usage were highlighted, with China leading at 39% utilization for work, followed by the US at 30%.


The pervasive integration of AI tools such as ChatGPT within scientific domains carries the potential to reconfigure research dynamics, with China, the US, and India emerging as frontrunners in AI utilization. While heightened AI usage may lead to an amplification in research productivity, it also engenders ethical and safety concerns, particularly regarding the proliferation of disinformation and the potential erosion of critical thinking. Developers are thus called upon to accord precedence to accuracy and ethical considerations to mitigate these risks, engendering trust and ensuring the constructive integration of AI. The immediate ramifications encompass an acceleated pace of knowledge discovery, while the long-term implications hinge on the ethical governance of AI and its potential to redefine scientific methodologies.

Did You Know?

  • ChatGPT:
    • ChatGPT, crafted by OpenAI, stands as an advanced AI language model tailored to comprehend and generate human-like text based on the input it receives. Its widespread recognition and utilization across professional spheres, including scientific research, is attributed to its capacity to aid in tasks such as data analysis, literature review, and even draft research papers.
  • Regional Disparities in AI Usage:
    • The survey spotlights noteworthy divergences in AI adoption rates across diverse regions, with China exhibiting the highest utilization at 39%, trailed by the US at 30% and India at 22%. This disparity can be ascribed to an array of factors encompassing technological infrastructure, governmental policies, and the cultural acceptance of AI technologies.
  • Apprehensions Surrounding AI:
    • The survey accentuates substantial anxieties among researchers and clinicians regarding AI, including its potential exploitation for disseminating disinformation (94% concerned) and the specter of critical errors or accidents (86%). These apprehensions underscore the exigency for stringent ethical standards and safety protocols in the evolution and deployment of AI.

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