Beyond Chat-GPT: The Impact of AI on Academic Research 

Moderator: Viola Schiaffonati, Politecnico di Milano, IT

Name Institution
Hannes Werthner TU Wien, AT
Edward A. Lee UC Berkeley, US
Moshe Y. Vardi Rice University, US
James Larus École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH
George Metakides Digital Enlightenment Forum, NL

The widespread diffusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, such as conversational agents powered by Large Language Models, has popularized the debate on AI and its impact on different fields. Discussions about the consequences of the adoption of these tools in the job market or their impact on creativity are now common also in the public discourse.

One of the contexts in which the debate about the impact of AI has been relatively less discussed, at least for a broader audience, is academic research. However, the use of AI tools for research, and the correspondence discussion of its impact, has been common from the early days of AI back in the second half of the last century. It seems now that this debate is revamped by the adoption of the last generation of AI tools, some of which are freely available not only for researchers, but also for a larger population. Is this a real new perspective, with revolutionizing results – as many claim – or is it rather a continuation of a development already started decades ago?

This panel will address this and similar questions starting from the first-hand experience of different scholars working in the context of computer science and engineering that will provide their perspective on this relatively undebated issue. These questions will be discussed within the framework of Digital Humanism, as the pursuit of supporting people through digital technologies, especially AI, and of protecting people from adverse effects of these technologies.