Artificial intelligence can help us humans vet research papers3 min read 20 Mar 2023, 10:12 PM IST
Machines could do a fast and accurate job of identifying quality
Have you heard that reading literature for 3 minutes makes people more empathetic or that holding a heavier clipboard makes a manager more likely to hire a job candidate? The popular press has had a love affair with such social science findings. But they might not be true. Attempts to replicate such results led to a shocking discovery in 2015 that fewer than 40% of papers in peer-reviewed psychology journals could be verified. Similarly dismal findings occurred in economics and some biomedical research, including cancer biology. Since then, researchers have been trying to find better ways to sort the treasure from the trash. A few years ago, one group of social scientists showed that prediction markets—asking people to make bets on a paper’s validity—worked far better than standard peer review. But that required increasing the number of people who vet a paper from three to 100. That’s not a scalable solution.