The government's digital 'secret weapon' to revolutionize research

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The ' Secret 'digital government weapon' to revolutionize research

Publishing a paper was always like throwing a drop of water This is an ocean where, in Spain alone, more than 100,000 new scientific articles arrive every year. Wait for that work to have significance, let other researchers know about it and establish new collaborative projects With other universities and disciplines to innovate, it was, and is, a rudimentary task that limits its effectiveness.

“Until now. New technologies already allow 'mapping' the state of I will study research in an institution, a country or even the whole world to find out what is being researched more, what is less and who is doing it,” he explains to&nbsp ;EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAñA, from the Prensa Ibérica group, Eduard Alarcón, professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC).

One of his projects is precisely one of the aces under the manga that is being used saving the Government for this end of the legislature in the world of science. His name is Atlas, a platform with artificial intelligence that is already functional and will allow users to learn more about it. get a clear diagnosis of what is being 'cocinando' in the scientific community in Spanishthrough the cataloging and analysis of the millions of published articles with which it is fed.

< p>It still does not have a public release date, they acknowledge from the department that coordinates the PERTE of the New Language Economy, but it will be published. before the general elections scheduled for the end of 2023.

“We have high hopes for it because we see its potential to make the production of science in Spanish visible and to help universities, governments and institutions make better decisions”, explains Cristina Gallach >, government commissioner for PERTE.

A tool that they assure will be useful. It will be very useful both for researchers, who will know in a visual and simple way what to do. it is being What will they do within their own fields of work, as well as for institutions and citizens, since they will be able to better identify where resources are being allocated and what is needed? What areas could be strengthened.

“Seeing in the application how the great disciplines of science are nurtured is very interesting, but one of the best features that Atlas has is that< strong> allows you to detect where various branches of knowledge collide. It is precisely there This is where new opportunities arise and where innovation germinates”, points out Alarcón, who stresses that, in this way, collaboration between research centers from different fields and territories will be encouraged. 

Connecting Science in Spanish

The platform, which was presented to 22 Science Ministers from Ibero-American countries in November last year, offers the possibility of creating interactive knowledge maps at various levels. Over the next few months, says one of its creators, it will optimize its content. Atlas, but the real challenge will be Get access to all scientific articles published in Spanish, as some are part of payment platforms.

As of today, Atlas has already shown that it works perfectly with 10,000 scientific research articles published at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia over the last ten years, but the idea is to extend its use to all Spanish-speaking research centers, including those that want to join from Latin American countries.

“The diagnosis that we had up to this moment of the state of science in Spanish was based only on statistics. It's like if you go to the doctor and he tries to tell you what's wrong with you, it only gives you a chance.” “Getting indicators of some analysis. What Atlas achieves would be the equivalent of getting inside the human body and analyzing its functioning,” says Alarcón, who is the creator of a project in the one who works together with the experts Soraya Hidalgo, Pere-Pau Vázquez, Lluís Padró and others. and Jordi Cortadella. 

AIs are already capable of creating 'papers'

Artificial intelligence, in this case, was the technology that needed to be developed in order to create tools like Atlas, but as well as a research aid, it is also available. posing its own challenges for science.

“Artificial intelligence is made by humans and is also used by them. They don't do anything that you don't tell them to do, so just as applications are going to appear that try to discover patterns for early detection of breast cancer, there will also be others that do not have such noble purposes”, explains Francisco José José to EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA  Serón, professor of the Area of ​​Languages ​​and Systems at the University of Zaragoza specialized for eight years in topics related to artificial intelligence.

Recently, Meta , the former Facebook, had to withdraw one of its latest failed proposals, Galactica, an AI platform that was intended to serve as a tool for the creation of scientific documents.

Introduced in mid-November last year after being trained with more Of the 48 million articles, specialized websites, textbooks, and specialized symposiums that served as reference, it barely lasted 10 days. couple of days active.

The reason is that the system was becoming a tool capable of massively disseminating false or, at least, inaccurate information. Michael Black, from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany, was one of the researchers who came to try it out and wrote the article. He wrote the following review on his Twitter account: “I applaud the ambition of the project, but this is not a useful tool for science or scientific writing. It's potentially distorting and dangerous.”

“Artificial intelligence is going to be able to write scientific articles, yes, but let's not go crazy. For a text like this to make the cut and If it is validated in the forums where it has to be, it has to be supervised beforehand by a committee of experts.Whether there are people who use it to post it on their blog or wherever they want is another story, but there are filters to reach the scientific community “, says Serón.