By amplifying human intelligence, AI may cause a new Renaissance, perhaps a new phase of the Enlightenment,” Yann LeCun, one of the godfathers of modern artificial intelligence (AI), suggested earlier this year. AI can already make some existing scientific processes faster and more efficient, but can it do more, by transforming the way science itself is done?

Such transformations have happened before. With the emergence of the scientific method in the 17th century, researchers came to trust experimental observations, and the theories they derived from them, over the received wisdom of antiquity. This process was, crucially, supported by the advent of scientific journals, which let researchers share their findings, both to claim priority and to encourage others to replicate and build on their results. Journals created an international scientific community around a shared body of knowledge, causing a surge in discovery known today as the scientific revolution.

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