There is a lot of discussion about the definition of AI but also about its future impact. As the editorial team, that is something we definitely noticed when we carried out a survey at the start of this year about what researchers from a wide range of disciplines estimate the impact of AI to be on society, science in general, and their own research field. ‘I don’t understand why NWO is chasing such a hype’, was the response of some people. Or: ‘Old wine in new wineskins.’ At the other end of the spectrum, we also saw enthusiastic and positive expectations: ‘It will add depth to my research’ and ‘The use of AI encourages multidisciplinary collaboration’. There were also more cautious responses: ‘AI still needs to prove itself in my discipline’. And should somebody still have any doubts: ‘AI is not the answer to everything.’
If nothing else, it has taught us that opinions in Dutch scientific circles are also (or: possibly quite rightly!) highly diverse. Therefore AI is a superb theme for this magazine, which was established precisely for this purpose: providing a platform for dialogue within the scientific field. In the five theme articles, experts from a wide range of disciplines grab that opportunity with both hands.
Global competition in AI
The Netherlands is still part of the international AI vanguard, but for how much longer? Other countries are investing far more and are also enticing Dutch talent.
Between hope and hype
Four out of five Dutch scientists foresee that AI will have a considerable impact on society. Two thirds also believe that AI will have a radical impact on science.
Keep top talent
Researchers with knowledge of AI are highly sought-after at companies and foreign universities. How will we keep motivated academics in the Netherlands?
Artificial intelligence leads – besides discussion – to practical solutions.