In the first year of the pandemic, science happened at light speed. More than 100,000 papers were published on COVID in those first 12 months – an unprecedented human effort that produced an unprecedented deluge of new information.
It would have been impossible to read and comprehend every one of those studies. No human being could (and, perhaps, none would want to).
But, in theory, Galactica could.
Galactica is an artificial intelligence developed by Meta AI (formerly known as Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research) with the intention of using machine learning to “organize science.” It’s caused a bit of a stir since a demo version was released online last week, with critics suggesting it produced pseudoscience, was overhyped and not ready for public use.
The tool is pitched as a kind of evolution of the search engine but specifically for scientific literature. Upon Galactica’s launch, the Meta AI team said it can summarize areas of research, solve math problems and write scientific code.