AI for the Research Ecosystem

an AI UK Fringe 2024 Workshop

22 March 2024 - London

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AI is rapidly evolving and significantly impacting the entire research ecosystem. The most recent technologies, such as deep learning and large language models, are poised to transform every aspect of the research process. These include study design, conducting literature reviews, code design, data collection and analysis, dissemination, peer review, and research assessment.
The half-day “AI for the Research Ecosystem” (AI4RE) workshop will provide insights from expert speakers at each stage of the research process and will include broad-ranging presentations from a comprehensive range of stakeholders including researchers, research institutions, policy makers and funders, and commercial entities. We see this event as a catalyst for asking fundamental questions about what the latest developments mean for those involved in the research process including:

  • How can all the stakeholders organise to best take advantage of these AI technologies?
    Ensuring the research community benefits from these advancements is key. It is essential to identify a strategy that supports researchers in sharing insights, successes, and challenges in implementing AI technologies that can foster a community that learns and grows together.
  • How do we make sure that these AI technologies are designed and employed in a responsible and ethical manner?
    It is essential to establish clear guidelines and ethical standards with regard to responsible and ethical design. This will involve engaging ethicists, policy makers, and researchers in ongoing dialogues to address potential ethical dilemmas and societal impacts.
  • How do we democratise these AI technologies?
    To benefit the entire research community, the opportunities that AI offers should be accessible to everyone, and not restricted to those who can pay for the best tools. Identifying stakeholders who stand to benefit from AI's advancements in research, such as governments, educational institutions, and also private sector entities, can help ensure that these tools remain available to everyone, not just a select few.

Post-Event News

AI for the Research Ecosystem workshop #AI4RE - round up

On March 22, 2024, the AI for the Research Ecosystem workshop (#AI4RE) took place in London, kindly hosted by UCL in the wonderful surroundings of Chandler House. The workshop was part of the Turing Institue’s AI UK Fringe series of events which took place around the U.K. The workshop focused on the intersection of the recent developments in Artificial Intelligence, such as Large Language Models and Deep Learning, and how these developments will impact current research practices.


The packed programme opened with a keynote by Prof. David De Roure of the University of Oxford, exploring knowledge infrastructures, social machines and how, and if, we can measure the rate of innovation - and whether it is increasing.

There were two sessions of invited talks featuring a range of impressive speakers from academia and industry. Dr Phil Gooch, from Scholarcy, looked at how AI can help make research more accessible for the widest range of users. Professor Mike Thelwall, University of Sheffield, examined whether using AI in research assessment can be beneficial, and impartial. Simon Porter, VP futures at Digital Science, gave a service provider's perspective on how they are adapting and adopting these new technologies. Professor Andrew French, University of Nottingham, showed some amazing work their group have been doing for over 20 years using machine learning for identifying the phenotype of plants. He also introduced AIBIO-UK, a community-building project that brings together AI and core bioscience researchers to unravel biological fundamentals and tackle impeding societal challenges.

KMi were represented by Professor Petr Knoth discussing CORE and why AI needs open data and open infrastructures, and by Dr Angelo Salatino who gave a detailed overview of his team’s work investigating the role of AI in literature reviews, hypothesis generation, expert diversity and scientific question / answering.

Petr Angelo

The workshop's themes address highly relevant issues, attracting significant interest from stakeholders like the European Commission and UK Research and Innovation. Ben Steyn, head of metascience at the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT) gave an impromptu lightning talk, introducing the combined DSIT / UKRI Metascience unit and presented their efforts in developing a global community of practice for metascience.

There was also a poster session, with 6 accepted posters gathering a crowd during the networking session, and the day rounded off with a wide-ranging panel session where the panellists had a lively discussion on AI's applications in study design, literature reviews, and data analysis. The panel also covered ethical considerations and the democratisation of AI technologies.


The workshop aimed to foster a collaborative learning community among researchers, institutions, and policymakers and by this measure was a resounding success.

We are extremely grateful to all of the speakers and participants for being a part of the AI4RE workshop. You can view all of the slides and posters from the day below.

Keynote Speaker

Prof. David De Roure

University of Oxford

AI in our Evolving Knowledge Infrastructure

Bio: David De Roure is a distinguished figure in the research ecosystem, recognized for his contributions at the intersection of computer science and digital scholarship. As Academic Director of Digital Scholarship and Professor of e-Research at the University of Oxford, he has played a key role in advancing the understanding and application of digital technologies in research methods, with research spanning digital scholarship, social machines, semantic web, AI and music - always emphasising interdisciplinary connections and fostering collaboration. He is a co-founder of the UK Software Sustainability Institute and of the Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music (PRiSM) at the Royal Northern College of Music.


All times are set to the GMT timezone.

SESSION A: Welcome and Keynote
8:30 - 9:00 Registration
9:00 - 9:20 Workshop Opening - Welcome
9:20 - 10:00 Keynote by Prof. David De Roure - AI in our Evolving Knowledge Infrastructure Slides
SESSION B: Invited Talks
10:00 - 10:20 AI for Open Science - Prof. Petr Knoth, The Open University Slides
10:20 - 10:40 AI for Democratising Research Accessibility - Dr. Phil Gooch, Scolarcy Slides
10:40 - 11:00 AI in the Biosciences - Prof. Andrew French, University of Nottingham/AIBIO Slides
11:00 - 11:05 The DSIT/UKRI Metascience Unit - Ben Steyn, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Slides
11:05 - 11:45 Coffee Break - Networking - Poster Session
SESSION C: Invited Talks
11:45 - 12:05 AI for Advancing Scientific Research - Dr. Angelo Salatino, The Open University Slides
12:05 - 12:25 Exploring the opportunities, responsibilities, and challenges of AI in research: A service provider's perspective. - Simon Porter, Overleaf/Digital Science Slides
12:25 - 12:45 Assessing research with AI support: Beneficial and impartial? - Prof. Mike Thelwall, University of Sheffield Slides
12:45 - 13:35 AI for the Research Ecosystem: Panel.
13:35 - 13:45 Closing

Poster Presentations

During the coffee break, attendees will have the chance to network and to engage with poster presentations. Here are the list of our accepted posters:

  • Semantic Observer: Linking Conference Data by combining Semantic Web Technologies and LLMs. Daniil Dobriy, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business View Poster
  • Introducing the DiTraRe: Digital Transformation in Research in four research clusters interwoven with four dimensions. Anna Jacyszyn, FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure View Poster
  • ENGAGE: Mapping research to government priorities. Euan Adie and Angel Luis Jaso Tamame, Overton View Poster
  • Research Support Library team: AI and Research Integrity. Dominika Smithson, Sheffield Hallam University View Poster
  • Creating a weakly-labelled micrograph dataset using web-scraping and LLMs. Ronan Docherty, Imperial College London View Poster
  • Maximising research impact with Nature Navigator. Gard Jenset, Springer Nature View Poster


Don't forget to register! Attendance is free and tickets are limited, so please don't forget to sign up, and feel free to share this event with your friends that would like to attend.

Petr Knoth

The Open University, Milton Keynes (UK)

Aldo Lipani

University College London, London (UK)

David Pride

The Open University, Milton Keynes (UK)

Angelo Salatino

The Open University, Milton Keynes (UK)

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