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Insights 2024: Attitudes toward AI

Discover what researchers and clinicians around the world think about the use of AI in their work.

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The rapid evolution of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has brought with it a wave of expectations, opportunities and concerns in all sectors. In research and health, the promise of accelerated discovery, increased output and improved patient care is matched by an expressed need for transparency, trust and quality content.

Our report Insights 2024: Attitudes toward AI brings together the views of nearly 3,000 researchers and healthcare professionals around the world. Their feedback reveals a clear appetite for adopting AI tools in their work, but also shows differing attitudes among respondents from the world’s top three research-generating countries, the US, China and India.

Attitudes on AI: Key findings

Clinicians and researchers believe AI tools can help

Researchers and clinicians recognize the growing potential of AI tools, and if they’re not already using them, most expect to do so in the coming two to five years.

  • 94% of researchers and 96% of clinicians think AI will help accelerate knowledge discovery

  • 87% think it will help increase work quality overall

  • 85% of both groups believe AI will help free up time to focus on higher value projects

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The importance of trusted content

Respondents were clear that if the benefits of AI tools were to be realized, the tools themselves must be based on high quality, trusted content.

  • 71% expect generative AI dependent tools’ results be based on high quality trusted sources only

  • If AI tools are backed by trusted content, quality controls and responsible AI principles, 89% of researchers would use such tools to generate a synthesis of articles, while 94% of clinicians said they would employ AI to assess symptoms and identify conditions or diseases

Researchers and clinicians are wary of misinformation

If organizations are to benefit from AI tools, they will need to understand the factors that build researchers’ and clinicians’ trust in AI tools, and their comfort using them.

  • 95% of researchers along with 93% of clinicians believe AI will be used for misinformation

  • 86% of researchers and 85% of clinicians believe AI will cause critical errors, while a similar ratio expressed concern about AI leading to weakened critical thinking

  • 79% of clinicians and 80% of researchers believe AI will cause disruption to society

View the key findingsopens in new tab/window

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Clinician attitudes toward AI

In the latest of our annual reports looking at the future of healthcare, clinicians have growing optimism about the capability of AI to increase their productivity, freeing up their time for high value work. However, this is accompanied by caution about AI’s impact on critical thinking and clinical decision making.

Clinician of the Future: AI edition

Key insights:

  • 26% of clinicians have used AI for work purposes

  • 96% of clinicians believe AI will help accelerate knowledge discovery

  • 88% of clinicians believe AI will help increase work quality overall

  • 82% of physicians believe AI has the potential to cause critical errors or mishaps

View the Clinician infographicopens in new tab/window

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Researcher attitudes toward AI

In this focused analysis of attitudes to AI in the world of research, respondents expect AI to have an increased impact on their work, enabling them to find information more quickly and to increase scholarly output. But that expectation is tempered by caution over the integrity of information and a demand for transparency in how AI is used.

What do researchers have to say?

Key insights:

  • 37% of researchers have used AI for work purposes

  • 94% of researchers believe AI will help accelerate knowledge discovery

  • 81% of researchers believe AI has the potential to erode critical thinking skills

View the Researcher infographicopens in new tab/window

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More information

At Elsevier, we bring together trusted content, human expertise and responsibly applied AI technologies to help researchers, educators and healthcare professionals worldwide advance discovery, innovation and patient care.