AI and the Social Sciences Used to Talk More. Now They’ve Drifted Apart

A new paper by Dashun Wang and collaborators finds that the link between AI and the social sciences (and other fields) has weakened over time. The researchers analyzed several decades of papers published in the field of AI, as well as those in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering, and medicine. They found that, more and more, computer scientists are facing social questions on their own, without relying deeply on insights from scholars who study them. At the same time, scholars of the social sciences, physical sciences, and humanities seem to be losing touch with rapid advances in AI as well. Taken together, the results speak to a renewed need for researchers to collaborate across disciplines, Wang says. “Just when AI is becoming more and more relevant to any corner of society, it’s becoming more and more isolated,” Wang says. “We really need to close that gap.”

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