Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Nov. 30, 2022, 8:28 a.m. Humanist 36.275 - a robot can find it too

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 275.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-11-29 16:44:38+00:00
        From: Neven Jovanović <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.270: a robot wrote this, and does other things too

To play devil's advocate to the AI critique, here is some thinking
from the other side. I can see how to communities such as the one
envisioned below AI could be presented as a "helper" in the world of
"growing scientific output" where "solutions" are hidden in the
haystack. I do not say that I agree, or that it is not
oversimplifying. But this is also something that humanists should take
into account and think about. (Although perhaps a robot wrote the
article I'm quoting below.)

"There are approximately 10,000 scientific papers published every day,
approximately. As with COVID and other viral epidemics, we also face
many other global challenges that have solutions hidden in the
literature. With the scientific output growing by over five papers
every minute, how can researchers—let alone citizens—make sense of it?

To give a context for how huge the scientific literature is, let’s
imagine a hypothetical situation where you printed out the whole of
the scientific literature and stack them up. Can you guess the height
the vertical tower of papers would reach? You’d be surprised to know
that the scientific paper tower would reach a height greater than that
of Mount Everest!

So you can’t read the whole literature! But you normally don’t need
to. And there’s an increasing amount of open literature that anyone,
anywhere can access—and for practical purposes if it’s not open, it
can normally be neglected." (etc. etc)



Neven Jovanovic, Zagreb

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