September 29, 2023

AI in scientific writing: from hype to hypotheses

In today’s fast-paced world, technology has revolutionised various aspects of our lives, and the field of scientific writing is no exception. With the emergence of AI, writers now have access to powerful tools that can assist them in their craft, and these technologies will undoubtedly continue to develop at break-neck speed. However, it’s important to navigate the realm of AI writing with caution and understand its limitations. In this blog post, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of using AI assistance in scientific writing, especially in the context of life science marketing.


The dos:

  1. Provide specific and detailed instructions to AI.
    It is first and foremost essential that you provide specific and detailed instructions – outlining the desired tone, style and content structure – in order to achieve the best output from AI. Clear guidelines help to guide AI writing processes and can generate results that are more closely aligned with your needs and objectives.
  2. Use AI as a valuable tool in your writing process.
    Rather than looking to AI to write a piece for you, you should see it as a powerful ally, serving as a creative catalyst to inspire the exploration of new angles and perspectives. For example, it can generate article structures, suggest topic ideas and provide alternative ways of expressing thoughts.
  3. Use AI for error detection and proofreading.
    Every writer understands the challenging task of proofreading for typos, grammar mistakes, repetition and inconsistencies, but this is another area where AI can help. Using AI’s assistance, you can greatly improve the quality of your work, using it to identify errors that may have slipped through the cracks. Nevertheless, it’s important to check the suggested corrections, ensuring your unique voice and style remain intact.
  4. Collaborating with AI to improve efficiency.
    AI can be a valuable tool when you’re faced with challenges like crafting captivating headlines or expanding the length of a piece. It can provide insights, streamline research and offer alternative phrasing, and can help you to become more efficient in your daily tasks. This gives you more time to focus your energy on perfecting the scientific content and creativity, leading to more engaging results.
  5. Use AI for language exploration and inspiration.
    AI models have been trained on vast amounts of data, exposing them to diverse writing styles and vocabulary. Engaging with AI can spark new ideas, introduce fresh perspectives and help you to find innovative ways to communicate complex scientific concepts. Embracing AI’s potential as a collaborator can help you to broaden your linguistic horizons.


The don’ts:

  1. Don’t blindly trust AI’s output.
    While AI models like ChatGPT are comparatively advanced, they are far from perfect. It is crucial to review and validate the content generated as it can occasionally produce inaccurate or nonsensical information. A scientific writer’s expertise and critical thinking should always be applied to ensure the accuracy, quality and context of the final content.
  2. Don’t feed AI confidential information.
    Respecting confidentiality is paramount, especially in an industry where innovation and being first to market is so important. Sharing confidential information – including proprietary research or any unpublished data – with an AI model is not advisable. Protecting privacy and intellectual property should always take precedence.
  3. Don’t expect AI to mimic your client’s unique marketing voice.
    AI models lack the ability to capture nuanced voice and branding. Developing a distinctive marketing voice is an art that requires human judgment and creativity, and a deep understanding of a brand identity. Relying solely on AI-generated content risks diluting a unique voice and potentially alienating the target audience.
  4. Don’t rely on AI for SEO optimisation.
    While AI can offer suggestions and alternative phrasing, it lacks the capability to provide tailored and strategic search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO requires a deep understanding of the context of target keywords, audience intent and industry trends. It is best to collaborate with SEO specialists or employ dedicated SEO tools to ensure your content ranks well and stands out among competitors.
  5. Don’t expect AI to have high levels of scientific knowledge.
    It is important to recognise that AI does not have access to peer-reviewed scientific papers and the comprehensive scientific knowledge that humans acquire through degree-level education. Some AI models also have a knowledge cut-off, meaning they are not updated with information beyond a specific date. This limitation prevents them from incorporating the most recent scientific advancements into their responses, which is crucial for up-to-date scientific writing.


AI assistance in writing offers a wealth of possibilities for life science marketers, but it is crucial to understand its limitations and exercise caution. Ultimately, scientific writing is a specialised skill that goes beyond general writing abilities. It needs a profound understanding of scientific concepts, methodologies and context. Additionally, AI cannot conduct interviews or gather opinions, which are often essential for case studies and qualitative research in scientific writing. However, the ultimate goal is to strike a balance between human expertise and the cutting-edge capabilities of AI to deliver compelling, accurate and impactful content that is scientifically accurate.

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