Use AI to mine literature for policymaking

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Search for this author in:

Developing policy informed by science and technology is now more complex than ever. Policymakers must address supply chains, climate change, inequality, technological breakthroughs, misinformation and more. Using artificial intelligence (AI) to mine the literature could put policymaking on a sounder footing.

Advanced big-data and natural-language-processing models enable decision makers to look beyond conventional indicators and expert discussions. Millions of scientific articles, patents and market reports can be readily analysed to identify megatrends or fading topics, and to provide predictive opportunities (see

Machine learning can create maps of national competencies and centres of excellence of science and technology. It will find weak signals and potentially disruptive ‘wild-card’ effects, and can perform ‘gap analyses’ to guide legislation. Such applications could help steer more-proactive policymaking.

The COVID-19 pandemic needs coordination between teams with experience in applying AI (see, for example, J. Blumenstock Nature; 2020). The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Global Futures Literacy Network (see could help. Otherwise, the mismatch between science policy and reality will cost us all even more in the future.

Nature 583, 360 (2020)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-02086-x

Nature Briefing

An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday.