Artificial Intelligence has become the new buzz phrase everywhere, but many people misunderstand what AI software can really do for them. Misconceptions may be exacerbated by companies overstating their own reliance on AI and its capabilities.

Here are some genuine ways in which Natural Language Processing (a strand of AI) can enhance your scientific writing.

Going beyond simple rules

Sure, MS Word’s spell checker will fix misspellings and missing punctuation. Grammarly will fix your misused articles and noun-verb disagreements. But a tool that is fully AI-driven will go beyond that. By looking at your entire sentence and taking context into account, it will detect more errors, and yield fewer FPs (false positives), than a tool mostly using black-and-white grammar rules. How? Through complex algorithms comparing your text to billions of others.

Showing by example

Machine learning, deep learning… The clue’s in the name. The core of these technologies is to learn by example, by which we mean very large datasets and databases. In the case of a language check such as Writefull, the outcome will be predictions based on language patterns extracted from billions of published journal articles from all academic disciplines. Predictions may be delivered as edits to your text, or as search results showing you how words are used in context.

Generating and regenerating content

Perhaps the most impressive side of AI is its ability to produce original content. Sentence auto-complete is a useful feature, but sometimes you don’t know where to even start. Finding a good title for a paper is surprisingly difficult, and Writefull’s AI will do that for you. Want to rewrite an entire sentence while keeping the original meaning? It can do that too. Want a tool that writes your entire paper? Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.

You can read more about the use of NLP technology by Writefull and other tools here, here, and here.