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The internet is home to essentially the entire collective history of human knowledge. That, needless to say, is more information than it’s possible to process. Search engines, mercifully, have made it infinitely easier to find content relating to specific topics or queries. More recently, ChatGpt extension Liner AI x ChatGPT has enabled users to further refine their search results by highlighting important elements and saving them for later review. It also provides links to authoritative sources, making it clearer that the details provided can be trusted.
This is the greatest strength and the greatest weakness of the web: the most respected experts on a given topic can sound off just as easily as somebody brand new to the world of astrophysics (or anything else), and at times, both can sound equally convincing in doing so. A new AI-powered search engine called Consensus could prove invaluable here, leading readers straight to scientific research papers on the topic in question.
What does Consensus do?
Thanks to the internet, the world of scientific research is more accessible than ever. Studies and papers are shared through various programs, in numerous different formats, but the latest and most authoritative research on a given topic can be difficult to find. This is where Consensus comes in, at least according to the team behind the product. Consensus (currently in beta) is a search engine that offers results that are supposedly more sophisticated and tailored than what Google tends to present — though that may change soon enough thanks to Google Bard.
“We trained our AI models on tens of thousands of papers that have been annotated by PhDs,” the makers claim while taking a jab at the ad-heavy results typical of search engines. In this way, Consensus search results are not only verified scientific sources, but the user can also see when the papers were published, by whom, and in which journal. Just as importantly, each result also consists of an extract from said paper, which presents the answer to the question posed by the user’s search.
How does the Consensus AI search engine work?
Consensus requires users to sign up and log in before using its service. Upon doing so, you can simply input your burning question into the homepage to get a list of published papers that tackle that topic (or as close to it as possible, depending on the popularity/obscurity of the query used). For best results, according to the system, direct questions should be inputted, though regular search queries through keywords can also be used.
When asked whether AI will take over the world (a concern that perhaps becomes a little less absurd with each passing day), for instance, one search result reads “AI is unlikely to have either Utopian or apocalyptic impacts soon.” The result also states that this extract is from W. Naudé et al’s 2020 paper in “Economics of Innovation and New Technology.” Clicking a result takes the reader to a separate tab providing a longer extract for further context. This page also provides a link to the article in full.