Thoughtfully Using Artificial Intelligence in Earth Science - Eos


Deriving scientific insights from artificial intelligence methods requires adhering to best practices and moving beyond off-the-shelf approaches. Artificial intelligence (AI) methods have emerged as useful tools in many Earth science domains (e.g., climate models, weather prediction, hydrology, space weather, and solid Earth). AI methods are being used for tasks of prediction, anomaly detection, event classification, and onboard decision-making on satellites, and they could potentially provide high-speed alternatives for representing subgrid processes in climate models [Rasp et al., 2018; Brenowitz and Bretherton, 2019]. Although the use of AI methods has spiked dramatically in recent years, we caution that their use in Earth science should be approached with vigilance and accompanied by the development of best practices for their use. Without best practices, inappropriate use of these methods might lead to "bad science," which could create a general backlash in the Earth science community against the use of AI methods.

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