MSU researchers create one-stop database of AI tools

MSU researchers create one-stop database of AI tools

MSU researchers create one-stop database of AI tools

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Social scientists seeking artificial intelligence tools for research can efficiently peruse 250 options thanks to a Social Science Research Center-developed database.

Scholars within Mississippi State University’s SSRC categorized the staggeringly large number of AI tools available for social science research, providing cost and other information, said Devon Brenner, SSRC director.

“When we decided to look into AI tools to support social science research, we knew that AI was growing, but we didn’t realize the overwhelming number of tools that might be available,” Brenner said. “We’re hoping that having the tools collected into the Artificial Intelligence Applications for Social Science Research Database with some information about their cost and potential use will be useful to various social scientists at MSU and beyond.”

The team sorted the 250 tools into categories for literature reviews or writing; data collection, analyses, or visualizations; and dissemination efforts. One hundred seventy AI tools within this database can be used for general research purposes, 18 are specific to social media data analyses, and 62 can be applied to both.

After consultations with interdisciplinary researchers, the team, consisting of Brenner, Megan Stubbs-Richardson, an assistant research professor, and two student research assistants: Lauren Brown and MacKenzie Paul was better able to identify what tools would be useful for a variety of scientists.

“To expand the reach and the useability of the Artificial Intelligence Applications for Social Science Research Database, we consulted colleagues' advice from the DS3 laboratory where one of the missions of the SSRC-based lab is to build tools for social scientists to improve access to big data and related research initiatives,” Stubbs-Richardson said.

The database, housed within MSU Libraries’ Scholar’s Junction, includes tools useful to researchers in every stage of work while allowing them to know what costs may be associated with the tool.

“We have used the database to identify free data analysis tools that we can potentially integrate into our NSF-funded project where we are building a data visualization tool for a publicly available social media database on COVID-19. Across other research projects, we have also used tools that can assist us in identifying related literature for niche research projects,” Stubbs-Richardson said.

To access the database, visit