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Artificial Intelligence for Libraries FAQ

Artificial Intelligence (AI) buzzes around in campus conversations like a pesky fly – always present but hard to catch. To help librarians catch this pesky critter and use it to improve their libraries, Stanford University Libraries and the National Library of Norway sponsored the second annual Fantastic Futures conference. What follows is a FAQ based on the conference for those wanting to start their own AI journey.

  • What can AI offer libraries?
      • Check out the Fantastic Futures conference presentations and workshops to get an idea of the many ways AI can help libraries and library patrons.
      • Check out the PAIR registry for a list of library AI projects.
  • I am not Albert Einstein where can I get started understanding AI?
      • Helsinki University created a free online course to help all Finns understand the basics of AI. Now they have opened it to the world (and translated it into many languages including English).

  • Aren’t there a lot of ethical concerns (privacy, fairness, etc.) around AI?
      • Yes. That’s why it’s so important for librarians to get involved. One of the real highlights of the conference was the many perspectives we heard on ensuring that data be used ethically. And one of the outcomes of the conference is a working group that will continue this work. But they can’t do it alone. We all need to learn more about AI so that we can use the library community’s expertise in protecting privacy and making sure data is used fairly to inform the work in this new field.
  • This stuff is really interesting; how can I use it in my work?

  • How can I get involved with the wider AI community?