Conditions of Use
While there is no index or glossary, the Table of Contents is very helpful in understanding the division of topics. There are also 60 pages of appendices. The division of librarians’ roles into synergists, sentries, educators, managers, and... read more
While there is no index or glossary, the Table of Contents is very helpful in understanding the division of topics. There are also 60 pages of appendices.
The division of librarians’ roles into synergists, sentries, educators, managers, and astronauts is a helpful framework for categorizing the various implications of AI in the library field. The background information on Artificial Intelligence in the first half of the book is very detailed with helpful examples, but it occasionally assumes the reader has a computer background rather than a librarian background, such as when it uses the OCR acronym before explaining it (p. 230).
The content combines research from multiple sources to give the most accurate picture of the current field.
The topic is one that is rapidly changing and could make the text obsolete quickly. The book frequently mentions the publishing year, recommends articles that it calls “recent”, and makes predictions about how AI will change in the future. For example, on page 107, Frické writes, “At present, June 2023, there are only research instances of Switch Transformers.” However, the topic necessitates that there will be regular updates to this book and the book is more useful for being current at the publication date.
Most of the book is accessible with analogies and the author’s personal experiences to illuminate particularly difficult AI concepts. The text often abruptly changes topics, so the reader must rely on the headings to understand the topic flow. However, Chapter 00 is especially abrupt and uses more academic vocabulary.
The text is consistent. It introduces a large amount of AI terminology, and then continues to use those terms after explaining them.
The headings and subheadings are extremely organized and detailed making it easy for a professor to distinguish which sections to assign and helping a student know where to find background information for specific questions. The headings are part of the content and are essential to understanding it.
The flow of the content could be confusing if the reader skims over the headings. Topic changes can seem abrupt. However, the organization makes sense if the reader takes the time to look over the Table of Contents and read the headings.
Artificial Intelligence and Librarianship is available via PDF and Microsoft Word, and neither have any interface issues. PDF allowed one to read it easily on a mobile device and add highlights and comments.
There are frequent sentence fragments which are perhaps a stylistic choice of the author. There is a spelling error (p. 266) and a run-on sentence (p.288). The author frequently makes asides or uses idioms, making the text somewhat more informal.
The book discusses guarding against bias in AI such as bank loan algorithms which could favor a specific race or language that often assumes gender for various jobs. While personal examples are infrequent, the examples do display people from a variety of countries.
Artificial Intelligence and Librarianship: Notes for Teaching provides a needed resource for a new and exciting subject that does not have much material written for it. Frické’s enthusiasm for librarian involvement in leading AI policy and processes is very evident and motivational.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 0: Some Theoretical Background to Librarianship
- Chapter 1: Intellectual Background
- Chapter 2: Chatbots
- Chapter 3: Language Models
- Chapter 4: Large Language Models
- Chapter 5: Bias
- Chapter 6: Bias in Machine Learning and Librarianship
- Chapter 7: What Might Natural Language Processing (NLP) Bring to Librarianship?
- Chapter 8: What are the Opportunities for Librarians?
- Chapter 9: Librarians as Synergists
- Chapter 10: Librarians as Sentries
- Chapter 11: Librarians as Educators
- Chapter 12: Librarians as Managers
- Chapter 13: Librarians as Astronauts
- Appendix A: Working With LLMs
- Appendix B: Two Important Methodological Points
- Appendix C: Causal Diagrams
Ancillary MaterialSubmit ancillary resource
About the Book
About the Contributors
Martin Frické, The University of Arizona