Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Affiliate Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Digital Services Librarian
College of Southern Nevada
Front End Lead, Partner
Information seeking, retrieval, analysis, and resultant decision-making are often discussed as human activities; however, increasingly humans rely on automation, technology surrogates, and artificial intelligence for these activities. Bots and conversational user interfaces are beginning to emerge as service surrogates in libraries. Legal and sales professions are increasingly relying on virtual research assistants and technology assisted review and decision-making. As these trends grow and additional capacities emerge through machine learning and artificial intelligence, libraries and information providers will face emerging questions that will change practices while potentially expanding opportunities for services and contributing value to research, learning, and other information-intensive activities. This issue-oriented session will explore implications of these emerging technologies and their applications for libraries and information providers. Questions include: In what circumstances can bot deployment enhance services to users? How should we design content and interfaces when the “reader” of the content might not be a human, but rather a computer or bot that is processing that information on behalf of a person? How will information literacy programs help users develop fluency with conversational (and often voice-based) search and retrieval? What are the ethical and legal implications of deploying these technologies? How do we ensure accessibility for people with disabilities to these tools? After an initial discussion among the panelists, attendees will be encouraged to share their perspectives and raise additional questions in this issue-oriented session.