New Course: AI and Libraries, for Skeptics

We are offering a new course this May, AI and Libraries, for Skeptics. We interviewed instructor Tim Ribaric to learn about his work in libraries and motivations for designing this course.

Can you share a bit about your work in libraries?

I’ve been in technology librarianship since 2006 when I started my career at Brock University. I’ve always been curious about how Librarianship deals with and implements technology. In 2017 I completed my Masters in Computer Science as a way to continue to build my knowledge about these topics. I’m currently a Digital Scholarship Librarian and I really enjoy running workshops that debunk the mystery behind things like machine learning and AI. They things are often just black boxes that return a result, I think it is important to dig into the assumptions and other hidden components of how these systems work.

What are some of your interests related to libraries?

I’m currently completing my PhD in Education Studies. I’ve just completed course work and my dissertation will be looking at Academic Freedom and Technology Policies at Universities (and by extension Libraries). In a sense I want to look at how Universities decide to roll out tech products, is there lots of consultation? Do decisions get made unilaterally? Do we have big discussions or do we just write a check to the first vendor that comes along?

Why were you interested in designing this course for Library Juice Academy?

There is currently a flood of material about AI hitting the internet right now. Some of it is good, some of it not so good. Some of it is opinion dressed up as fact. My goal is to create a class that starts by looking at the fundamentals of what AI is, then examines some of the conversations going on about it, how that might fit in a library context, all the while being very skeptical about the claims being made. By cutting through the hype and having an honest and engaging dialog about AI I think the profession will be able to better understand how it will respond to it when AI powered products and services come knocking.

3 comments on “New Course: AI and Libraries, for Skeptics

  1. I am interested în implementing AI în libraries. I want to learn more about this

    1. Hello Silviu,

      Unfortunately the class is already full. I will put you on our notification list to let you know when it has been scheduled to run again.

      Rory Litwin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.