CILIP has announced a new project to prepare the library, information and knowledge workforce for the opportunities afforded by new technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics and Process Automation. These are the technologies which are collectively shaping the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’.
The aim is to undertake a landmark piece of research and deliver recommendations that will facilitate the transformation of the library and information profession into a ‘future-ready’ workforce over the next 5 years through CILIP’s Workforce Strategy.
CILIP would like answers to the following question: How are machine learning, AI, robotics and process automation likely to change the roles and functions of the library, information and knowledge workforce across sectors over the next decade? Our aim is to create a report that may help answer questions like these with recommendations and issues to consider to help guide CILIP and the information and knowledge workforce.
CILIP are seeking case studies to inform their research. It would be great for the Health LIS sector to be involved and represented in this endeavour.
Are you, or any services you know of, currently using or working towards implementing any ‘new; and emerging technologies – such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics and Process Automation – then please share your case study using the form linked below:
The final report will be overseen by an Editorial Group, chaired by CILIP CEO Nick Poole, and will be published in the Spring of 2021. The overall project is being Chaired by Sue Lacey Bryant, National Lead for NHS Knowledge and Library Services at Health Education England (HEE).
On the 20th November 2018 I attended the CILIP Employers Forum. One of the talks was by Terry Corby on “Avoiding the Toaster! Meeting the challenge of disruptive innovation”. The toaster in the title was alluding to the idea that if we fail to deal with disruptive innovation, we will become “toast”.
Terry argued that automation is already here:
- “60% of occupations could have 30% or more of their activities automated with current technology”
- 20% of a CEO’s activities could be automated now
- The cost benefits are between three and ten times the investment. Only human factors prevent it happening.
- AI solutions tend to work best when they have a human element as well.
Examples he gave of good disruption were:
Many companies foresaw future disruption but failed to capitalise:
- Kodak invented digital photography
- Xerox invented the Graphical User Interface and the computer mouse.
Among Terry’s suggestions for how to operate in this environment were:
- Seek out stakeholders who will insist on innovation.
- Find out what your customer really wants and values.
- Work on many innovations, expecting that most will fail, but some may greatly succeed.
- Create a culture that encourages innovation and learning.
- Completely master new skills if you can, or recognise when you can’t.
- Be an outsider in new areas, not just an insider in your own.
Established companies are often at a disadvantage because they don’t recognise the threat and fear cannibalising their business
The challenge Terry laid down to librarians was that we had allowed search engines to roll over us, would we do the same for artificial intelligence? He doesn’t know our field and so had no answers, but he did call us to think these issues through for ourselves, and then we will avoid someone “eating our breakfast”.
Now over to you: what do you think? Leave a comment below.