The transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expanding rapidly with significant implications in nearly all areas of 21st century life including education, employment and civic engagement. ULC is working to empower libraries to become respected thought leaders and essential community resources in the AI revolution, ensuring everyone has the tools to become responsible, successful and safe digital citizens as technology continues to rapidly evolve.
Key Themes of This Initiative
- The time for library leadership and action is now in order to get ahead of emerging AI issues and challenges, be part of the conversation around data governance and provide learning opportunities to begin to demystify AI and connect it to daily life.
- It is incumbent upon libraries to “get smart” about these complex issues in order to become an essential resource in their communities and a powerful voice in addressing challenges to our democratic values.
- Libraries bring significant assets to the AI space, particularly their trusted status in the community, aptitude for building relationships and their core values of open access and information for all.
- Urban libraries can have a collective impact on the direction of AI by agreeing on and promoting public policy, processes and community standards to fill the existing vacuums and establish the library as a thought leader, important voice and critical resource on AI.
- Libraries must identify ways to uphold equity while maintaining progress, recognizing that different aspects of culture evolve at varying rates.
Meetings and Milestones
- Learn More
2019 ULC Forum: Preparing to Lead on AI + Digital Citizenship
This October 16-18, the 2019 ULC Forum: Preparing to Lead on AI + Digital Citizenship will convene our member community in Salt Lake City to engage in expert-led discussions and activities to elevate our shared understanding of the economic and social implications of emerging technologies.
- Read the Leadership Brief
ULC Leadership Brief: Libraries Leading AI and Digital Citizenship
On September 12, 2019, ULC published a new Leadership Brief that provides targeted strategies for North America's public libraries to ensure an equitable and inclusive future in the Age of AI.
- Purchasing the Recording
ULC Webinar: Artificial Intelligence, Algorithmic Literacy and Roles for Libraries
On February 21, 2019, ULC held a webinar on the role that libraries can play in educating their communities about artificial intelligence, and embracing a leading role on AI to maximize the technology's potential for public good. Presenters included Vickery Bowles (City Librarian, Toronto Public Library) and Michael Ridley (Librarian Emeritus, University of Guelph; PhD student, FIMS, Western University).
- Read the Press Release
Working Group on Artificial Intelligence and Digital Citizenship
In January, 2019, ULC convened leaders from 14 public library systems in Washington, D.C., to launch a conversation about artificial intelligence and digital citizenship and explore opportunities and roles for public libraries.