Library and information professionals facilitate and apply artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in systems of discovery to better understand information-seeking behaviors and improve information findability. They develop and use applications of AI and crowdsourcing to advance knowledge and, ultimately, improve healthcare. 

They also raise awareness to the research community and general public of both the benefits of these technologies as well as the concerns around their use. For our HBS WLIC Open Session, we have invited several speakers with expertise in AI, information and digital literacy, risk of bias in the use of AI, and applications in healthcare. They will explore these topics and the roles of library and information professionals, and they will discuss societal benefits and limitations of use.

Session Programme

11:00 AM (EDT): Knowledge for Healthcare: Looking to the Future in our Digital Age with Sue Lacey Bryant

11:15 AM (EDT): Algorithmic Bias: How negative biases are embedded in search engines and algorithms with Safiya Umoja Noble

11:30 AM (EDT): Algorithmic Literacy: What libraries can do for their users with Jesus Lau

11:45 (EDT): Live Q&A with speakers

About The Speakers

Sue Lacey Bryant is passionate about bringing knowledge to bear on healthcare to inform decisions made by staff and patients, and about improving the quality of care. With extensive experience in shaping innovative roles in Knowledge Management, Sue leads the implementation of Health Education England’s strategy: Knowledge for Healthcare 2021-26. An important strand of this work is a partnership initiative to improve the health literacy and digital skills of citizens is an important strand of the strategy. Formerly, the Review Programme Manager for the ground-breaking Topol Review, Sue played an advisory role in the preparation of the CILIP report on The impact of AI, machine learning, automation, and robotics on the information profession. Future-focused, Sue is committed to creating new development opportunities for health knowledge and library services staff in England. 

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Information Studies where she serves as the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2). She also holds appointments in African American Studies and Gender Studies. She is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and has been appointed as a Commissioner on the Oxford Commission on AI & Good Governance (OxCAIGG). She is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, serving those vulnerable to online harassment. and serves on the NYU Center Critical Race and Digital Studies advisory board. She is the author of a best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines, entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), which has been widely reviewed in scholarly and popular publications.

Jesus Lau is a Researcher in the Faculty of Pedagogy at the Universidad Veracruzana in Veracruz, Mexico. Much of his work centers on AI and information literacy. As an introduction, we’ll share his response to a question that appeared in ALA’s Spotlight.

“Why is it important to be a librarian today? 
It is important because we are at the crucible of going back to the key role played into the Middle Ages.  Librarians need to be the experts in every organization they work for as they were in monasteries centuries ago. Our society is demanding greater and faster changes to our profession: We need to be the knowledge experts in whatever library role we play.  Artificial intelligence, for example, is already packing information to give quick answers, simple to complicated ones, not to mention the almost-perfect actions information enabled-robots play in industry. Those who survive in this profession will be those who adopt learning and technology as a staple food for their minds, so that they are more intelligent than robotized information systems.”