Brought to you by the IFLA Artificial Intelligence SIG (AI SIG)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be about to usher in a golden age of access to knowledge. The power of AI to treat text, audio and images as data and to find patterns in them promises new types of deeper search. Services like recommendation, personalisation of information and translation are improving to make it easier for all to access knowledge. Generative AI’s ability to summarise and synthesise is evolving to make it easier to use and create information. 

But if it might be the “best of times” for access to knowledge there is also a fear that it could be the “worst of times” for privacy, information integrity, copyright and job security. For example, inaccuracy and hallucinations, bias, propaganda and deepfakes from generative AI threaten to undermine trust in information.  

In this context, we in the AI SIG believe strongly that our profession has a key role to play in helping users and the public in general make the most of the positive gifts of AI to information access and minimize the risks. Librarians can assist the public in understanding how machines are imitating human intelligence. 

Firstly, we as professionals need to understand AI. During the early work of the SIG we aimed at finding introductory resources on AI, including generative AI. Recently we also developed a guide for librarians to think more strategically about AI. 

An important focus is to keep up to date with developments in legislation, services, technology, etc. Our mailing list, freely available to subscribers, offers a place to share resources and news, calls for papers, conference presentations, reports, podcasts and bibliography on all things related to AI in libraries and information services. We encourage subscribers to post news from their part of the world and in any language. Each month we select the “Read of the Month” from resources that were posted on the list, giving priority to open access. 

Authors:  Elisavet Chantavaridou, PhD candidate-Department of Archival, Library and Information Studies, University of West Attica, Greece,, and Andrew Cox, Senior lecturer, Information School, University of Sheffield, UK,, – Convenor of IFLA Special Interest Group on AI