CLIC Conference recap: Artificial Intelligence, Creative Design, and Libraries

On April 23, Lizzy Baus attended and presented at the CLIC consortium's annual conference. This year the theme was Artificial Intelligence, Creative Design, and Libraries. 

Keynote speaker Nicole Coleman spoke about her work leading the Humanities+Design research lab at Stanford University. She detailed all sorts of things that artificial intelligence can do and some of how it works. She also pointed out what AI cannot do, and some of the places it runs into problems. She made the distinction that "artificial intelligence" is neither artificial nor intelligent - just extremely good and math incredibly fast. Coleman's parting thought was that AI needs libraries to create and maintain trustworthy data sets to usefully train AI tools and programs.

Richard Belanger of ProQuest then discussed some of the ways in which ProQuest has been incorporating artificial intelligence tools into their workflows. These ranged from fraud detection to document recommedation to text and data mining, with plenty in between. 

Lizzy Baus connected the ideas of artificial intelligence to the ideas of Linked Data and spoke about ways in which these two concepts could work together. She envisioned several ways in which data processed by AI could feed into Linked Data engines to enrich the data and find previously hidden connections. Linked Data could also provide the large sets of structured data necessary to train AI. She closed by pointing to some current projects in the field, including Yewno Discover

The afternoon of the one-day conference was devoted to a creative thinking workshop, led by Brad Hokanson of the University of Minnesota. Small groups worked on several activities together, including a process in which each person wrote down an idea, which got passed on to each person in turn for input and refinement. Hokanson encouraged all participants to "do something different" to shake up thought processes, even something small like taking a different route home or listening to a new radio station. 

All the speakers were well-received, and participants left the conference ready to think differently and explore new ideas. 

eebaus's picture

Lizzy Baus

Lizzy Baus is the Cataloging & Metadata Education Librarian for Minitex. She recently relocated from Milwaukee, where she earned two Master's degrees from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and met her husband swing dancing. She now lives in St. Paul and rides her bike to work every day. You can reach her at 612-624-4220 or