The latest issue of Research Library Issues (RLI) opens a conversation about the ethical implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of knowledge production, dissemination, and preservation.
AI is rapidly becoming ubiquitous. With so much underway in the field of AI, there is a need for research libraries to act, starting with clarifying AI ethics policies, principles, and practices.
To frame this discussion, we invited three individuals to share their expertise and recommendations in this issue of RLI. In the first article, Sylvester Johnson, the founding director of the Center for Humanities and the assistant vice provost for the humanities at Virginia Tech, focuses on the role of ethics in innovation. AI, like other influential technologies, can be a force for innovation, and is known to have harmful as well as helpful implications, which Johnson examines.
Within the broad context of policy and principles, there is an opportunity for research libraries to make a difference today—explainable artificial intelligence (XAI). In the second article, Michael Ridley, Librarian Emeritus at the University of Guelph, PhD candidate at Western University, and postgraduate affiliate at Vector Institute, defines XAI, and situates it in the context of privacy, opacity, and trust.
Geneva Henry, dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation at The George Washington University, ties it all together with an article on the role of the research library in formulating and implementing institutional policy based on the needs of the users, and in the context of public policy. Starting out with an assessment of national investments in AI, Henry emphasizes the role of policies that promote ethically responsible practice.
In This Issue
Research Library Issues no. 299 (2019)
- What Do Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Ethics of AI Mean in the Context of Research Libraries?
Mary Lee Kennedy
- Technology Innovation and AI Ethics
Sylvester A. Johnson
- Explainable Artificial Intelligence
- Research Librarians as Guides and Navigators for AI Policies at Universities
Direct to Complete Issue (66 pages; PDF)