Posts tagged under: Technology

Beating Watson at a different game

Eric van Lubeek

robot handshake


Recently I attended a meeting of the Dutch Association of Information Professionals (KNVI) where an IBM representative demonstrated Watson, the company’s famed supercomputer. Watson uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of data. The system can be fed an enormous collection of information and used to support complete knowledge domains or industries.

The demonstration was fascinating as I watched Watson receive and answer questions in natural language about cancer treatment and diagnosis.

As I left the meeting, I wondered what the impact of technology platforms like Watson will have on libraries. Clearly, the use of Watson, with its incredible ability to organize and analyze data, offers endless possibilities that will result in further automation of the information profession. What place will libraries have in a world of Watsons?

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The scholarly record…now on Twitter

Brian Lavoie

scholarly-record

Literary criticism is not new. Conducting it via Twitter is.

In early 2016, distinguished Shakespearean scholar Brian Vickers published The One King Lear, a volume intended to address, and put to rest, a point of scholarly debate suggesting the play may have been revised after its initial publication. Another scholar, Holger Syme, found Vickers’ book wanting and shared his criticism in a series of 500+ tweets. Vickers, in turn, found Syme’s critique wanting, retorting: “He trivializes literary criticism, reducing it to attention-catching sound bites. Is this the way to go?”

In a print-based world, Syme’s criticism would have appeared as a formal article in a traditional journal.  Not so in the digital, networked world. Yet no academic library is likely to collect these tweets and curate them.

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What we can learn from “The Selfie Generation”

Skip Prichard

Teenagers taking a selfie photo

Here are two questions you don’t often see next to each other.

  • Why do academics need to “publish or perish?”
  • Why do teens love to post online pictures of themselves doing silly things?

While their circumstances couldn’t be more different, I believe that the motivations for both groups are remarkably similar and comes down to four principles: visibility, reciprocity, creativity and authority.

These are some of the guiding beliefs of a group that has been called “The Selfie Generation.” But they are also those that encourage all of us, more than ever before, to share who we are and what we do using inexpensive, omnipresent digital technology and social networks.

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