Not Quite ‘Ask a Librarian’: AI on the Nature, Value, and Future of LIS

Journal article

Publication Details

Author list: Dinneen JD, Bubinger H

Journal: Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology

Publication year: 2021

Volume number: 58

Issue number: 1

Pages: 117-126

ISSN: 2373-9231

DOI: 10.1002/pra2.441


Languages: English-Great Britain


Abstract AI language models trained on Web data generate prose that reflects human knowledge and public sentiments, but can also contain novel insights and predictions. We asked the world's best language model, GPT‐3, fifteen difficult questions about the nature, value, and future of library and information science (LIS), topics that receive perennial attention from LIS scholars. We present highlights from its 45 different responses, which range from platitudes and caricatures to interesting perspectives and worrisome visions of the future, thus providing an LIS‐tailored demonstration of the current performance of AI language models. We also reflect on the viability of using AI to forecast or generate research ideas in this way today. Finally, we have shared the full response log online for readers to consider and evaluate for themselves.

Last updated on 2023-18-09 at 12:50