Will Machines Make Humans Obsolete?


The following blog will conclude this three-part series based on course material in DITA. Material covered in session seven to nine will be discussed to an extent. Placing focus on artificial intelligence and its impact upon humans. Enjoy!

Coming from a scientific background I’ve always been taught the importance of numbers. That numbers ultimately prove the prominence of subject matter. We measure numbers to get a better understanding of the meaning of what is being looked at. In LIS we can consider the use of technological tools which allow resources to be pulled based on qualitative and/or quantitative statistics. Some tools discussed such as Altmetrics gather material from various sources allowing users to have a wide range of resources regardless of their platform. The importance of measuring such resources is to show the relevance of the topic being researched as well as allowing the researcher to view the metrics associated alongside feedback. Such tools as Altmetrics can be very resourceful when conducting research.

In our INM341 class one of the first exercises was to name categories of LIS collections as shown in the figure below. As a class we collectively generated a word cloud only later to understand it’s importance in INM348. Word clouds are essentially a textual tool used in data visualization. Their use is highly effective when attempting to visually communicate important information. For instance, the word cloud below shows categories of LIS collections. As you can see there are words that are in a larger font then others, this is because the term appeared more than once on several occasions. Word clouds are useful in LIS when compiling information to summarize in a visual context.


Artificial intelligence can be best described as machines exhibiting intelligence. In the LIS field we can see how artificial intelligence has ultimately taken over middle class jobs. Stephen Hawkings mentions “Technology has already gutted many traditional manufacturing and working class jobs — but now it may be poised to wreak similar havoc with the middle classes”. Just like that you can recognize how the use of computers and technology has slowly cut the demand for certain professions within LIS. For instance, the use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) within libraries. RFID tags are placed within library materials to identify and track material this is done by using an electromagnetic tag. The use of RFID has taken libraries to another level making the task of customer service professionals less in demand. With the use of RFID there’s no need for interactions with staff a customer can ultimately check material out without any assistance. We know see the use of checking in material being automated as well. Spending millions of dollars on such software to make the process simpler and reliable essentially. With such technological advancements occurring in this day and age where do we stand as humans when looking for such middle class careers?

We’re living in a digital age where technology has become the forefront of our lives but have you ever thought about technology taking over? To be frank this is something that I’ve always thought about but have never really researched nor looked into. Our last session of DITA really opened my eyes to this world of artificial intelligence and I began to make connections with the role technology has played in our society. At the turn of the 21st century we’re entering an era where we turn to technology to write our wrongs, to give us directions and so on. My main concern with artificial intelligence is that it will ultimately take over the use of humans in many forms.

Before we know it the role of Librarians and LIS professionals will become obsolete and the work of artificial intelligence will take over.

#citylis #INM348

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One thought on “Will Machines Make Humans Obsolete?

  1. A nice summary of a couple of the main topics covered in our classes. Your writing demonstrates that you are thinking around and beyond the material presented in the lecture. How is AI affecting work in the LIS profession? What research or evidence is out there?



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