"AI Training for Library Patrons" Interest Group

Interested in delivering patron programming about AI?  From making fun images to serious discussions about misinformation, there is a lot to talk about!

We're forming a volunteer interest group for public library staff interested in collaborating on the development of a shared patron training curriculum about AI and related topics.  The curriculum will be released under a Creative Commons license so it's freely re-usable by libraries around the world.  

Topics may include:

Trying Google Docs "Help Me Write" AI

There are a lot of companies working on AI-based products and services right now.  In our AI workshops for public librarians, we primarily use tools from OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.  But we also stay up-to-date on the other players, including Google.

As of today, we still view OpenAI's GPT-4 as the most useful general AI model, whether proprietary or open source.  Lots of AI-based products and services, including our own PLAID training app, are built around OpenAI's models.  But Google has recently announced a push to integrate their "Duet AI" into their Google Workspace offerings.  These are presumably variations of the beta AI tools that have been in Workspace for a while, and they're intended to compete with Microsoft's Copilot offerings in Office.

In a live demo this week, we tried it out! 

Research: ChatGPT and Readers Advisory

In our Library AI workshops, we mention the potential of AI-based tools like ChatGPT to assist with library services like Readers Advisory ("RA"). However, until recently, we only had anecdotal examples of how ChatGPT performed at this task.

So, we've spent some time lately figuring out how to methodically explore ChatGPT's capability as an RA tool.  It's slow going -- we've just dipped our toe in the water, so to speak -- but we see some great potential!

Integrating AI and Data With "Plugins"

Hey, everyone! So let's chat about ChatGPT. It's a handy little tool, right? But it does have a couple of quirks that can be annoying. First off, you may have heard of the "training cutoff". In simple terms, it means ChatGPT knows a bunch of stuff...up until the autumn of 2021. After that? It's kinda like it slept through the past year and a half and missed everything post-2021. Another big bummer: it can't browse the web either, so it's stuck with its 2021 knowledge.

Using "Retrieval" To Enhance ChatGPT's Capabilities

ChatGPT and other AI systems are becoming more popular, but they have drawbacks such as outdated knowledge and a tendency to provide false information, or "hallucinate" in AI terms. Using the "retrieval" technique in AI-based apps can give you the benefits of a chat interface along with more relevant and timely information.