Artificial Intelligence in Libraries and Archives: Enhancing Access and Understanding
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming how archival services are being delivered. Archivists assist users with locating, accessing, and interpreting archives, and AI is being leveraged to enhance access and understanding. While AI technologies like ChatGPT have the potential to support archival reference services, it’s essential to recognize their limitations.
- Archival reference services mediate understanding and dialogue between archivists, users, and archives.
- AI is being incorporated into heritage institutions like libraries, archives, museums, and galleries, impacting archival services.
- ChatGPT, an AI-powered technology, can assist users with understanding archival terminology and preparation for archival visits.
- Archivists still play a crucial role in ensuring accurate and comprehensive archival understanding, as AI tools can provide false or erroneous information.
Understanding the Role of AI in Archival Services
Archivists act as a bridge between users and archives, providing essential assistance in accessing historical records and materials. AI technologies, particularly ChatGPT, have the potential to assist users in understanding archival terminology and preparation for archival visits. However, the limitations of AI technologies must be recognized, as they can provide inaccurate or misleading information.
AI and Archival Intelligence
While AI tools like ChatGPT can aid in the development of what researchers refer to as “archival intelligence,” users must still rely on the expertise of archivists to ensure comprehensive and accurate understanding of archival concepts and terminology. AI technologies can supplement user knowledge but cannot replace the guidance provided by archivists.
Emphasizing the Role of Archivists
Archivists continue to play a critical role in mediating the understanding of archives and their terminology. While AI-powered technologies offer valuable support, users must recognize the importance of archivists in interpreting and accessing documentary objects. Archival understanding is best achieved through collaboration between AI tools and expert archivists.
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