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Artificial Intelligence: Public Libraries to take on a bigger role in educating citizens

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSET) -- The Urban Libraries Council launched an initiative to expand the role of North American public libraries in regards to Artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding at a rapid rate across almost all areas of public life, including education, employment and civic engagement.

This is a good things as it enhances and improves our communities in great ways, it can also pose a threat to the prosperity, privacy and security of individuals who do not understand the new technologies that are being created or their individual data rights.

The new initiative began January 9 and January 10 after library leaders from the U.S. and Canada came together to get ahead of the potential risks presented by AI and to maximize the technology's potential for public good.

There were 13 participants from the U.S. and one from Canada.

Following that first meeting, the ULC (Urban Libraries Council) and its members will be working together to develop AI definitions, terminology and structure to help public libraries position themselves as trusted public institutions that citizens can go to for information and education regarding AI.

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"As our digital footprints become increasingly intertwined with the pursuits of our dreams, we face enormous challenges to social equity brought on by careless or biased handling of public data," said ULC President and CEO Susan Benton. "As beacons of trust, innovation and information, public libraries are perfectly positioned to lead this work and to establish blueprints for how Artificial Intelligence can augment our futures without sacrificing our core democratic values."

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