Beyond Search, which is a a 10-year-old publication that focuses on enterprise search and content processing, is changing its focus to cover products and services related to voice-centric information access by introducing a new blog, Beyond Alexa. Stephen E. Arnold writes: “The idea is that Alexa has become an interesting product niche, but the impact of voice-related information access is now changing rapidly. Frankly it is more dynamic than the decades old keyword search business.” I couldn’t agree more. He also states: “Since early 2008, we have tracked the keyword centric approach to finding and making sense of information. Our changing focus reflects the fact that I wrote about years ago in Searcher Magazine. Keyword search linked to a keyboard, if not dead, was headed for marginalization…We think there’s more ‘beyond’ Alexa. We want to explore the new world of ubiquitous and Teflon-slick information access.” For a related post, please see Voice Search is Growing and is Different Than Keywords in a Search Box.
Here is a strong contender for the best quote of 2016: “We talk a lot about information and the information age, but really what I think people are looking for is wisdom and knowledge.” -David Pescovitz, co-editor at Boing Boing and research director at the Institute for the Future.
Pescovitz, in a recent Business Insider article written by Chris Weller, offers some futuristic views on how libraries are going to change in 50 years’ time. Read the entire article here.
Libraries “are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing — to the extent that enormous banks of data will allow people to ‘check out’ brand-new realities [experiences], whether that’s scaling Mt. Everest or living out an afternoon as a dog.”
“What probably won’t change that much are librarians and the physical spaces they watch over…humans will always need some sort of guide to make a foreign landscape more familiar. Whether humanity turns that job into one for artificial intelligence is another matter.”
The Associated Press (AP) recently ran a story about an interesting set of contests that will run through the upcoming academic year at Dartmouth to determine whether people can distinguish between human and computer-generated creativity. AP’s Holly Ramer (picked up here via ABC News), states: “Dartmouth is seeking artificial intelligence algorithms that create ‘human-quality’ short stories, sonnets and dance music sets that will be pitted against human-produced literature, poetry and music selections. The judges won’t know which is which.” What makes these contests (named DigiLit, PoetiX and Algorhythms) unique “is the evaluation by judges who will try to determine whether the work was generated by computers or humans and whether people prefer the computer-generated work…it will be interesting to see who does the judging — fooling a publisher with a computer-generated short story would be more significant than fooling the average reader, for example.”