Keynote Speakers

KEYNOTE: Edward A. Fox

How Should One Explore the Digital Library of the Future?

Motivated by the Foreword of Licklider’s “Libraries of the Future” (dedicated to Vannevar Bush), this keynote focuses on users, exploration, and future directions of the digital library (DL) field, which moves toward procognitive systems. Many different digital library “users,” each a member of a Society, engage in a diversity of Scenarios, often involving some aspect of exploration, usually of the DL content Streams. Services – e.g., searching, browsing, recommending, and visualizing – help those users leverage knowledge Structures and Spatial representations. Following on the final sentence of Licklider’s book, we “call for a formal base plus an overlay of experience, ” leading to a new way to build better DLs. Licklider said we seek “the facts, concepts, principles, and ideas that lie behind the visible and tangible aspects of documents,” to help us acquire and use knowledge. Put simply: “The console of the procognitive system will have two special buttons, a silver one labeled ‘Where am I” and a gold one labeled ‘What should I do next?’ ” How can we build and use this?

For more than 55 years, researchers have applied artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), representations (data, information, knowledge), question-answering, databases, human-computer interaction, and other techniques described by Licklider, to these challenges. We have a vast range of hardware and software services available, but without a more formal approach, will not enable adaptive self-organization and tailored exploration.

The 5S framework can help us build, apply, and improve digital libraries to facilitate exploration, through a formal approach that will simplify such efforts, making them extensible through both human and computing agents. For example, to more easily build DLs, we propose collaboratively building knowledge graphs – involving both User experience designers, subject matter experts, and developers – that specify connections to services and workflows, enabling DL operation atop a workflow engine. User exploration, additional help by UX designers, recommendations of adaptations of existing workflows, and AI-based optimizations and solutions to new problems, will all expand the knowledge graph to ensure new and more helpful assistance.

When this is accomplished, we must teach and learn about this next generation of digital libraries, further developing suitable curriculum and educational modules, that rest upon a solid theoretical foundation, helping spread understanding of key concepts and best practices.