AI a 'top priority' for libraries and museums in 2020 – study

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A new study shows AI is powering the way in which library and museum spaces are transforming as multi-purpose community spaces for learning and exploration.

Civica, a global leader in providing cloud software solutions for public services, has launched a new Changing Landscape™ report, the latest in a series of insights into the future of libraries, museums and schools across Asia Pacific.

Compiled with insights from dozens of public sector leaders at customer events in Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne, Artificial intelligence: Transforming customer engagement and search in educational institutions, reveals AI is a top priority in 2020.

Leaders from libraries, museums and schools in these cities discuss how AI is positioned to improve community services and help transform these essential and trusted public spaces. Instead of considering AI a threat, leaders believe AI will serve people with faster and more relevant information.

Executives from organisations including Civica, Microsoft and AI Singapore point to key benefits including automated asset cataloguing, data matching and image recognition.

These capabilities will facilitate greater transparency across large networks of information, enabling libraries and museums to better serve their role as a trusted global network of resources.

“We strongly believe AI can empower communities by improving service delivery and information discovery,” Iain Finlayson, Managing Director for Libraries and Education Solution at Civica Asia Pacific, said.

“At present we’re focused on developing a number of key use cases for our cloud-enabled solutions, which include facilitating compliance, and digital engagement between library staff and communities”.

One Civica pilot project, Stonnington Library in Melbourne, Australia is trialling Microsoft cognitive services in its Spydus library management system to catalogue and search more than 10,000 images - giving people the ability to discover new content and insights.

The report also discusses other AI benefits expected to change the public service landscape including virtual assistants and chatbots. More engaging, real-time conversations with the community are expected to improve customer experience ratings and encourage people to maximise these services.

One event delegate summarised a sentiment shared by many leaders: “You don’t need to be technical to understand AI, you need to understand it’s a tool in the toolbox and you need to think about what you’re using it to accomplish.”