Artificial Intelligence systems has revolutionized and changed our way of dealing with knowledge and each other. At conferences around the globe, we see what artificial intelligence technology can achieve with image recognition, speech to text, and many other functions. Also at the National Library in Norway, we use software and services to train our ML based digital librarian Nancy. (Named after Nancy the librarian action figure and Nancy Pearl).

As the collections of the memory institutions and knowledge house-keepers become digital, we observe that the consequences for those institutions may be radical. Based on a limited set of work on ML/AI, it seems obvious that the development of such technology will be a next major step in the development of our services as well as our organizations. We hope that this conference can contribute to the international understanding of the relevance of AI when it comes to management and use of large digital information resources. Potentially, the use of AI/ML can give researchers and the public access to structured information about the human culture, public life science and politics that only years ago was unimaginable.

Some of the leading thinkers in the field will be present to address both the potential and the problems that the AI revolution poses to the world in general, and to knowledge institutions specifically.

The conference aims to engage with the challenges and opportunities of a changing world of knowledge. Furthermore, we want this conference to be the beginning of a network of university libraries, national libraries and other knowledge institutions that together will develop and explore the use of artificial intelligence over the coming years. International and cross-domain collaboration on digital technology is essential to organizations like ours.

The conference, which takes place in Oslo in December 2018, is a collaboration between the National Library of Norway and Stanford University Libraries. And was initiated by the National Librarian at the National Library of Norway, Aslak Sira Myhre and University Librarian at Stanford University Libraries, Michael Keller.

The background for the conference is the National Library of Norway’s effort to digitize Norway’s entire cultural heritage. This means anything printed, recorded, or published for the public in Norway. Currently, almost all published books in Norway, two million newspapers and thousands of hours of music, movies, and broadcasts are digitized and available. In the not too distant future, we will achieve the ambition of being fully digital, and Norway may be the first country in the world to make its cultural heritage accessible to the entire population.