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For registering the first webinar session of the symposium please click here : Webinar

For ninety years, the School of Information and Library Science had been educating information professionals who work across industrial, business, and public service sectors. Information and knowledge work has changed and adapted over this time and as SILS looks forward to the next century of research and development in information and knowledge work, we aim to explore potential catalyst for the future and trajectories for adapting our programs and emphases. Many of the changes of the past century were driven by technical developments and most contemporary environmental scans suggest that advances in the collection of technologies included under the umbrella concept of ‘artificial intelligence’ will significantly affect information and knowledge work in the immediate decades ahead. Changes in this type of work have also spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced new models of remote work, and the lessons and reflections will likely accelerate long-term effects. As part of our effort to understand these issues, a year-long symposium that frames the potential effects of these advances will address status and possibilities and key questions such as:

  • How are scientists, consultants, artists, journalists, designers, curators and other knowledge workers using advanced technologies to amplify and augment how they create and manage new information and knowledge?
  • How are these new ways of working affecting the form and functions(nature) of their work, their organizations, and the ways these creators and problems solvers view themselves and their fields>
  • What kinds of effects are thees applications of AI in knowledge work having on creative fields, knowledge management and more broadly on human progress?
  • What kinds of educational initiatives should be considered and implemented to meet the challenges of changing knowledge work?

These are broad questions and we will focus on those most directly pertinent to an information school:

  • Discovery and innovation
  • Content analysis
  • Culture and memory curation
  • Communication

The symposia will take place over the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters with two bookend events and ongoing virtual discussions in between.

The first symposium: September 10th, 2021

The first event will take place September 10 as a half-day virtual event.  Dr. Zeynep Tufekci will frame the discussion and two panels will ground the discussion for the key questions.  One panel will be composed of scholars who study work and technology and the other panel will be composed of people who do knowledge intensive work in diverse areas ranging from art to science.  Dr. Mohammad Jarrahi will co-organize and moderate the panels.  The discussions will serve as the basis for a set of ongoing virtual discussions as well as specific projects by faculty and students over the October 2021-February 2022 period.

The second Symposium: Spring 2022, TBD

In the Spring of 2022, a second symposium will take place with face-to-face and virtual components over a two-day period.  The UNC Center for Technology, Information, and Public Life (CITAP) will co-sponsor the events, with the possibility of other organizations joining in. The proceedings of the two symposia events and the intervening results will be collected and shared broadly.

Special thanks to our sponsors providing support to the symposium: