Thursday, September 21, 2023

Government of Canada Brief Report on The Future of Generative AI

The Government of Canada Publications Weekly Acquisitions List can be a great way to discover new research reports published by various public bodies and agencies of the federal government.

In a recent edition of the list, there was a link to a report on The future of generative AI : what could we see five years following the launch of ChatGPT?:

"This first iteration of this foresight brief (May 2023) explores some potential shifts and disruptions that may arise due to generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the next five years. As ChatGPT has taken the world’s attention, this foresight brief highlights eight key things to know about generative AI, and important implications in three key areas: critical infrastructure, labour and market conditions, and content production and processing. Generative AI could unleash scientific innovation, raise productivity, and change the way people find information. These technologies are also likely to create disruptions and challenges for multiple policy areas. By reflecting on what might happen in the future, Policy Horizons Canada aims to strengthen decision making within the Government of Canada"

The report was written by Policy Horizons Canada, an organization within the federal public service that conducts strategic foresight research.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Law Library of Congress Interview With Louis Gilbert, Legal Research Fellow

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has posted an interview with Louis Gilbert, Legal Research Fellow in the Library's Global Legal Research Directorate.

It is part of an ongoing series of interviews about the kinds of work staff do behind the scenes:

"How do you describe your job to other people?
I tell people that my job is to respond to legal research requests concerning French-speaking jurisdictions from Congress, the judiciary, federal agencies, and members of the public. I also help write reports on legal and legislative developments in the French-speaking jurisdictions I cover."

"Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
I first wanted to work for the Library of Congress after hearing alumni from my school praise the work environment. I also wanted to work in an environment that would allow me to switch between reading and writing in English and French throughout my work day. What really pushed me to apply was the idea that the work in the Global Legal Research Directorate involves not only researching multiple jurisdictions, but also switching between varied legal subject areas."

"Ultimately, it’s the friendliness of the people I have met working here that makes me want to stay."

 The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of almost 3 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

September/October 2023 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The September/October 2023 issue of AALL Spectrum is now available online.

It is a publication of the American Association of Law Libraries. 

This issue has a series of feature articles on user feedback surveys, marketing plans, and library signage.

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Monday, September 18, 2023

September 2023 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The September 2023 issue of In Session has been published. 

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events. 

One interesting initiative is the formation of a new Artificial Intelligence Standards Working Group that will look at how AI may impact our profession.

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

New Podcast Series on Canadian Criminal Justice System

 University of British Columbia (UBC) law professor Benjamin Perrin has launched a new podcast series entitled Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial.

Th UBC Law School interviewed professor Perrin about the series:

"The search for a new approach to criminal justice is the driving force behind Indictment: The Podcast, launched today by Perrin. In each episode, he invites listeners to hear from guests who have first-hand experience with the criminal justice system – including victims of crime and people who have been incarcerated."

"The podcast is the prelude to Perrin’s forthcoming book, Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial, which takes a closer look at why tough-on-crime approaches have failed, and brings forward innovative ideas from around the world that Perrin says could help create a new and better criminal justice system. Indictment was chosen as one of Indigo’s 'most anticipated books' of fall 2023."

A list of all the episodes

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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Update on Artificial Intelligence Applications in CanLII

In the most recent update about its activities and projects, CanLII summarizes some of its AI-related initiatives.

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute,  is a portal funded by Canada’s provincial and territorial law societies to make legal information content (court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes and regulations, commentary) available to Canadians free of charge.

Among the new developments:

  • AI-generated subject classification of decisions on CanLII has been expanded from Saskatchewan and Ontario to all Canadian jurisdictions, except for Quebec
  • The CanLII Citation Network is a recently completed project utilizing artificial intelligence/machine learning and designed to refine  the search engine. CanLII explains that the algorithm is much better at returning highly authoritative documents for broad conceptual queries
  • CatLII is an AI-based program designed to generate summaries for cases on CanLII

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Monday, September 11, 2023

Canadian Bar Association Podcast Episode on What Generative AI Means for the Legal Profession

The most recent episode of Modern Law, a Canadian Bar Association podcast hosted by Yves Faguy, features a conversation with Jordan Furlong about what generative AI means for the profession.

Jordan Furlong is an analyst and forecaster for the legal sector, focused on the most important trends shaping the provision of legal services and the formation and regulation of lawyers.

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Sunday, September 10, 2023

OCLC Global Survey on the Library in the Future

The international library technology and research organization OCLC conducted a global survey recently to see how libraries were approaching planning for the future.

There were respondents from dozens of countries, the top five being the US, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Among the major findings:

  • Libraries will increasingly play the role of “space providers”
  • Demand for open access in academic libraries will intensify
  • Resource sharing through consortia will increase
  • Partnerships with non-profit and government agencies will increase for public libraries
  • Academic librarians expect increased partnerships with consortia and other libraries
  • Library workers may see more flexible working options and access to mental health care
  • Additional need for data analytics is expected

Just over half of respondents are from academic (or education) libraries. Nearly a third (30%) are from public libraries and 18% are from other library types, such as government and special libraries. 


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:35 pm 0 comments

New Issue of Student Information Science Journal Pathfinder

A new issue of Pathfinder, a student-run journal that promotes the work of students and early career information professionals, has been published.

The peer-reviewed publication is based at the University of Alberta.


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Thursday, September 07, 2023

British Columbia Newsletter About Unbundling Legal Services today published an article about the BC Family Justice Innovation Lab in British Columbia.

A major focus of the lab is the "unbundling" of legal services.

The concept describes a situation where a client hires a lawyer or paralegal to complete specific discrete tasks, the client handling the rest of the legal problem.

The client is charged only for those tasks agreed to in advance, unlike in the traditional full-representation model.

For example, a client opting for an out-of-court process like mediation would contract with a lawyer for legal advice before mediation or for the drafting of a binding agreement after mediation. 

Unbundling is proving to be popular and a more affordable avenue for many people.

The Lab also publishes a newsletter.


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Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulation of Artificial Intelligence Around the World

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new report on the Regulation of Artificial Intelligence Around the World:

"This report, prepared by the research staff of the Law Library of Congress, provides a list of jurisdictions in the world where legislation that specifically refers to artificial  intelligence (AI) or systems utilizing AI have been adopted or proposed. Researchers of the Law Library surveyed all jurisdictions in their research portfolios to find such legislation,  and those encountered have been compiled in the annexed list with citations and brief  descriptions of the relevant legislation."

"Only adopted or proposed instruments that have legal effect are reported for national and subnational jurisdictions and the European Union (EU); guidance or policy documents that have no legal effect are not included for these jurisdictions. Major international  organizations have also been surveyed and documents adopted or proposed by these organizations that specifically refer to AI are reported in the list."

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.
Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues.

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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Implications of AI Policies for Libraries

The IFLA Journal has just published an article on AI policies across the globe: Implications and recommendations for libraries that analyzes how libraries might be affected by the artificial intelligence policies of the USA, UK, European Union, Canada, and China:

IFLA Journal home page

"As artificial intelligence revolutionizes library operations, it presents complex challenges, such as ethical dilemmas, data privacy concerns, and equitable access issues. The article highlights key themes in these policies, including ethics, transparency, the balance between innovation and regulation, and data privacy. It also identifies areas for improvement, such as the need for specific guidelines on mitigating biases in artificial intelligence systems and navigating data privacy issues. The article further provides practical recommendations for libraries to engage with these policies and develop best practices for artificial intelligence use. The study underscores the need for libraries to not only adapt to these policies but also actively engage with them, contributing to the development of more comprehensive and effective artificial intelligence governance."

The author is Leo S Lo, College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences, University of New Mexico.


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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Recent Library of Parliament Legislative Summaries

This past summer, the Library of Parliament in Ottawa published a number of legislative summaries of important federal bills.

Among them are:

  • Legislative Summary of Bill C-9: An Act to amend the Judges Act: "By replacing the existing complaints process regarding alleged misconduct with a new system, Bill C‑9 changes how complaints against federally appointed judges are handled. The existing process was established in 1971 under the Judges Act, which defines the criteria for removing a judge from office and prescribes certain other requirements; procedural elements of the complaints process are largely set out in Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) policy documents and by‑laws."
  • Legislative Summary of Bill C-228: An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985: "The bill amends the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to ensure that claims in relation to shortfalls in defined-benefit pension plans are paid in priority in the event that an employer becomes insolvent. It also amends the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA) to provide for the tabling of an annual report regarding the solvency of pension plans regulated under that statute."
  • Legislative Summary of Bill S-4: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Identification of Criminals Act and to make related amendments to other Acts (COVID-19 response and other measures): "Bill S‑4 aims to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of the criminal justice system in response to the challenges posed by the COVID‑19 pandemic. According to the federal government, it will give courts increased flexibility in how they hold criminal proceedings and issue orders. In particular, the bill:

    - allows law enforcement officers to obtain warrants by telecommunication (i.e., 'telewarrants') in a wider range of circumstances;
    - clarifies and broadens the circumstances under which accused individuals, offenders and others involved in criminal proceedings may appear by audioconference or videoconference;
    - permits prospective jurors to appear by videoconference during the jury selection process and provides for jury selection via electronic or other automated means;
    - allows courts to compel the attendance of an accused or offender for fingerprinting or other identification measures in certain additional circumstances;
    - removes restrictions on the development of case management rules for accused individuals not represented by counsel (...)"

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Upcoming Webinar on Artificial Intelligence Prompt Engineering for Librarians

The Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, is hosting a webinar on September 19 entitled CLEARer Dialogues with AI: Unpacking Prompt Engineering for Librarians:

"As we navigate an era where generative artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping information discovery and interaction, it’s more crucial than ever for librarians to grasp the intricacies of AI-assisted interactions. In this webinar, we explore the importance of prompt engineering—a skill pivotal for optimizing AI interactions. This session offers unique insights into how librarians can leverage AI more effectively, enhancing their capacity to support research, instruction, and user engagement (...)"

"We’ll delve into the broader implications of AI and prompt engineering on future library practices, including potential changes in information literacy instruction, research assistance, and content curation."

The speaker will be  Leo S. Lo, Dean and Professor, College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences, University of New Mexico.


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Monday, August 28, 2023

Policy Options Article on Canadians' Confidence in the Judicial System

Policy Options, a publication of the research organization Institute for Research on Public Policy, has published an article on the possible reasons why Canadians' confidence in the country's judicial system might be growing a little shakier, though the overall situation is still quite good:

"Not surprisingly, Canadian citizens have expressed greater confidence than Americans in their respective supreme courts. The Canadian judiciary lacks the overt American partisanship in its appointment process, sparing it much of the acrimony that plagues the careers of U.S. justices."

"Furthermore, despite some general assessments of the ideological bent of Canadian judges, there is little evidence that the Canadian bench is politically or ideologically polarized in the same way that the U.S. Supreme Court is."

"Still, many features of Canada’s judicial system are far from satisfactory. The legal process has long been assessed (by the chief justice, no less) as being costly, inefficient and lengthy (...)"

"Could the combination of costs, inaccessibility and the influence of the headlines about courts south of the border culminate in a decline in support for Canadian courts?"

The article looks at differences in attitudes according to factors such as education, contact with the court system, gender, voting behaviour and general political value outlook.

On a quite positive note, the article does conclude:

"It’s not all bad news for Canada’s courts. When faced with the decision about whom they trust more on rights-based matters, Canadians appear to hold the courts in higher regard than the government."  

"Data from the Canadian Election study shows relative durability in support for the courts having the final say on matters concerning the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Consistently over time, 60 per cent or more declared a preference for the courts."

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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Canadian Library Assessment Workshop Coming in October

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and Western Libraries are hosting the Canadian Library Assessment Workshop which will take place in in London, Ontario from October 23 – 25, 2023:

"The theme of this year’s event is assessment in a time of change, and it will focus on how assessment practices have evolved through a period of rapid, continuous change marked by numerous social disruptions, including the COVID-19 pandemic."

"This event will be of interest to all academic and research libraries engaged in assessment. You do not need to be an assessment professional to attend and we welcome new practitioners and colleagues from non-CARL libraries."

You can find the program on the conference website

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