NCompass Live: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Artificial Intelligence: Transforming Reference


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Meet "Pixel," the chatbot at the University of Nebraska– Lincoln Library. Artificial intelligence is enabling Pixel and other types of chatbots to be trained and developed to guide and support students navigating the dense library website and complex databases. See Pixel in action and discuss the future of reference services as libraries incorporate artificial intelligence tools. Speakers: DeeAnn Allison, Director, Professor, Computer Operations and Research Services, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lorna M Dawes, Lecturer. Learning Community Librarian, University of Nebraska.

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NCompass Live: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Artificial Intelligence: Transforming Reference

  1. 1. Introducing Pixel Artificial Intelligence: Transforming Reference - Online Deeann Allison, Director, Computer Operations and Research Services, University of Nebraska Lorna Dawes, Lecturer. Learning Community Librarian, University of Nebraska
  2. 2. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. UNL is listed by the Carnegie Foundation within the "Research Universities (very high research activity)" category. UNL is a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). There are about 18,000 students at UNL.
  3. 3. UNL Libraries The University Libraries (Don L. Love Memorial Library and six branch libraries), together with the Marvin and Virginia Schmid Law Library, have a collection of over three million print volumes and more than 39,000 serial subscriptions. The University Archives and Special Collections collects and preserves University history and many subject areas including Great Plains History and Literature.
  4. 4. Library Research Pixelfits into the University research mission as an experiment with the potential of reducing costs (staffing and 24 hour chat service) while improving the user experience.
  5. 5. Why a chatbot? It is a conversational agent designed to simulate a conversation with humans. It feels human and responds with a specific answer, not list of choices. It is text based but it can include sound and visual effects. Undergrads are familiar with the software. The software includes a database of answers that contains metadata, which is used to match against queries, which provides consistent answers. It is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Ready whenever the patrons are. All information from the website can be added to the database so patrons don’t have to hunt the website for answers. People don’t worry their question is “stupid” or parents about the person on the other end. The software can handle multiple questions at a time so there is no queuing.
  6. 6. What can Pixel Do?The Reference Librarian  Finding specific webpages or sub-domains  Access to “Frequently asked Questions  Answer the simple questions.  Professional Development.The Patron.  Answer simple questions.  Simple Database Instruction.  Help with articulation of request.Rubin, Victoria L., Chen, Yimin and Thorimbert, Lynne Marie. 2010. “Artificially intelligentconversational agents in libraries.” Library High Tech 28 (4).[1].pdf.
  7. 7. Asking QuestionsOpen/ Closed/ Neutral or Convergent / Divergent
  8. 8. RUSA guidelines for behavioral performance identifies five basic components of areference interaction:1. Approachability- encourages patron to feel comfortable Warm greeting and prominent position on website.2. Interest- demonstrate a commitment to providing effective information assistance Answering in a timely manner and maintaining word contact.3. Listening/inquiring-Listen effectively as the patron states in his/her own words the information need. Ask open ended and closed clarifying questions to understand the need, while keeping the patron at ease.4. Searching- Identify the search strategy of the patron, conduct a search strategy, explain the steps and results to the patron, within the patron‟s timeframe. Conduct and show your search strategy to the patron,1. Follow-up- Determine if the patron is satisfied Ask follow up questions. Invite patron to use the service, or other services again.Van Duinkerken, Wyoma, J. Stephens, Jane, and Karen I Macdonald. “The Chat ReferenceInterview : Seeking Evidence Based on RUSA Guidelines : A Case Study at Texas A & MUniversity Libraries The Chat Reference Interview :” Library (2009) : n. pag. Print.
  9. 9. Test Pixel
  10. 10. Approachability HI I’m Pixel. What can I help you with? That is okay, how can I help you?Approachability- encourages Great, we have developed services topatron to assist you with your distancefeel comfortable coursework.Warm greeting and prominentposition on website. I Can look that up for you? I can check encore for you? Are you kidding? Give me a minute to do a search of our articles. Oh my, I am having trouble figuring this out. No images either... I am stumped. Tell me again what you want.
  11. 11. Approachability Anger is a difficult emotion. For a machine, I always put others before myself.Responding to „difficult‟ patrons. Do you always express yourselfEncouraging patrons to be polite that way?by answering politely. Nothing is wrong with me. Is there anything wrong with you my friend? Wow! OK Ill stop talking now. Okay, you said "you to be quiet” You seem pretty sure about that. Some things are too emotional for me to discuss. Do you have feelings?
  12. 12. Showing Interest Yes, I have many journal articles. Why do you ask?Interest- demonstrate a If this is your first research project, askcommitment to providing effective me about getting started.information assistanceAnswering in a timely manner andmaintaining word contact. Okay you do not want books You can find images in our Image and Multimedia Collections. You should really give ”ENCORE” a try Come on. Just one little try ”ENCORE” To speed things up, I can do a search for you if you say lookup followed by the subject, title or author. Perhaps you should consult with a librarian.
  13. 13. Listening & Open • What will you do with this information?Inquiring • Oh my, I am having trouble figuring this out. What is the field of study for your topic? • What can I help you with? • Let me know if you are looking for BooksListening/inquiring-Listen • If you could have exactly what youeffectively as the patron states in needed, what would that be?his/her own words the information Closed Clarifying Okay, you said "some books on globalneed. poverty”Ask open ended and closed Listeningclarifying questions to understand • Have you tried Encore? I seem to bethe need, while keeping the having difficulty understanding, please rephrase your questionpatron at ease. • Okay you do not want books or articles. • If you have trouble finding what you are looking for ask me about a specific service.
  14. 14. Conducting the I If you need illustrations, check theSearch facet on the left for our image collection, where we may have pictures.Searching- Identify the search If you need peer reviewed articles,strategy of the patron, conduct a look for the peer review limit onsearch strategy, explain the steps the leftand results to the patron, within thepatron‟s timeframe. If you have trouble finding what you are looking for ask me about aConduct and show your search specific service.strategy to the patron. Looks like you should broaden that search or use different terms. Looking for a person who works in the libraries. Great here is the link to our page. Or, if you know the name of the person just tell me their first and last name.
  15. 15. Follow-up I fI you have trouble finding what you are looking for ask me about aFollow-up- Determine if the patron specific serviceis satisfiedAsk follow up questions. Invite Can I help you with anything else?patron to use the service, or other What is it? Do not be again. What more do you need? Are you confused? Okay, but if you change your mind I will be here waiting. Thanks for stopping by. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to come back See you later.
  16. 16. How is a Chabot built? There are a variety of ways to create chatbots.  Commercial sites where you can create your own.  Open source projects:  Pandorabots  Program O  This is the software Pixel uses
  17. 17. Other Library Chatbots EMMA the catbot - Mentor public library with-emma.html Stella - Bibliothekssystem Universität Hamburg Lisa - University of Wolverhamptons Library
  18. 18. Sources for the database: Pullinformation from the library website for the database, e.g.. Hours, circ info, databases. Use the built-in chat log and add information when Pixel doesn’t respond appropriately. Chat logs from our real librarians.
  19. 19. Who is Pixel Chatbot developed on Program O and adapted for the UNL Libraries:  We added support for display coding (bold, lists, etc.)  Added the frame that appears on the bottom of the screen.
  20. 20. Now for the Technical Stuff –What is AMIL? AIML: Artifical Intelligence Markup Language ( <category> <pattern>WHAT ARE YOU</pattern> <template> <think><set name="topic">Me</set></think> I am the latest result in artificial intelligence, which can reproduce the capabilities of the human brain with greater speed and accuracy. </template> </category>
  21. 21. There are three ways to askany question Corn * Corn What do you have on growing corn Corn * Corn information please * Corn *Do you have any books on raising corn for the paper I‟m writing for school
  22. 22. So it gets more complicated two types of wildcards * and _ which act differently. * is common wildcard match _ used with specific metadata for example, “I _” would only retrieve a single category response Supports cross references using the srai tag <category> <pattern>* CORN</pattern> <template> <srai>CORN</srai> </template> </category>
  23. 23. Subject and topic categories were derived from LCclassification areas There are two levels,  topic broader (agriculture)  subject narrower (corn) The sole purpose of the two levels is to manage the conversation
  24. 24. Two levels keep the conversation going.<category><pattern>CORN</pattern><template><think><setname="topic">agriculture</set><set name="it"><setname="subject">corn</set></set></think>Are you interested in books in corn? <![CDATA[<atarget="_new"href=";suite=cobalt">]]> Clickhere to Search for corn<![CDATA[</a>.]]></template></category>
  25. 25. The program flow1. Books subject2. Articles topic3. Libguides topic4. Librarian topic
  26. 26. That metadata<category><pattern>NO</pattern><that>Are you interested in books in corn _</that><template><think><set name="it"><setname="topic">agriculture</set></set></think>Are you interested in articles on corn?We have several databases that list fulltext journals in your subject area.</template></category>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++<category><pattern>YES</pattern><that>Are you interested in articles on corn _</that><template><think><set name="it">articles on <getname="subject"/></set></think>Take a look at the articles available through our web indexes on <a target="_new"href="|+agricola+|+%28Plant+Management+Network%29+|+%28Cab+Abstracts%29%29+f%3A.e__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&amp;suite=cobalt"> corn</a>. We also have open sourcedatabases in The agriculture area that are free for anyone to use. <a target="_new"href="researchproagri.html">Agriculture and Natural Resources</a> through Multi-Search for the public.</template></category>
  27. 27. Chat logs are great sources for categories hi, how do i make a ref works The assumption they are asking about a RefWorks account<category><pattern>* REF WORKS</pattern><template><think><set name="it"><setname="topic">RefWorks</set></set></think>If you do notalready have an RefWorks account and you are oncampus, you can go here to set-up a <a target="_new"href="">RefWorks account</a>.<srai>WHAT IS THE REFWORKS GROUP CODE</srai></template></category>
  28. 28. Pixel also has a log USER:I need help with my project<category><pattern>I need help _project</pattern><template><think><set name="it"><setname="topic">help</set></set></think><random><li>Tell me about your project</li><li>What is the subject?</li><li>If this is your first research project, ask me about gettingstarted.</li><li>If you need peer reviewed articles, let me know.</li> </random> </template></category>
  29. 29. Pixel Stats There are over 84,000 categories of information in the SQL database. Includes 214 spelling variations in the database. Program O has an administrative interface:  adding/editing single records, adding/ editing groups of records, adding spelling variations  Search feature  Log for conversations includes user and bot response.  Demo chat feature.
  30. 30. Google Analytics Aug. 13, 2011-Sept 13, 2012Average duration on Encore 4:54 minutes Average duration on catalog is 3:25 minutes70.00% Returning Visitor 71.02% New Visitors30.00% New Visitor 28.98% Returning Visitors
  31. 31. Future Plans Evaluate how Pixel fits into current reference structure. Determine feasibility of going into production. Grants – looking for partners. Assessment.
  32. 32. Contact Us DeeAnn Allison Professor
Director, Computer Operations and Research Services
Telephone: 402-472-3944 E-mail: Lorna Dawes Lecturer
Learning Communities Librarian
Telephone: 402-472-4408