Category Archives: Times They Are A-Changing

Times They Are A-Changing

Artificial Intelligence and the Research Paper: A Librarian’s Perspective – News | SMU Libraries

By: Jonathan McMichael, Undergraduate Success Librarian
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AI writing can mimic style, but it cannot mimic substance yet. The release of a powerful, free and easy-to-use large language model platform, Open AI’s ChatGPT, raises interesting questions about the future of writing in higher education.

As the Undergraduate Success Librarian, I have a unique perspective on generative AI, like ChatGPT, that I want to share along with some advice for instructors and students on adapting to AI’s presence in higher education.

What is ChatGPT?

How does it work? ChatGPT is an interface that allows you to interact with artificial intelligence through text inputs and responses. The AI on the other side of the interface is a language model called GPT-3. It produces human-like text by parsing and analyzing the massive corpus of text information (large language) it has been trained on to predict what is likely to come next in a string of words. This makes GPT-3 a type of Generative AI because it uses machine learning to generate new content based on a given set of input data. So, when you give ChatGPT a prompt like “describe losing your sock in the dryer in the style of the declaration of independence” it (in simplified terms) identifies relevant data within its large language dataset, notices patterns within that dataset and then generates a set of text that seems most like the things it identified.*

Editor’s Note: Source was Library Link of the Day
http://www.tk421.net/librarylink/  (archive, rss, subscribe options)

Source: Artificial Intelligence and the Research Paper: A Librarian’s Perspective – News

Dan Levitt’s ‘What’s Gotten Into You’ traces atoms’ long trip from the big bang to the human body | CNN

By Bryn Nelson, CNN, Published 10:17 AM EST, Sun January 22, 2023

We are ever-changing and replacing old parts with new ones: our water, proteins and even cells.
Faisal/Adobe Stock

In its violent early years, Earth was a molten hellscape that ejected the moon after a fiery collision with another protoplanet, scientists now suspect.

Dan Levitt’s book, “What’s Gotten Into You,” reconstructs the journey of our atoms across billions of years.

Later, it morphed from a watery expanse to a giant snowball that nearly snuffed out all existing life.

Source: Dan Levitt’s ‘What’s Gotten Into You’ traces atoms’ long trip from the big bang to the human body | CNN

Banned and Challenged: Restricting access to books in the U.S. : NPR

A series on books that are facing challenges to their placement in libraries in some areas around the U.S.

Special Series

Banned and Challenged: Restricting access to books in the U.S.

First in series…

Author George M. Johnson: We must ensure access to those who need these stories most

All Boys Aren’t Blue, a memoir for teens and young adults about growing up Black and queer, appeared on many “best books” lists when published in 2020. It’s being challenged in some U.S. counties.

Source: Banned and Challenged: Restricting access to books in the U.S. : NPR

Scientists say planet in midst of sixth mass extinction, Earth’s wildlife running out of places to live – 60 Minutes – CBS News

By Scott Pelley, January 1, 2023 / 7:29 PM / CBS News

See video at source… 60 Minutes – Newsmakers

In what year will the human population grow too large for the Earth to sustain?

Dana Wilson

The answer is about 1970, according to research by the World Wildlife Fund. In 1970, the planet’s 3 and a half billion people were sustainable. But on this New Year’s Day, the population is 8 billion.

Today, wild plants and animals are running out of places to live. The scientists you’re about to meet say the Earth is suffering a crisis of mass extinction on a scale unseen since the dinosaurs.

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We’re going to show you a possible solution, but first, have a look at how humanity is already suffering from the vanishing wild.
In Washington state, the Salish Sea helped feed the world.

Dana Wilson: With this weather and the way things feel once I get out here, it’s time to be fishing, that’s what it feels like.

Commercial fisherman Dana Wilson supported a family on the Salish Sea’s legendary wealth of salmon. He remembers propellers churning the water off blaine, washington and cranes straining for the state’s 200 million dollar annual catch.

Dana Wilson: That used to be a buying station, they’re gone now, they don’t buy anymore. So, that building over there used to buy salmon, they don’t buy salmon anymore, it’s just not here.

Source: Scientists say planet in midst of sixth mass extinction, Earth’s wildlife running out of places to live – 60 Minutes – CBS News

The Science Behind the Oldest Trees on Earth | Science| Smithsonian Magazine

How experts have determined that bristlecone pines, sequoias and baobabs have stood for thousands of years

By Jared Farmer, January 3, 2023

This cross section of a sequoia in Yosemite National Park in California has markers identifying the dates of tree rings. Jared Farmer

What and where are the oldest known trees on the planet?

If you include plants that can regenerate, the upper age limit could be ten thousand years or more. Such superorganisms, including the famous aspen grove nicknamed “Pando,” are made up of genetically identical trunks connected through a single root system that sends up new shoots over time.

These clonal colonies are impossible to date with precision, because the oldest substance long ago decomposed. Many lists of oldest trees stick to single-trunked plants that produce annual growth rings. These kinds of trees are easier to date. Scientists called dendrochronologists focus on assigning calendar years to tree rings and interpreting data within those rings. By using a hand-cranked tool called an increment borer, they extract core samples without depriving the tree of strength and vigor.

Source: The Science Behind the Oldest Trees on Earth | Science| Smithsonian Magazine

How San Franciscans use their libraries is shifting dramatically | San Francisco Chronicle

By Nami Sumida, Dec. 31, 2022

The San Francisco Public Library gets crowded during Night of Ideas a month before the pandemic. Data from the library show a gradual recovery of circulation, library visits and programming to pre-pandemic levels. Jana Asenbrennerova, Freelance / Special to The Chronicle

With library buildings closed, book talks moved online and millions of fewer items checked out, the pandemic transformed San Francisco’s public libraries.

Two and a half years later, all library branches are now open and operating at pre-COVID hours and circulation has nearly bounced back from its pandemic low.

But despite these recoveries, some pandemic changes remain: Visitor numbers are still low, there are fewer in-person programs and borrowing habits, which shifted more digitally during the pandemic, have yet to shift back.

Source: How San Franciscans use their libraries is shifting dramatically