The purpose of this paper is to introduce a participatory library service based on artificial intelligence (AI).
AI technologies and various technologies for facilitating the use of the currently existing libraries and the third-party resources are combined in the new mobile and social networking environments to provide an innovative real-time virtual reference service. Special aesthetic design and library marketing measures are adopted to expand the gains of the service. Questionnaire survey, in-depth interview, and statistical analysis are conducted to evaluate the effects of the service.
A smart talking robot called Xiaotu (female) is developed. This robot is regarded as a promising new online reference service modus operandi. Four factors contribute to the success of the robot, namely, AI, self-learning, vivid logo and language, and modular architecture.
Xiaotu presents a participatory library service, in which users participate in the resources collection and become content co-creators. Her presence at anytime and anywhere on any kind of terminal maximizes her potential for the delivery of virtual reference services. Xiaotu has the potential to be a general reference robot or a costumed institute robot.
AI is adopted in libraries to form an innovative online reference service. The participatory library service is practiced through a high-featured interactive communication. The aesthetic design of Xiaotu and the related promotions are new in libraries as well.
The authors would like to thank Ms Jing Cao at Chinese Journal of Library and Information Science for giving suggestions in writing.
Yao, F., Zhang, C. and Chen, W. (2015), "Smart talking robot Xiaotu: participatory library service based on artificial intelligence", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 245-260. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-02-2015-0010Download as .RIS
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