Three Tech Trends for Librarians to Watch in 2023

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

February 14, 2023

Each year we come to expect new technology and changes to our existing technology tools. This year is no different. 

Many of the anticipated technology trends will have a direct impact on the work we do in libraries supporting information access, fact checking, and information creation. Here are three tech trends to watch in 2023: 

Growth of artificial intelligence: Many of you have likely been following conversations about ChatGPT, and may have used it yourself. ChatGPT’s ability to interact in conversation is a leap for artificial intelligence. In academic circles, many discussions about ChatGPT have centered around the ability of students to cheat on assignments using the software. This has led to individuals discussing the importance of teaching students about artificial intelligence, knowing its limitations, its capabilities, and the basics of how it works. 

In addition to ChatGPT, OpenAI has other tools such as Dall.E 2 that creates art using artificial intelligence. In 2023, I expect more digitally created art. 

Changes to the metaverse: The 2023 Consumer Electronic (CES) Show in Las Vegas has highlighted Web3 and the metaverse. Web3 is what the metaverse is/will be built on and has ties to blockchain because it is a decentralized network. CES describes it this way:

“Web3 is envisioned as the platform for — among other applications — the metaverse, which is an emerging 3D network of virtual worlds. Web3 is being developed as a decentralized internet that is user controlled. Individuals, rather than corporations, own their presence and work online. That platform is ideally suited to the metaverse’s expansion. Complementary in many ways, Web3 and metaverse can be thought of like this: Web3 is the user-owned environment that will host the metaverse with its evolving galaxies of virtual 3D worlds and their denizens.”

Personally, although I think the metaverse as we often see it in movies (i.e. Ready Player One) is still a ways off, I do think we are getting closer to that reality. If you want to read more about the metaverse and its future growth, I recommend the book The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything by Matthew Ball. 

An increased focus on security: As more of our lives continue to move to digital spaces, organizations will need to invest additional resources in cybersecurity. While artificial intelligence can help create security systems, it can also make scams more likely. For example, experts in a Fast Company article described how ChatGPT and Dall.E 2 could be used in phishing scams. 

As librarians, it is important that we think about how technology affects the resources we provide access to and how technology trends impact our stakeholders. It is also important that we consider what changes we should to make to stay current with stakeholder needs. 

To start, I suggest becoming familiar with each of these trends and discussing how these trends may influence your work with your colleagues. 

At the end of 2023, we will likely be surprised by new technology tools that were released and may be disappointed in the lack of growth in other areas. 

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Central Missouri, and a frequent presenter and interviewer on topics related to libraries and librarianship. Her expertise includes information literacy, educational technology, and library and information science education.  Please read Lauren’s other posts relevant to special librarians. And take a look at Lucidea’s powerful integrated library systems, SydneyEnterprise, and GeniePlus, used daily by innovative special librarians in libraries of all types, sizes and budgets.

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