AI (artificial intelligence) is not just something reserved for high-level technology research any more. Now, it’s beginning to hit the consumer market. While chatbots have become a recognized implementation, AI is going to go much further. Several of the major technology-related companies are investing heavily in AI development, and some companies are already using it to create apps or improve existing ones. If you haven’t been keeping up with AI evolution, here’s some help.
Pinterest doubles down on AI because ‘most of Pinterest hasn’t been built yet’ [Mashable] “By taking on these topics, which he describes as some of the “the most challenging problems in machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Leskovec says Pinterest will be better able to grow the company’s visual search and other features that use artificial intelligence technology. “Most of Pinterest hasn’t been built yet,” the scientist teases.”
You can find links to thousands (maybe millions) of recipes using the WorldCat Cookbook Finder. And it’s the work of many, many catalogers over 50 years that makes that possible, of course. The metadata entered into WorldCat is what powers the Cookbook Finder and many other library services.
But can you find an actual recipe within those 394 million bibliographic records?
For one (or more?) brief times during OCLC’s history, yes you could.
And today? Well … read on to find out!
It all began in 1974 …
Details are vague. Memories are hazy. And while some may claim to be the first cataloger to create a WorldCat MARC record with the details of an apple cake recipe—and others may deny it!—there is no proof one way or the other. No one knows the motivation behind creating the record other than the sense of humor of the cataloging community.
What we do know is this. At some time in 1974, someone did just that. The record had this in the notes field:
As you might imagine, some catalogers took exception to using metadata fields for actual information. Some argued that the record should remain; others that it would only invite additional shenanigans. Eventually, the record was removed … but not before nearly 200 locations chose to list their libraries as holding the item.
But wait! There’s more!
Over the next few years, the record was added and deleted at least once more. By some accounts, it came and went with alarming frequency as the two sides of argument struggled for apple cake supremacy.
One step along the way was when the recipe was added to The OCLC Employees’ Cookbook in 1990 by OCLC’s Ron Gardner, who retired earlier this year.
And to celebrate the 25th anniversary of WorldCat in 1996, librarians from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Clifford E. Barbour Library actually prepared an in realia copy of the OCLC apple cake.
But what about the record itself? What was the final conclusion of the cataloging community?
In the early 1990s, it seemed as if the recipe would have to remain within the confines of the library material itself, not the WorldCat bibliographic data.
Or would it …
Where do you stand on the Great WorldCat Apple Cake Record discussion? Click To Tweet
The apple cake record is alive!
A record with the aptly named title of “apple-cake” was added for an archival material item by Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, USA, in September 2015. And the recipe itself is described in the 505 field.
Another apple cake record, this one numbered 826,054,444, was added by the US Army Corps of Engineers Library in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. This record also has the recipe in the notes field.
So for now, the “keep the recipe in WorldCat” team has the upper hand.
Whatever the final disposition of the record, however, one thing is for sure: it’s a tasty cake.
One year ago yesterday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Authors’ Guild to review a lower court decision in favor of Google, thus ending a legal challenge to Google Books that had dragged on for over a decade. Google Books is widely considered to be Google’s first big change-the-world project: scanning millions of print books from libraries to build an online digital library that anyone could use, without any fees or advertising. Projects that are perhaps more appealing to librarians, such as the HathiTrust or the Digital Public Library of America, have built on the Google Books concept. But now, one year after the big victory, Google Books seems oddly quiet.
Challenge to Google Books is declined by Supreme Court (New York Times | Adam Liptak and Alexandra Alter) “As is their custom, the justices gave no reasons for declining to hear the case, Authors Guild v. Google Inc., No. 15-849. Last year, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said that Google’s project was lawful and beneficial. ‘The purpose of the copying is highly transformative, the public display of text is limited and the revelations do not provide a significant market substitute for the protected aspects of the originals,’ Judge Pierre N. Leval, an authority on copyright law, wrote for the panel.”
Be glad the Supreme Court ended the Google Books case (Fortune | Jeff John Roberts) “Information that was once locked up in dusty tomes at places like Harvard and Stanford can now be accessed by anyone with a keyboard and an Internet connection. This digital distribution has brought democratization of knowledge, and a wealth of research opportunities for readers and scholars. If the Authors Guild had prevailed, millions of books could have been closed once again, sealed off by a thicket of lawyers demanding permission to peek at any page.”
Hail and farewell to the Google Books case (Publishers Weekly | James Grimmelmann) “The initial fear that Google would dominate publishing, crushing all beneath its robotic boots, was once at least plausible. But Google Play Books is now a punchline, as is the idea that the revenue generated from searches and snippets of out-of-print books was a treasure trove stolen from rightsholders. If the breathtaking ambition of the Google Books settlement was its undoing, however, such ambition also galvanized new thinking about how to carry forward the centuries of our cultural legacy locked away in print.”
How Google Book search got lost (Backchannel | Scott Rosenberg) “In a sense, the company behaved like the Uber of intellectual property–a kind of read-sharing service–while expecting to be seen the way it saw itself, as a beneficent pantheon of wizards serving the entire human species. It was naive, and the stubborn opposition it aroused came as a shock. But Google took away a lesson that helped it immeasurably as it grew and gained power: Engineering is great, but it’s not the answer to all problems. Sometimes you have to play politics, too–consult stakeholders, line up allies, compromise with rivals.”