EBSCO Information Services Pursues Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Opportunities

~ Company Embarks on Project to Determine How AI Can Enhance Search Discovery and Content Creation ~

IPSWICH, Mass. — September 21, 2023 — EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO), a leading provider of online research content and search technologies, is embracing the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI). Recognizing the transformative potential of generative AI in the realm of academic research and libraries, EBSCO is making proactive strides to incorporate AI into the company’s products, undertaking AI pilot projects in specific environments with the goal of amplifying the effectiveness of research. This move marries EBSCO's unique strength — providing access to high-quality, relevant content — with the remarkable capabilities of AI, aiming to set a new standard in information discovery and comprehension for students, faculty and researchers.

EBSCO has been investing in a modern user interface (UI) for the company’s research platforms, including EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) and EBSCOhost®. The company’s AI pilot projects will integrate into the modern UI and include natural language search, improved evaluation of search results through summaries and key insights, conversational interactivity with source documents — including multilingual — as well as search alerts and content recommendations. These insights will be clearly labeled as AI generated, and if desired, the library administrator may remove the feature from the library's profile.

Having used AI operationally for a number of years, EBSCO is expanding this use to enhance metadata, categorize content and build linked data relationships. With linked data, generative AI models can access a vast network of interconnected information, including vocabularies and knowledge graphs. This approach will help with overall computational costs as well as the environmental impact of generative AI, while ensuring that overall adoption is not resource-heavy for libraries.    

While generative AI holds remarkable promise, it's crucial to note its vulnerability to potential misinformation and factual inaccuracies. With EBSCO's mission to serve researchers with reliable, credible information, we are adopting a meticulous, quality-centric approach. We aim to embed our AI capabilities within the framework of our rigorously curated content. This not only helps prevent the dissemination of misinformation but also ensures that our AI technology delivers highly relevant and accurate scholarly resources to our users, augmenting the reliability and precision of research across the academic landscape. Pilot projects will focus on finding the most affordable, high-impact options for libraries.

EBSCO Senior Vice President, Discovery, User Experience and Platform Services, Tim Lull says that while the possibilities of AI within the online research environment are numerous, the company understands the importance of protecting the rights of content creators and publishers, while relying on licensed and proprietary high-quality metadata (and full text), superior relevancy ranking and thesauri mapping. “EBSCO acknowledges and seeks to address the legitimate concerns and potential issues associated with generative AI, including its use by students to complete their work. We are taking a calculated approach to integrating AI into our products, keeping in mind the environmental impact and high investment costs that accompany AI models. Our dedicated efforts are focused on devising innovative solutions that harness AI to enhance customer and user experiences, while proactively mitigating undesired AI-related behaviors, reducing hallucinations (AI-generated inaccuracies and misinformation) and maintaining integrity of research.”

About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is a leading provider of online research content and search technologies serving academic, school and public libraries; healthcare and medical institutions; corporations; and government agencies around the world. From research, acquisition management, subscription services and discovery to clinical decision support and patient care, learning, and research and development, EBSCO provides institutions with access to content and resources to serve the information and workflow needs of their users and organizations. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com.


For more information, please contact:
Jessica Holmes
Communications Director

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