The Future of Information Literacy

I was working on an article and this sentence fell out of my brain:

As new search tools become more powerful, information literacy skills will become less important.

I wonder if any one else agrees with me? 5 years from now will we think about information literacy in the same way? Will it even matter? Will Google 5.0 be so powerful it will make many of the decisions we make now?

Comments

As new search tolls become more powerful, information literacy skills will become less important.

Do you mean, the more we have to pay for searching, the less important our info literacy skills will need to be?;-)

I need to worry about my literacy skills.

IL isn't about finding stuff efficiently, although that's definitely part of it. IL is about evaluating the stuff that you found. And we will always have to teach critical thinking.

Maybe I'm reaching my 5 years of library instruction burn-out phase, but I would love to not have to teach some of the low level mechanical aspects of information searching, if the tools were sophisticated enough to produce good results for a novice researcher. Unfortunately I'm not sure I'm seeing quantum leaps in innovative interface design from library vendors just yet.

If we don't have to teach the dreaded boolean/truncation search techniques anymore, it would be lovely to focus on research as a process, critical thinking, and evaluating information.

In order for Google 5.0 to be that good it would not only have to be as advanced as the human brain it would have to be able to read your mind.

This is the problem I have with the fascination of search engines. There is a point where it doesn't matter how fast it is or how much information in it can access and process. It all comes down to your ability to create the proper input and be able to breakdown the output.

If anything I predict that in the free market frustration of trying to create a better product some search engines, including Google, become less useful.

Sure: "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

So I suppose my hypothesis is as computers get better at the evaluation stuff, IL becomes less important, or maybe different.

I think the mind reading is planned for 6.0

As they improve the proper input becomes less and less important, and the output becomes more useful and refined. Or so goes my idea.

"As they improve the proper input becomes less and less important, and the output becomes more useful and refined. Or so goes my idea."

I realize I'm not even close to being a computer person but to me that concept is an impossibility.

As a computer person I'd call it a possibility. From what I've seen so far I'd give it 60/40 odds, maybe even 70/30. There's some really neat stuff being done, stuff that's already scary smart.

I think if 10 years ago someone would've said there'll be a computer that lets you search 8 billion web pages, and it gives you back decent results most of the time, I would've said NO WAY! So ten years from now, there's just not telling what they'll come up with.