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How a local library is helping Kansas Citians navigate the world of social media and AI

Bryan Gash is the Chief Technology Officer at the Mid-Continent Public Library
Claudia Brancart
KCUR 89.3
Bryan Gash is the chief technology officer at the Mid-Continent Public Library

Technologies like AI and social media are rapidly changing, impacting the content we consume and how we interact with each other. "Facing the Future," a series of talks at the Mid-Continent Public Library, aims to help Kansas Citians navigate them.

Erin Kennedy knows how much content generated by artificial intelligence has improved in the last few years. Compare a video generated, say, a year ago, to a one now: "It's terrifyingly real," she said.

Technologies like AI aren't just rapidly improving — they're also being embedded into tools and services we use every day. But many still don't know exactly how they work or when to use them. That's part of why the Mid-Continent Public Library, where Kennedy is the digital innovation manager, has launched a new series to help the public learn about them.

The "Facing the Future" series will bring authors, journalists and tech experts to Kansas City to talk about emerging technologies and their impacts.

"AI and algorithms have been with us for a while, but they're actually getting deeply integrated into our lives," Bryan Gash, the Mid-Continent Public Library's chief technology officer, told KCUR's Up To Date. "So getting this information out to people is kind of paramount."

The "Facing the Future" series kicks off Saturday with a talk from Tobias Rose-Stockwell, author of "Outrage Machine: How Tech Amplifies Discontent, Disrupts Democracy — and What We Can Do About It." The event is full, but you can join a waiting list to attend.

  • Tobias Rose-Stockwell, author, "Outrage Machine: How Tech Amplifies Discontent, Disrupts Democracy — and What We Can Do About It"
  • Bryan Gash, Chief Technology Officer, Mid-Continent Public Library
  • Erin Kennedy, Digital Innovation Manager, Mid-Continent Public Library
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