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SEK 4 million to research on intelligent handling of archives

A new project will investigate how artificial intelligence can future-proof our cultural heritage, for curation of archival materials as well as providing better search and access to them.

The purpose of the research project is to compare the requirements placed on archives of various kinds with the possibilities that artificial intelligence, AI, offers. In the work, open datasets from the Swedish National Archives (Riksarkivet) and the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) will be used.

The project will address two sets of research questions:

  • What would AI-based approaches on archival principles look like?
  • What benefits would an archival AI offer society? Could it help future-proof cultural heritage institutions? Could it serve public interest, e.g. combat fake news and propaganda?

The project has been given the title Artificial Intelligence as the Risk and Opportunity for the Authenticity of Archives and is a collaboration between Linnaeus University and Uppsala University. SEK 4 million has been granted by the Wallenberg Foundations’ research program WASP-HS, which is an initiative for research in the humanities and social sciences within AI and autonomous systems.

”The grant, together with own funding, makes it possible to employ a doctoral student at each university. Our doctoral student will focus on the field of digital humanities and work within Linnaeus Knowledge Environment: Digital Transformations”, says Marcelo Milrad, professor and leader of Digital Transformations.

”The doctoral student will explore to what degree AI can be applied in archives for curation of archival materials as well as providing better search and access to them. They will also look at situations when AI does not work and needs to be controlled by an information or subject expert. In all, suggestions will be put forward how to best implement AI in archives to ensure better accessibility and visibility of the materials”, says Koraljka Golub, professor of library and information science and principal researcher of the project.

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Read the news item at WASP-HS.