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AI and the Humanities *UoR only*

We are pleased to announce a joint event between the Digital Humanities and Artificial Intelligence Communities of Practice, on Wednesday 24 May 2023.

Please note, this event is open only to University of Reading researchers. If you are interested in any of the presentations, please contact Mara Oliva (m.oliva@reading.ac.uk).

The event will be taking place on campus, but there is a hybrid option in order to ensure ongoing accessibility for those especially vulnerable to Covid-19 as well as colleagues with caring responsibilities. If you would like to attend virtually, please get in touch to request the link for access.

If you are not already a member, you are welcome to join the Digital Humanities Community of Practice via our MS Teams channel. (This link will take you to the Teams channel. If you are not already a member, you will be presented with a dialogue box that says ‘Join’. Click this to send a request, which will be approved if you are a member of the University of Reading. If you are already a member of the Team, this link just takes you directly to the ‘General’ channel.)

Within the COP, you will be able to introduce yourself, share your research, and access information about funding opportunities, support, and events. Read more here.

Our events are open to all researchers, staff, and PGRs from any subject – we welcome interdisciplinary collaboration!

To attend the event (in person or via Teams), or if you have any other questions and/or want to join the DH CoP and AI COP, please contact Mara Oliva, Digital Humanities Champion (m.oliva@reading.ac.uk) and Bohni Bhattacharya, AI COP Joint Lead (‎b.s.bhattacharya@reading.ac.uk).

Programme: AI and the Humanities

Date and time: Wednesday 24 May 2023, 14:00-16:00, Maths 113 and Hybrid

14:00 Welcome and Intro – Dr Bonhi Bhattacharya (AI COP lead) and Dr Mara Oliva (DH COP lead)

14:10 Keynote address: Professor David De Roure (Oxford): ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Arts and Humanities’

14:40 Roundtable

  • Professor James Ferryman (Computer Science, University of Reading)
  • Dr Dominic Lees (Film, Theatre & Television, University of Reading)
  • Dr Jumbly Grindrod (Philosophy, University of Reading)

15:10 Q&A

15:25 What’s next (DH CoP and Hub – future events) & close 

Keynote Address – Professor David De Roure

AI and the Arts and Humanities

From an early background in electronics and computer science, Professor De Roure became closely involved in the Hypertext, Web, and linked data communities, in pervasive computing, and in digital social research. Today he focuses on living in the Internet of Things, on new methods of digital scholarship, and innovation in knowledge infrastructure. His personal research is at the intersection of music, maths, machines and AI, empowering the creative human in music composition and performance. His work is distinctively interdisciplinary. He engages closely with multiple disciplines including humanities (digital humanities, digital musicology), engineering (Internet of Things, cybersecurity), social sciences (Social Machines, Web Science), information science (knowledge infrastructure, computational archival science), and computer science (large scale distributed systems, AI). The talk will explore how AI and the Arts and Humanities can work together to answer new research questions and deliver innovative research.

Speaker information

Professor David De Roure is Professor of e-Research in the Engineering Science Department at the University of Oxford, and a Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute. Throughout his career David has investigated emerging technologies in large scale distributed and sociotechnical systems, with a broad interest in society, technology and creativity, while also focusing on innovation in the process of scholarship. He has co-founded three interdisciplinary initiatives: the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity, which is the world’s largest socio-technical research centre focused on the future implementation of the Internet of Things; the Software Sustainability Institute, cultivating better and more sustainable software to enable world-class research; and PRiSM, The Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Professor James Ferryman is Professor of Computational Vision at the University of Reading. His current research is concerned with the automatic visual surveillance of wide area scenes using computational vision. The research has contributed new results in the areas of model-based vision, visual tracking and surveillance, especially using 3D deformable models.

Dr Dominic Lees is Associate Professor of Filmmaking at the University of Reading. His research is rooted in his professional experience as a director of television drama and independent feature film. His major recent research has been into deepfakes – the digital replacement of actors’ faces in film using systems of Artificial Intelligence. He was Principal Investigator of the project Virtual Maggie (2019-20), which used a practice research methodology to explore how ‘machine learning’ could be used to digitally resurrect Margaret Thatcher in a contemporary drama. HIs work also examines the ethics and legal questions arising from deepfakes, and the impact on the performer in screen production. He is currently leading the Deepfakes Research Network (DFRN), which brings together UK and international scholars, industry stakeholders and governmental bodies to consider the future of this technology.

Dr Jumbly Grindrod is a Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Reading. His research interests lie in philosophy of language and epistemology. In particular, he is interested in context-sensitivity and the semantics-pragmatics interface, and how this debate can or does inform epistemological debates. More recently, he has also been interested in the extent to which corpus analytics can be used to help answer philosophical questions. Jumbly Grindrod’s recent research has investigated whether corpus linguistics and computational linguistics can help further philosophical inquiry. In particular, he has explored whether the distributional semantic approach that is at the core of large language models can help shed light on philosophical and linguistic questions about the nature of linguistic meaning.




24th May 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Tags:


Maths 113


Mara Oliva
Bonhi Bhattacharya