Research talk: Is AI for me? Perspectives from the humanities – messy humanities data

In part three of our miniseries exploring artificial intelligence in the context of the humanities, Paola Marchionni is joined by Professor Jane Winters to discuss the often complex and messy data historians increasingly deal with when working with digital collections.


Jane Winters is a professor of digital humanities and director of the digital humanities research hub at the school of advanced study, University of London. Starting out working with thirteenth-century materials, Jane is a trained historian. Working out of the school of advanced study, an institution funded to promote and facilitate humanities research across the UK, an important strand of her work is related to digital research and scholarship and supporting others to engage with new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI).

In this episode, Paola and Jane discussed how data is becoming a primary source for historians working with digital collection and how this data is often complex and messy. They talked about some of the more useful AI tools for analysing historical data sets and the growing importance of transparency, ethics and individual responsibility when making choices about data. They look at the opportunities for the co-production of historical knowledge when marrying together human expertise and AI, while concluding it is not a fix-all.

Show notes

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Episode guest

Jane Winters
Jane Winters
Professor of digital humanities, University of London

Episode host

Paola Marchionni headshot
Paola Marchionni
Head of engagement (content and discovery)

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