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Working With Machines

When: Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: Online zoom

Join us for an online discussion of the Living With Machines project at the Alan Turing Institute. How do we train machines to “read” maps? What is the pre-history of AI and how can we explore this through texts and the language of mechanisation? And what are the ethical and philosophical questions raised at the human-machine interface: are we just feeding machines our own biases as we “train” up living machines? How will we continue to work with machines in the future as AI advances? This event will be chaired by Prof. Simon Reid-Henry.

About the project

The Alan Turing Institute and the British Library, together with researchers from a range of universities, including Queen Mary, have been awarded £9.2 million from the UKRI's Strategic Priorities Fund for a major new project. 

Led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), ‘Living with Machines’ will take place over five years and is set to be one of the biggest and most ambitious humanities and science research initiatives ever to launch in the UK.

About the Speakers

Prof. Ruth Ahnert is Principal Investigator on the flagship Turing project 'Living With Machines', and a Professor of Literary History and Digital Humanities at Queen Mary University of London. She gained her PhD from the Department of English at the University of Cambridge, but more recently her work has focused on the intersection between literary history and data science. She has held fellowships and grants funded by the AHRC, Stanford Humanities Center, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Endowment of the Humanities (US).

Dr Kasper Beelen is a digital historian, who explores the application of machine learning to humanities research. After obtaining his PhD in History (2014) at the University of Antwerp he worked as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. As researcher on the Digging into Linked Parliamentary Data (Dilipad) project, he published several papers situated at the interface of data science, political science and history, which explored a wide range of topics, including: the representation of women in Westminster, the evolution of public health discourse, and the use of affect in parliamentary language. For more details click here 

Dr Katherine McDonough is a historian of eighteenth-century France working at the intersection of political culture and the history of science and technology. She completed her PhD in History at Stanford in 2013. She has taught at Bates College and was a postdoctoral researcher in digital humanities at Western Sydney University (Australia). Before joining the Turing Institute, Katie was the Academic Technology Specialist in the Department of History/Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research at Stanford University. For more details please click here. 

Dr Daniel Wilson is a historian of modern Britain, with a focus on science and technology. He has degrees in History and Philosophy, and has held research fellowships in Cambridge and Paris. Prior to joining The Alan Turing Institute, Daniel taught in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge, where he also worked on the 'Technology & Democracy' project at CRASSH: an inquiry into the politics of the digital. For more information please go to the Alan Turing Institute webpage and here  

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