Research talk: The highs and lows of artificial intelligence

Paola Marchionni discusses the critical issues around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in humanities scholarship with Melissa Terras from the University of Edinburgh.


Research talk resumes with Paola Marchionni, head of engagement, content and discovery, at Jisc. Over the next six episodes, she and her colleague Peter Findley will take over Research talk to bring you ‘Is AI for me? Perspectives from the humanities’. This mini-series will explore what it means to engage with artificial intelligence in the context of the humanities.

They'll bring together research and informational professionals who will share their views, experiences and work to help us understand AI's place in today's humanities scholarship.

Listen to the highs and lows of artificial intelligence episode on Soundcloud.

In this episode, Paola is joined by Melissa Terras, professor of digital cultural heritage at the University of Edinburgh. Melissa has been working at the computational sciences and humanities juncture for over 20 years. Her interests lie in how the tools and techniques from applied computing and engineering can be brought over to humanities subjects, the study of the past, and what the humanities can offer the computational sciences.

Together, Paola and Melissa discussed the critical issues around the use of AI in humanities scholarship and its intricacies. They talked about the tradition of computational approaches to the humanities, the pitfalls of machine learning, disinformation, and ethics. They also looked to the future at what support is needed and ended with thoughts on what AI can do for the humanities and what the humanities can do for AI.

Show notes

  • Views shared by Research talk guests do not necessarily represent the views of Jisc
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  • And as ever, if you want to come on the show, or have any questions, you can get in touch with us by emailing podcast@jisc.ac.uk

Episode guest

Headshot of Melissa Terras
Melissa Terras
Professor of digital cultural heritage, University of Edinburgh

Episode host

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

Additional links