The lab accelerates excellent research on the intersection of humanities and artificial intelligence. Research areas have an equal focus on “humanities to improve AI research” as well as “AI to improve humanities research”. It mobilises national knowledge about cultural artefacts in our heritage collections and their use in AI application contexts. Core research themes revolve around public values, e.g. diversity and inclusivity; to investigate how technology can deal with biases in data, account for multiple perspectives and subjective interpretations and bridge cultural differences. Therefore, the lab also reaches out and involves the general public and professionals through both online and offline activities such as crowdsourcing, exhibitions and workshops. Ethical considerations generate the guiding principles in research and inspiration for innovation, instead of using the lack of an ethical and legal framework as an excuse to postpone all experimentation.
From the humanities perspective, the lab builds upon the current focus on digitisation in Dutch humanities research. This is grounded in a strong tradition of hermeneutical approaches, with a critical reflection towards the use of subjective sources and heritage collections, parallel interpretations of the same information and the use of narrative to convey new insights on existing topics. From the AI perspective, the lab builds upon the expertise of Dutch AI in both statistical (learning) and symbolic (reasoning) approaches, and on the world-leading expertise in applying advanced computer science methods on heritage data.