AI and Digital Humanities: three projects to start in 2022

The first round of AI Labs’ ‘call to action’ has resulted in three Digital Humanities projects being funded.

AI Labs

In the AI Labs at Utrecht University, academic researchers collaborate with external partners on societal issues that involve artificial intelligence and/or data science. With the AI Labs’ ‘call to action‘, UU encourages collaborations between researchers from the faculties of ScienceHumanities and Geosciences and others, with external partners. The three AI Lab-themes for this are AI & Sustainability, AI & Life Sciences and AI & Digital Humanities. The first round of this call to action has resulted in seven projects being funded.

Collaborations between the Humanities and Computer Science

Projects funded by the AI Lab on the theme of AI & Digital Humanities, focus on three themes at the intersection of Humanities and Computer Science: (a) personalization and (individual) autonomy(b) truth and trust, and (c) cultural, social and personal access (“from Ctrl-F to AI”). Each project involves academic researchers from the Faculty of Humanities and from the Department of Information Sciences, as well as societal partners who contribute financially and intellectually.

Following this first call, these three projects in AI & Digital Humanities have recently been awarded to start in 2022:

  • Gathering and relating narratives from diverse perspectives: an AI case study based on the Union of Utrecht, by Lynda Hardman (Computer Science), Toine Pieters (Freudenthal Institute) and Iris van der Tuin (Philosophy and Religious Studies) and others, with the Utrecht Archives and Numworaux; the aim of this project is to develop an infrastructure where visitors can record and upload their personal narrative (related to the Union of Utrecht of 1579) which will then be analyzed and disseminated automatically on the basis of its content.
  • Beyond Clicks! Value Driven Recommendations, by Karin van Es (Media and Culture Studies) and Christine Bauer (Computer Science), with the DPG Media Group; the aim of this project is “to create a recommender system that reflects values relevant to DPG, the publishers, and its users” in which the values are not purely commercial (as mouseclicks are).
  • Appraisal interview for algorithms, by Mirko Schäfer (Media and Culture Studies) and Matthieu Brinkhuis (Computer Science), with Agentschap Telecom, Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit, and I-Partnerschap Rijk; the aim of this project is to develop methods “to review the performance of algorithms in their socio-cultural context”, in particular by means of an appraisal interview of the algorithm.


A second call for projects in the AI Lab for Digital Humanities will be published soon, with a deadline on 1 March 2022.