20 July 2018

Glasgow / Edinburgh

Fixed Term

Project Title

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the assessment of data sensitivity in cultural organisations: an exploration of the possibilities and implications in the context of a memory institution, the National Library of Scotland.

Project Description

With support from Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), Information Studies at the University of Glasgow, in collaboration with the National Library of Scotland, seeks a highly motivated graduate to undertake Ph.D. research, to investigate the effectiveness and appropriateness of using artificial intelligence (AI) for reviewing data for diverse forms of sensitivity at the National Library of Scotland. The research will use innovative methods for handling sensitive information, focusing on compliance with legal obligations (e.g. data protection). It will also investigate broader concerns, such as cost and data ethics of incorporating AI in data handling, recommending guidelines for using AI as a component for scalable policies regarding sensitive data at the Library. Hitherto computing science has been perceived as the venue for such artificial intelligence research. The research proposed here endeavours to broaden participation to the arts and humanities and cultural organisations such as National Library of Scotland.

The project aims to improve workflow productivity within memory institutions through the incorporation of AI (e.g. machine learning, natural language processing, information retrieval) in data and documentary content analysis. This will involve experimentation and a comprehensive exploration of artificial intelligence as a means of reviewing data and supporting policies regarding sensitive data.  While some categories of sensitivity, such as in relation to personal data, may be understood through legal definitions, there can be considerable uncertainty when it comes to defining broader concepts of sensitive information, which can be subject to factors such as cultural and temporal climates.  All forms of sensitive content, however, can be extremely challenging to identify or isolate. The proposed project investigates AI responsive to such uncertainty, to complement human decisions about sensitivity.

For further details about the project, including award conditions, eligibility, and, instructions on how to apply, see the announcement at the University of Glasgow:


Application deadline: 20 July 2018

Start date: 1 October 2018

Duration: 3 years

Term: full time

Salary: UK candidates with fee waiver and stipend at current UKRI rate. EU applicants on a fees only basis.

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