Digital Week One: AI, Technology, and the Humanities

The first week of TORCH goes Digital! focused on AI, Technology, and the Humanities.

The intersection between AI and the humanities is a major strategic focus for Oxford Humanities. Our research in this area has been furthered by a landmark donation to the humanities for the development of the Stephen Schwarzman Centre, which includes the new Institute for Ethics in AI, led by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt.  

AI infographic

We kicked off our first digital week with a focus on the new Ethics in AI Seminar Series, a series of 20 (and counting) podcasts where researchers at the cutting edge of this emerging field discussed, amongst other things, the intersections between AI and governance, healthcare, finance, capital, labour, and law. The Ethics in AI seminars facilitate a broad conversation, exploring ethical questions in AI in a truly interdisciplinary way that brings together students and leading experts from around the University.

AI and technology permeate and intersect with all areas of the humanities, as our content this week showed. From the digital afterlife of Tolkien’s Middle Earth to the ways in which data empowers heritage, from the future of AI-inflected professions to the role (and possibilities) of forgetting in the digital age, we showcased how Oxford’s research into subjects old and new is enlivening the debate around the role of humanities in the technological revolution.   

Popular content included our event 'AI and Creativity'- where mathematician Prof Marcus du Sautoy, composer Prof Emily Howard and Sarah Ellis, the RSC's Director of Digital Development explored how creatives are harnessing the power of emerging technologies to fashion new kinds of creative and artistic practice in theatre and music - and Senior Data Scientist Dr Scott Hale’s bitesize talk on bilingualism and the internet as part of Creative Multilingualism and Linguamania.