Seminar: Experiments with stylometric distant reading too many books, or is there evolution in literature, or what happens to target language in translation, or what is poetry, and many other things • 28 November 2023

Event organised by the Computational Humanities research group

To register to the seminar and obtain the link to the call, please fill in this form.

28 November 2023 – 3pm GMT

King’s College London (in person) and MSTeams (remote)

Jan Rybicki (Jagiellonian University of Kraków, Poland), Experiments with stylometric distant reading too many books, or is there evolution in literature, or what happens to target language in translation, or what is poetry, and many other things


If you want to analyse more books than you can read and remember (say, ten thousand and five novels, dramas and poetry collections in a language and/or translated into that language from other languages), you can count various things in their texts (like meaningful words, or, even better, grammatical words) and then try to make some sense out of it all by combining these results with the set’s metadata: author, authorial gender, translator, translatorial gender, source language, year or century and place of publication, and more). The questions that you can answer that way may not be the ones you’ve been taught to ask of literature at school, but at least you may get some answers. To prove this point even more strongly, this presentation will use literature that you’ve probably never read because it’s in a language you don’t even think you could learn (but no worries: this talk will be given in English).


Jan Rybicki is Associate Professor at the Institute of English Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, and Director of the Jagiellonian Centre for Digital Humanities there. He specialises in stylometric authorial attribution and distant reading of literature, with particular interest in literary translation, a natural choice when one considers that he has also translated into Polish over 30 novels by such authors as Kingsley Amis, Douglas Coupland, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, William Golding, Nadine Gordimer, Kazuo Ishiguro or Jeanette Winterson, including 10 books by John le Carré.

The video of this seminar is available here.

Seminar: Using AI to broaden access to historical archives• 21 November 2023

Event organised by the Computational Humanities research group

To register to the seminar and obtain the link to the call, please fill in this form.

21 November 2023 – 3pm GMT

Remote – Microsoft Teams

Giovanni Colavizza (University of Bologna, Italy), Using AI to broaden access to historical archives


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is crucial in supporting archival processes and records management decisions, including for the increasingly digitized historical archives. The scale and complexity of historical archives contribute to make AI ever more relevant for bettering their organization and broadening access. In this talk I will discuss recent developments at the intersection of archives and AI, as well as highlight some of the challenges still lying ahead of us. I will also discuss recent work to exemplify the current state of AI applied to historical archives. Finally, I will suggest future research directions in AI for historical archives.


Giovanni Colavizza is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bologna (Italy), and the CTO and co-founder of Odoma LLC (Switzerland). Colavizza has previously been an Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Amsterdam and a Senior Data Scientist at The Alan Turing Institute. Colavizza has a background in computer science and history and is specialized in Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums).

The video of this seminar is available here.

Seminar: A digital journeying around • 12 September 2023

Event organised by the Computational Humanities research group

To register for the event, please fill in the following form:

12 September 2023 – 3pm BST

King’s College London, Bush House (SE) 1.03, (in person) and MSTeams (remote)

Elton Barker (The Open University, United Kingdom), A digital journeying around


Writing in the second century CE, Pausanias provides a deep dive into the cultural centres of the ancient Greek mainland. Describing the built environment through which he moves — from buildings to statues, even rocks on the ground — Pausanias supplements his account with stories about the places and objects he encounters. The challenge when following in his footsteps is to negotiate this ‘thick’ description, where every step of the way can be viewed through multiple temporal frames.  

In this talk I suggest that digital technology affords ways of not only identifying the granularity of the places Pausanias describes but also of getting a better sense of their place in the narrative, where places are related to each other and readers are challenged by the constant and insistent temporal shifts to place themselves in Greece’s storied landscape. Primarily, I want to show how Pausanias is “good to think with” when modelling digitally informed approaches to Humanities research. In particular, I will discuss the use of maps as tools for research (rather than as illustrations); the importance of collaboration and public scholarship; and the transformative potential of the technology of Linked Open Data, for helping us understand the ancient world as every bit relational, intersectional, and excitingly dynamic as ours.


Elton Barker is Professor of Greek Literature and Culture at the Open University. He has also lectured at the universities of Bristol, Nottingham, Reading, and Oxford. His research interests mostly focus on Homeric studies and historical geography. Since 2008, Elton has been leading and co-running many collaborative projects that use digital resources to rethink the spatial understanding of the ancient world. Such projects are Hestia, investigating the cultural geography of the ancient world starting from Herodotus’s HistoriesGoogle Ancient Places, identifying places across corpora of digital texts, and Pelagios, aimed at linking different online materials, among which many historical gazetteers such as Pleiades and the World Historical Gazetteer.

The video of this seminar is available here:

New article: ‘Risk consciousness and public perceptions of COVID-19 vaccine passports’

A new article on how perceptions of risk (Beck, Giddens) impact public attitudes towards vaccination passports, authored by DDH professor, Btihaj Ajana, and Elena Engstler, Anas Ismail & Marina Kousta.

Link to article:


In response to the global outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, many countries around the world have rushed to develop and implement various mechanisms, including vaccination passports, to contain the spread of the virus and manage its significant impact on heath and society. COVID-19 passports have been promoted as a way of speeding society’s return to ‘normal’ life while protecting public health and safety. These passports, however, are not without controversy. Various concerns have been raised with regard to their social and ethical implications. Framing the discussion within the ‘risk society’ thesis and drawing on an interview-based study with members of the UK public as well as the relevant literature, this article examines perceptions of COVID-19 vaccine passports. The findings of the study indicate that participants’ attitudes toward vaccine passports are primarily driven by factors relating to perceptions of risk. While some considered vaccine passports as a positive strategy to encourage vaccine uptake and facilitate travel and daily activities, others saw this mechanism as a coercive step that might alienate further those who are already vaccine hesitant. Issues of fairness, equity, discrimination, trust, and data security were major themes in participants’ narratives and their subjective assessment of vaccine passports.


En réponse à l’épidémie mondiale de COVID-19 au début de l’année 2020, de nombreux pays dans le monde se sont empressés d’élaborer et de mettre en œuvre divers mécanismes, dont les passeports vaccinaux, afin de contenir la propagation du virus et de gérer son impact considérable sur la santé et la société. Les passeports COVID-19 ont été présentés comme un moyen d’accélérer le retour de la société à la vie « normale » tout en protégeant la santé et la sécurité publiques. Ces passeports ne vont toutefois pas sans controverse. Leurs implications sociales et éthiques ont suscité de nombreuses inquiétudes. En inscrivant la discussion dans le cadre de la thèse de la « société du risque » et en s’appuyant sur une étude basée sur des entretiens avec des membres du public britannique ainsi que sur la littérature pertinente, cet article examine les perceptions des passeports vaccinaux de COVID-19. Les résultats de l’étude indiquent que les attitudes des participants à l’égard des passeports vaccinaux sont principalement motivées par des facteurs liés à la perception du risque. Alors que certains considèrent le passeport vaccinal comme une stratégie positive pour encourager la vaccination et faciliter les voyages et les activités quotidiennes, d’autres considèrent ce mécanisme comme une mesure coercitive qui pourrait aliéner davantage ceux qui hésitent déjà à se faire vacciner. Les questions de justice, d’équité, de discrimination, de confiance et de sécurité des données ont été des thèmes majeurs dans les récits des participants et dans leur évaluation subjective des passeports vaccinaux.

New Research Project: Art x Public AI

Art x Public AI is a new research project by the Creative AI Lab, a collaboration between the Serpentine (a public arts org in London) and the Department of Digital Humanities, KCL. The lab focuses on developing research and prototypes that further artistic experimentation with AI. Our aim is to expand the conversations around AI by offering a more nuanced vision and approach to the negotiation of its public value and interest. Through the lens of art-making, we are able to explore key questions with greater precision and specificity.   

A data visualisation analysing the openness of two AI tools over different layers such as energy, server, data, model, software application

In our first workshop* on the topic of Art x Public AI last month, we sketched out an AI tech stack (see above) in order to get a more multi-dimensional view of AI tools that artists are using across their technological infrastructures. In particular, we explored how the tech at each layer is governed and whether or not it is open source. This has been a useful preliminary exercise for shifting the conversation around foundational AI models, from being purely about the IP of inputs (training data) and outputs (generated works), to a bigger one about the interplay between different public and private governance and ownership models used at each layer of the stack. This shift is necessary to give us a better picture of how public interest can be positioned in relation to the influence and development of these technologies.

To this end,  Alana Kushnir (Serpentine Legal Lab & Guest Work Agency) provided us with insights into the existing legal frameworks for each layer of the AI tech stack. This allowed us to identify conceptual gaps and speculate about new types of legal and supralegal approaches that might become necessary in the near future. This first attempt to create a method for examining AI tools has allowed us to articulate where new approaches need to be devised––e.g. for dataset governance, or for a model and its weights. 

As an example, RadicalxChange’s work on data coalitions and escrow agents presents a new data governance paradigm that could sit within the ‘data’ layer of the stack. New frameworks like this emerge only when we closely interrogate the value of the data layer and understand it to be relational. This aligns well with Salome Viljoen’s work on relational data, which Photini Vrikki and Mercedes Bunz discuss as a shift from big to democratic data

Why use artistic production to explore AI discourse?

We know from our work in the Creative AI Lab that artistic practices are exceptionally good at surfacing models for engagement with AI technologies–and not only engagement with the end user. More importantly, the production processes of the creative systems (including ML models) that artists build, highlight concerns that are resonant with those of the general public: What rights do you have over the models you build? Or over the outcomes of a model you use? What relationship do you have to the data you use to train it? Etc.

As we move closer to a world where generative images, audio, and language models can produce evocative content ad infinitum, artists will increasingly identify their ‘artwork’ with their own creative tech system including their own AI model. So, for artists working with AI, the capacity for creative agency will be heavily correlated with the ability to manipulate, govern and verify their machine learning models. And as it happens, this negotiation will also be central to the way in which AI can become a truly public societal infrastructure. 

We will be posting updates as we advance our research. You can also follow the work of Future Art Ecosystems by subscribing to their newsletter, here

Eva, Mercedes & the Creative AI Lab

*Thanks to Eva Jäger, Victoria Ivanova and Kay Watson (Serpentine), Alana Kushnir (Serpentine Legal Lab & Guest Work Agency), Reema Selhi (DACS), Oliver Smith (dmstfctn), and Mercedes Bunz, Daniel Chavez Heras, Alasdair Milne (all DDH) as well as Caroline Sinders.

Professor Stuart Dunn’s Inaugural Lecture at King’s College London

On 20th June 2023, Stuart Dunn of the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London delivered his Professorial Inaugural Lecture, The Spatial Humanities: A Challenge to the All-Knowing Map, which explored:

What are Spatial Humanities, and why does King’s have a Professor dedicated to them?

In 1946 Jorge Luis Borges published a short story about a fictional kingdom fixated with perfecting the Art of Cartography. The people construct a map so exact, that it covers the whole expanse of the kingdom. But the map is abandoned by later generations and decayed; until all that is left are its tattered ruins, inhabited only by animals and beggars.

Professor Dunn examines the present-day successors of Borges’s all-encompassing map. Namely, the platforms through which we navigate and wayfind – Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, Apple Maps and so on, and which – metaphorically – cover the world’s entire surface.

Framed partly by the history of ideas, partly by cartography, and partly by digital place-making, Professor Dunn’s approach is situated at that crossroads of disciplines that make up the Spatial Humanities. Through a linked discussion of early antiquarian place-writing, the emergence of Global Position System (GPS) technology, and with what the geographer Doreen Massey called “space-time compression”, he explores the origins of our motivation to “know” the entire world through mapping.

He also discusses how this has led to contemporary placemaking becoming tattered through corporatization and commercialization. How can the Spatial Humanities help us fix our place? Both in the sense of locating where we are, and of repairing our relationship with it.

A full transcript and recording of the lecture can be found here.

Dr Kate Devlin leads £5m UKRI research project to explore responsible and trustworthy AI

King’s College London have been awarded £5m in funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to support a collaborative project led by Dr Kate Devlin from the Department of Digital Humanities and involving Dr Caitlin Bentley and Professor Sana Khareghani (Department of Informatics), and Professor Prokar Dasgupta (Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology and the Department of Surgical & Interventional Engineering).

The grant will fund research that helps us understand what responsible and trustworthy AI is, how to develop it, and how to build it into existing systems and the impacts it will have on society:

This is a timely investment, bringing together a world-leading, diverse and multidisciplinary team from all four nations of the UK to work on cutting-edge issues. It is particularly exciting to have the King’s strand of the project based in Arts and Humanities, where the College has recently invested in the Digital Futures Institute, exploring how we can live well with technology. This is truly cross-cutting research on responsible AI with a human-centred approach at the very heart of it.

Dr Kate Devlin, who is leading King’s involvement with the UKRI Responsible Artificial Intelligence UK (RAI UK)

High-dimensional cinema • 6 July 2023

high-dimensional cinema

Join us in this panel discussion to learn how Artificial Intelligence and related technologies are reshaping the production and understanding of audiovisual culture

6 July 2023, 6:00 – 7.30 pm

King’s College London, King’s Building, Nash Lecture Theatre (K2.31) 

Moving images are usually said to have 2 or at most 3 dimensions. If you suspect that your favourite films have many more, join us for a set of presentations and lively panel discussion on “high-dimensional cinema,” and discover how Artificial Intelligence and related technologies are reshaping the production and understanding of audiovisual culture.

In this “meeting of the labs” event, a trio of experts in the computational analysis of visual culture come together to present their latest research and engage in conversation about recent advances at the intersection between cultural analytics, computational aesthetics, and machine learning. Join Mila Oiva, Nanne van Noord, and Daniel Chávez Heras, as they explore if and how high-dimensional cinema uncovers latent structures of meaning and pushes the boundaries of audiovisual creativity, from historical Soviet newsreels to contemporary Hollywood cinema.

Read more about the panelists and their presentations.

This is a public event part of the workshop Sculpting Time with Computers, co-organised by the Digital Futures Institute and the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. CUDAN participants are supported partially via the CUDAN ERA Chair project, funded through the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program of the European Commission (Grant no. 810961).  

If you tweet or toot about this event, you can use the #kingsdh hashtag or mention @kingsdh. (in Mastodon). If you would like to get notifications about similar events, you can sign up to this mailing list

Any queries, please email

Seminar: Museums online: defining and evaluating success • 5 June 2023

Event organised by the Computational Humanities research group

5 June 2023

King’s College London, Bush House NE 2.01, 2 pm (in person only)

Ellen Charlesworth (Durham University, United Kingdom), Museums online: defining and evaluating success


During the COVID-19 national lockdowns, there was a significant increase in the amount of content UK museums uploaded online. By publishing on social media and platforms like Google Arts and Culture, many museums hoped to reach new, younger, audiences. 

This seminar poses the simple question, were they successful? 

Platforms’ application programming interfaces (APIs) have made more data available on museums’ digital strategies and online audiences than ever before, opening up new avenues of research. Presenting ongoing work, this talk will explore the results of a large-scale quantitative analysis of museums’ online content, and details how an initial pilot study of 315 UK museums is being expanded to 40,000 museums across Europe. 

By contextualising the findings, it will investigate the underlying factors that shape social media metrics—such as ‘likes’, ‘shares’, and ‘comments’—and highlight how they complicate evaluating success online. It is questionable that social media engagement is indicative of the type of audience engagement museums are trying to foster; however, is it possible to use platform data to build more nuanced evaluative tools for the museum sector?

With platforms increasingly acting as mediators between audiences and museums online, this talk explores the difficulties, and future possibilities, this presents for both museums and researchers.


Ellen Charlesworth is an AHRC funded PhD candidate at Durham University. Having studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art and then data science at Birkbeck, she gained experience designing and evaluating online exhibitions collaborating with the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Museum of the Home, and the Venerable English College, Rome. 

Her current research asks how we can improve museums online content; using data from museums’ websites and social media she aims to develop more nuanced measures of audience engagement. Her work identifies sector-wide trends in museums’ online content and explores the way this is shaped by both funding guidelines and platforms’ algorithmic interventions. 

Workshop: Sculpting Time with Computers

fast motion capture in a high-speed tunnel

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Computational Moving Images

6-7 July 2023 

King’s College London, Strand Campus 

This workshop brings together a select group of researchers in the fields of digital and computational humanities, film, cultural history, informatics, computer vision, and digital art, with the purpose of exploring together emerging computational approaches to the study of moving images.

Participants include researchers from leading laboratories in Europe, including the Cultural Data Analytics Open Lab (CUDAN) at Tallinn University and the Cultural Analytics Lab (CANAL) at the University of Amsterdam, as well as archives and digital preservation experts from public UK institutions such as the BBC and the BFI. The workshop is hosted by the Computational Humanities Research Group in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London.

Over two days, we will consider the modelling of moving images as computational artefacts, and reflect on the past, present, and future of computational moving image studies. We will then discuss and actively experiment with several ways of encoding the flows of moving images in time: from shot lengths measurements to high-dimensional representations, computational techniques that might afford new perspectives on the constitution and analysis of cinematic time.

The workshop is broadly split between a day of introductions and theory, and a second day of practical work and plans for future collaboration.  The workshop will take place in the Embankment Room (MB -1.1.4), except the public panel on High-dimensional cinema, which will be at the Nash Lecture Theatre (K2.31). See programme in the next page.

We are also organising a public event on July 6th, click here for more details.

Any queries, please contact

This event is funded by the Digital Futures Institute at KCL.

CUDAN participants are supported partially via the CUDAN ERA Chair project, funded through the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program of the European Commission (Grant no. 810961).