Upcoming talks and travel

Poster for a talk at Trinity College Dublin with illustrations of a man working in a factory and a soldier in a trench with sandbags and barbed wire
Trinity lecture poster

I'll be in Australia (Melbourne, Ballina and Brisbane) in February and March 2024. Get in touch if you'd like to meet for a chat about digital scholarship, digital humanities or AI / machine learning in libraries, archives and museums!

In February 2024 I'm speaking in a panel on 'The Machines looking back at us' at the Future of Arts, Culture & Technology Symposium (FACT 2024) at ACMI. I'm also at the State Library of Victoria for a 'Digital Salon' on 'Technology & Experimentation: From the Lab to the Library’ on February 19.

On Feb 27 I’m online for AI4LAM’s Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand chapter webinar on ’Models for Collaboration – GLAM and ML/AI Technologies’.

In March I'm keynoting at the fabulous Making Meaning 2024 conference, 'Collections as data' at the State Library of Queensland, Australia. Then I'm back in the UK for a panel on 'messy data in the age of “intelligent” machines' at Jisc DigiFest (online).

In April I'm giving a keynote on 'Machine Learning for Collections' at the University of Cambridge Cultural Heritage Data School. I'll also be speaking at an event for the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (AMARC).

In early June I'm in Scotland as one of the CILIPS Annual Conference 2024 keynotes.

I may be in DC / Virginia in early August.

I'll be in Luxembourg in early September.

Recent books

I'm currently working on chapters for the final Living with Machines book.

In January 2023, Collaborative Historical Research in the Age of Big Data: Lessons from an Interdisciplinary Project by Ruth Ahnert, Emma Griffin, me and Giorgia Tolfo was published by Cambridge University Press.

In 2021 I wrote another book with 15 or so brilliant co-authors: The Collective Wisdom Handbook: perspectives on crowdsourcing in cultural heritage

My edited volume on 'Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage' for Ashgate, featuring chapters from some of the most amazing people working in the field was published in October 2014 and reprinted a few times subsequently. You can read my introduction on the OU repository: Crowdsourcing Our Cultural Heritage: Introduction.

By day, I'm usually at work at home at the British Library, so drop me a line if you'd like to meet for coffee and a chat. My availability for events is limited, but you can drop me a line if you'd like to book me for an event.

Some recent papers

Some publications are listed or accessible at my ORCID page, my Open University repository page, Humanities Commons page, Zenodo, and my Zotero page.

This page is rarely up-to-date or complete, but here's a summary of talks, fellowships, writing, etc in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. You can also follow me on twitter (@mia_out) mastodon @[email protected] / https://hcommons.social/@mia for updates.

Previous papers are generally listed at miaridge.com or on my blog, Open Objects.

'Enriching lives: connecting communities and culture with the help of machines': my EuropeanaTech 2023 keynote

Panorama lit by natural light of a seaside town
The video for my opening keynote on 'Enriching lives: connecting communities and culture with the help of machines' for the EuropeanaTech 2023 conference is now online.

The EuropeanaTech 2023 conference was held in The Hague, the Netherlands and online from 10 – 12 October 2023. My slides are online.

My abstract: I’ll begin with an overview of current developments in AI and machine learning, then present work with crowdsourcing from the Living with Machines project to think about what AI means for online volunteers and communities around digital cultural heritage. I’ll share new thinking on ‘volunteer enrichment’ – participation in crowdsourcing that not only enriches and enhances collections records, but also enriches the lives of volunteers. How can we embed GLAM values when we apply AI and machine learning tools in our work?

In preparing my keynote I revisited my keynote for EuropeanaTech 2011, and reflected on work on crowdsourcing, data science and AI at the British Library, the Collective Wisdom project and Living with Machines since then.

2023: an overview(ish)

January began with a bang, with the publication of a collaboratively-written book by Cambridge University Press's Elements in Historical Theory and Practice. Collaborative Historical Research in the Age of Big Data: Lessons from an Interdisciplinary Project by Ruth Ahnert, Emma Griffin, Mia Ridge and Giorgia Tolfo.

In February I had a chapter, Scaffolding Collaboration: Workshop Designs for Digital Humanities Projects by me and Eileen J. Manchester in Digital Humanities Workshops: Lessons Learned, edited by Laura Estill, Jennifer Guiliano, another open access publication. I was also invited to India to do a keynote on libraries, AI and machine learning at the Library Technology Conclave 2023.

In April I was invited to give a lecture at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, School of Humanities & Social Science, and spoke on Facing the Future: Machine Learning and AI in Libraries, Archives and Museums. My abstract: 'Every week brings a new headline about AI, or ‘artificial intelligence’. Major search engines and social networks are competing to integrate AI, despite serious concerns about inaccurate results from AI chat bots.

In the last year alone, significantly improved AI, machine learning (ML) and data science tools have changed how information is processed and generated. ML and data science methods have the potential to connect library collections,  and to enable better discoverability and support innovative research. But libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) face challenges in finding resources to meet AI-hyped expectations, and in implementing new forms of information provenance and digital preservation. How will changes in AI externally change expectations about GLAMs? And how can we build on what we already know about the role of technologies in cultural organisations to think strategically about integrating AI into GLAM wor

I also wrote a position paper ahead of the Collections as Data Summit in Vancouver: Toddlers to teenagers: AI and libraries in 2023.

In May I put together a workshop on 'AI and historical newspapers' with Beth Gaskell and the Living with Machines team.

In June I chaired a session on 'ChatGPT, AI, and the future' in a packed tent at the British Academy's Summer Showcase with Tim Gordon (Co-founder, Best Practice AI) and Hetan Shah (CEO, British Academy).

I was at DH2023 in Graz in July, speaking on 'Challenges, opportunities, and recommendations for the future of crowdsourcing in cultural heritage: a White Paper' with Meghan Ferriter and Sam Blickhan. Our session was 'Engaging the public'.

In August I took part (remotely) in the CAS 2023 Summer Symposium on Harry Shearer's "Le Show" at Penn State University. I've blogged 'Resonating with different frequencies' – notes for a talk on the Le Show archive. My slides for 'Resonating with different frequencies… Thoughts on public humanities through crowdsourcing in a ChatGPT world' are online at Zenodo.

In September I gave a keynote, 'Hype and hope: machine learning, AI and special collections', for CILIP's Rare Books and Special Collections Group's 2023 'Old Hands, New Ideas' conference.

I was on a panel on what's 'needed for public sector organisations to make text data more accessible for analysis' at DataConnect23. I also blogged, asking Is 'clicks to curiosity triggered' a good metric for GLAM collections online?.

In October I was in Den Haag to give the opening keynote at EuropeanaTech's 2023 conference, and took part in a panel on Keeping pace with technology: A discussion on copyright and AI .

I also spoke at the Open and Engaged conference at the British Library.

In November I spoke at events in London, including CILIP's Libraries Rewired event, discussing lessons in implementing AI in libraries from Living with Machines and travelled to Vancouver to do a solo paper and two workshops for the Fantastic Futures conference. My blog post about the conference is Fantastic Futures 2023 – AI4LAM in Vancouver.

I also blogged about 'Finding Digital Heritage / GLAM tech / Digital Humanities jobs / staff'.

Forthcoming: a chapter 'The Minimum Research Outcome: A Mechanism for Generating and Managing Projects in Labs' with Giorgia Tolfo, Emma Griffin, Mia Ridge, Ruth Ahnert and Kaspar Beelen in Digital Humanities and Laboratories: Perspectives on Knowledge, Infrastructure and Culture.

I'm also working on a chapter on 'accidents involving machinery' for Living with Machines' final collaborative book. This will bring together our work on crowdsourcing, data processing and analytics, visualisation and natural language processing (NLP).


2022: an overview(ish)

A work-in-progress post about what I got up to last year.

The biggest thing I did in 2022 was co-curate an exhibition at Leeds City Museum for the British Library and Living with Machines project.

November: I was invited to the Archives nationales de France conference 'Crowdsourcing et patrimoine culturel écrit', where I spoke on Crowdsourcing as connection: a constant star over a sea of change / Établir des connexions : un invariant des projets de crowdsourcing par Mia Ridge, British Library, Royaume-Uni

In December I gave an online keynote on 'Citizen Science as Public History?' for the conference 'When publics co-produce history in museums: skills, methodologies and impact of participation' at The Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), University of Luxembourg.

Crowdsourcing workshop activities: ideation and elaboration

I've been working on structures for online workshops for people working on crowdsourcing and other digital participation projects for museums, libraries and archives for over a decade now, learning from each institution I work with. I thought I'd share one of the slide decks I'm currently using.

The deck is labelled 'Coming up with and developing crowdsourcing ideas'. In a workshop or class on crowdsourcing it usually comes after sessions that explain the whats and whys of crowdsourcing in cultural heritage. It's designed to get people quickly working on practical ideas, anticipating issues and ensuring that their projects will fit into their specific institutional context.

The prompts currently include: What does success look like? Which audiences are interested? Why? What could you learn from trying this? Which collections are involved? Links to mission? Pros? Cons? How could you ensure data quality? Costs  (staff, tech)? Dependencies / assumptions? What problem does it address? Questions, concerns? What volunteer skills, experience needed? What will they learn? What tech, data is needed?

You can develop your own prompts based on the attributes that are important to you. The Collective Wisdom Handbook is a useful guide to figuring out what's important to you, from data quality to integration with existing workflows.

I mostly recently used this for a Europeana-funded workshop for the Estonian War Museum – General Laidoner Museum in March 2022.

The museums have shared some lessons from the workshop in a post for Europeana. Their report 'Estonian museums' experience in the field of crowdsourcing' not only provides some background on volunteering and crowdsourcing in Estonian museums, it also shows how they applied the prompts.

Crowdsourcing workshop activities: ideation and elaboration by Mia Ridge is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0