Intelligent Instruments in the Experimental Humanities

Thor Magnusson gives a keynote at the DHNB 2024 Conference
Sat May 25 2024
The Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries Conference

Conference image showing a volcano and the name of the conference.

Thor Magnusson will give a keynote at the Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries Conference

When: Friday, May 31st, 2024 at 12.45.
Where: Bratti, Háskóli Íslands, Stakkahlíð.

The title of the talk is: Intelligent Instruments in the Experimental Humanities

And the abstract:

Computational methods play a pivotal role in the digital humanities, with algorithmic procedures acting as essential tools for exploring cultural and scientific datasets. However, the development of such tools inherently involves interpretative decisions prior to any data analysis, underscoring the need for both critical and experimental methodologies in their design, application, and evaluation. In this keynote I will present some of the research conducted at the Intelligent Instruments Lab at the University of Iceland. We design musical instruments embedded with AI and study how people engage with intelligence, agency and intention in these objects. In this work we have, for example, developed a new variation of the traditional Icelandic langspil, we have trained machine learning models on hours of musical data, and we apply musical instruments as scientific instruments in the study of large datasets. Artistic research is applied to develop an experimental humanities framework, with a particular focus on the impact of AI on contemporary cultural practices. The talk will also introduce our methodology of designing the lab as an experimental ecosystem, to use instruments as boundary objects for interdisciplinary collaborations, and to open the doors of the lab for public engagement and citizen science as part of research practice.

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