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Research Areas

We consider our subject via four themes. 


Application of natural language processing and automated reading allows the analysis of wide ranges of text documents and the establishment of novel connections, with a large range of repercussions. This includes, for example, the establishment of hitherto unknown correlations between historical and modern texts, or the ability to build dictionaries of names, places, and the occurrence of words and phrases throughout time and space. 


Images - of artefacts, of faces, geophysical images, satellite images - permeate practically all aspects of life, our relationships to other people, our local or global environment and our place in the Universe. We will be able to cross-fertilize our research by sharing technology, methods and ideas in the analysis of imagery, with implications across the board. 


Research in the Natural and Environmental Sciences habitually feeds on ever more detailed, ever more complex, and ever more voluminous data, either from measurements or from simulations. In the past two decades modern techniques such as machine learning have become ubiquitous in the analysis of these data. The combination of high volume, high velocity data acquired through a vast range of different sensors (from laboratory instruments to arrays of environmental monitors) with governmental and sociological requirements of transparency, reproducibility and reusability of the data renders the Natural and Environmental Sciences an ideal testbed for practically all aspects of Data Science. 


AI influences how we publish and reference our work, how we organise our libraries, and how we communicate in different settings (within academia, with the general public, with decision makers in politics and economy). It influences the propagation of news and opinions by eroding the boundary between the creator of documents (author or journalist) and the recipients, who adds by commenting and thereby recontextualising. Using AI in the Arts and Music has opened completely new opportunities for the creation of unique work in the collaboration of human and machine, and again the boundaries between creator and consumer of Arts will be blurred. At the same time, and not only since Cambridge Analytica and the use of data harvested from social media in the recent US election, philosophical, moral and legal questions arise on how to harness the power of AI technology in societal contexts. By contributing to answers to these questions we will participate in the necessary discussion about the future of our society.