More than just algorithms: A machine learning club for information specialists

Over the last few years AI and especially machine learning have become increasingly prominent in almost every industry, and the archive sector is no exception. Organisations across the cultural sector have begun experimenting with and implementing algorithms and other computational techniques, but there are recognised skills gaps and perceptions of AI being complex and impenetrable.

In order to address growing interest in AI at The National Archives, we organised a set of workshops entitled ‘Machine Learning Club’ which were attended by people from all areas of the organisation. The aim of these workshops was not to turn information specialists into data scientists, but rather to de-mystify machine learning and to develop an understanding of what it can offer the archives, and the skills needed to make the implementation of an AI-based system successful.