two women sat in front of a computer at a desk

All are welcome to attend our Research Group meetings, which will take place either online or face to face. No RSVP is required - just turn up.

See below for a list of our upcoming and past guest lectures, workshops, and conferences.

HUMAN VISION/COMPUTER VISION: MAKING SENSE OF ART: A symposium, 24–25 November 2022, Loughborough University and Online.

Dr Kathryn Brown (School of Social Sciences and Humanities) is hosting a hybrid symposium on 24–25 November 2022, at Loughborough University and Online:


The symposium has been made possible through support from The British Academy.





Kathryn Brown (Loughborough University): Introduction: Computer Vision and the Challenges to Art History


Session 1: 10.30–11.30

Eva Cetinic (University of Zürich): From Art Historical Challenges to Computational Methods, and Back

Amalia Foka (University of Ioannina): Paradigms of Computer Vision Applications for Art History


11.30–11.45 Break


Session 2: 11.45–12.45

Lora Angelova (National Archives, UK): Speaking with Machines? Observations on XAI from the Deep Discoveries Project

Leonardo Impett (Cambridge University): Digital Art History and Bias in AI


12.45–14.00 Lunch


Session 3: 14.00–14.40

JamesWang (Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology): Addressing Art Historical Questions with AI: Analyses of Works by Van Gogh and Constable


Session 4: 14.40–15.40

Roundtable: Computer Vision and Human Perception

Keith Allen (University of York)
Kathryn Brown (Loughborough University)
Elizabeth Mansfield (Penn State College of Arts and Architecture)


15.40–16.00 Break


Session 5: 16.00–16.40

Tracy Stuber (Getty Research Institute), David Ogawa (Union College), Emily Pugh (Getty Research Institute), Alexander Supartono (Edinburgh Napier University): Photography Unbound: 19th-Century Images Through 21st-Century Vision.


Conference Dinner



Session 6: 9.30–11.00

Min-Bin Lin and Vanessa Guarino (Humboldt University, Berlin): Digitalizing Beauty: On NFT Art and its Price

Houda Lamqaddam (University of Liège and KU Leuven): Imagenealogy: Tracing a Genealogy of Forms in Visual Arts

Elliot Crowley (University of Edinburgh): Visual Recognition in Art Using Machine Learning: A Retrospective


11:00–11.20 Break

Session 7: 11.20–12.20

Roundtable: Ways Forward? (All parties)

12.20–13.30 Lunch

To register for this event, please email Kathryn Brown: k.j.brown@lboro.ac.uk

Dr Kathryn Brown (School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University) will be discussing 'Barnes, Bots, and Bears: Chatting with AI in Museums' on 14 June 2022

As a follow on from the IAS event on AI and Cultural Heritage on 28th March 2022, please join us in person for 'Barnes, Bots, and Bears: Chatting with AI in Museums' with Dr Kathryn Brown (School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University).
Date: Tuesday 14 June 2022
Time: 3pm to 4pm
Venue: International House (in person)
Abstract: There is an increasing body of scholarship about the emergence and use of chatbots in museums and other heritage spaces. In addition to debating technological advances that are shaping this swiftly changing arena, much secondary literature focuses on the use of artificial intelligence to enhance visitor experience and to offer new avenues for communicating information about institutions and their collections. This paper explores museum rhetoric about the potential of artificial conversational agents and debates the gains and losses in this shift from human to computer. What myth of ‘conversation’ underpins the use of chatbots and is this an ethical presentation of a machine? What human activities do chatbots replace? When the Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia) was reported as having created a machine that functioned as an ‘intelligent art critic’ in 2018, did AI live up to this promise? I compare the visually imaginative construction of the Barnes Foundation collection with the results of algorithmic curation and use this as a basis from which to examine wider issues affecting the use of chatbots in the mediation of art collections.
The talk will be part of a series of events on AI and Cultural Heritage, which features upcoming visits to campus from Dr Ryan Cordell (University of Illinois) and Prof. Claire Warwick (Durham University).

Dr Ahmed Elgammal (Rutgers University)'AI and Art, from the Micro Level to the Macro Level, and from Analysis to Synthesis' talk and master class, 13 May 2022.

As a follow on from the IAS event on AI and Cultural Heritage on 28th March 2022, Dr Ahmed Elgammal (Rutgers University) visited campus in person on 13 May to deliver a talk entitled 'AI and Art, from the Micro Level to the Macro Level, and from Analysis to Synthesis' followed by a master class seminar. The event took place at International House from 1pm - 4pm.


Talk: 45-50 minute 

Master Class: two-hour seminar 

Abstract: In the talk, I will present results of ten years of research activities at the Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Rutgers University. We investigate perceptual and cognitive tasks related to understanding human creativity in visual art. In particular, we study problems related to formal elements of art including evolution of art styles, influence, and iconography. The talk will discuss computational models that aim at providing answers to questions about what characterizes the sequence and evolution of changes in style over time. I will also talk about how AI can help analyze art in new ways, at the micro level and macro level. 

In the seminar I will go deeper into several topics that are highlighted below: 

  • Computational models for quantifying elements and principle of art 
  • Computational models for understanding iconography 
  • Computational models for understanding evolution of style 
  • Prime objects and Replica mass and evolution of style 
  • Computational models for simulating the art producing system 
  • Art generation using AI, AI as a new medium. Art generated by AI and the issue of identity. How AI is used today by artists in making their art 
  • Advances in authentication of Art using AI 

Bio: Dr. Ahmed Elgammal is a professor at the Department of Computer Science and an Executive Council Faculty at the Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers University. He is the founder and director of the Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Rutgers, which focuses on data science in the culture domain. Prof. Elgammal has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and books in the fields of computer vision, machine learning and digital humanities. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2006.  Dr. Elgammal research on knowledge discovery in art history and AI-art generation received wide international media attention, including several reports on the Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, CBS News, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, Science News, and many others. Dr. Elgammal received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2000 and 2002, respectively. 

Dr Oonagh Murphy (Goldsmiths, UK) 'Bias Squared' seminar, 10 May 2022.

As a follow on from the IAS event on AI and Cultural Heritage on 28th March 2022, Dr Oonagh Murphy (Goldsmiths, UK) visited campus in person on 10 May to deliver a PGR seminar, followed by a networking session. The seminar and networking event took place at International House from 11am-1pm.

Dr Murphy is the founder of the Museums + AI Network and specialises in the application of emerging digital technology in the cultural heritage sector. The details of the seminar are below, and further information on how to sign up will be circulated closer to the time.

Seminar: Bias Squared (10 May 11am-12pm)

This seminar examined how institutional bias multiplies technological bias to shape how we see and experience the world. The focus of the discussion was on museums as public institutions and their role in shaping how visitors experience digitally mediated worlds. 


Please read the following text to prepare for the seminar:

Murphy, Oonagh and Villaespesa, Elena. 2021. Innovation, data and social responsibility. In: Haitham Eid and Melissa Forstrom, eds. Museum Innovation: Building More Equitable, Relevant and Impactful Museums. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780367481407

 The seminar was followed by refreshments and informal networking (12-1pm).


AI and Cultural Heritage, online event (28 March 2022), Loughborough University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)

AI and Cultural Heritage (Online Event)

The role and impact of AI is not limited to the scientific area; it also has enormous significance for society and culture. In the course of this event, our Fellows and invited speakers considered applications of AI and digital technology in the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) sector, examining the collection, analysis, and dissemination of cultural heritage data, how this information might be experienced, and the ethical issues raised by these processes.

Convened by: Lise Jaillant, Amalia Sabiescu, Rachael Grew

Recordings of the presentations are available on the IAS Website

AI: Facts, Fictions, Futures - the IAS Annual Theme for 2021 and 2022. Launching 17th November 2021.

Loughborough University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) is delighted to announce AI: Facts, Fictions, Futures, as the IAS Annual Theme for 2021-22. IAS Annual Themes run across the academic year, bringing leading international researchers to the University to work with colleagues in areas of established and emergent research excellence, catalysed by the Theme.

AI: Facts, Fictions, Futures is led by Prof Jin Xuan (AACME), Dr Lise Jaillant (SSH), Prof Qinggang Meng, (Comp Sci), Dr Amalia Sabiescu (Loughborough London), Prof Andrew Morris (DCA) and Prof Mohammed Quddus, (ABCE); further information about the Theme is available here.


Launch of the IAS Annual Theme AI: Facts, Fictions, Futures – Film Screening, followed by a Panel Discussion 

17th November 2021 3:00pm to 6:00pm (In-Person Event)

Coded Bias (2020): A documentary by Shalini Kantayya

We are delighted to announce that the IAS annual Theme of 2021-22 will be launched in November with an in-person screening of Shalini Kantayya’s multi-award-winning documentary Coded Bias, followed by a panel discussion Chaired by Professor Jin Xuan (AACME), Co-Lead of the IAS Theme, that will include IAS Visiting Fellows, invited scholars and Loughborough’s new Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Jennings.

Focusing on MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s discovery that many facial recognition technologies misclassify women and darker-skinned faces, Coded Bias raises compelling issues regarding the ubiquity of AI in everyday life and the impact of widespread algorithmic bias on matters of social justice, equity and governance. W‌atch the Coded Bias trailer.

The launch event will take place on Wednesday 17th November from 3pm to 6pm; light refreshments will be provided. Places are limited, to book, please click here.