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  • Writer's pictureJessica Witte

Project Announcement: HAZEL, a pilot generative artificial intelligence (AI) guidance assistant for Historic England

Updated: Apr 30

We are delighted to announce a partnership between researchers at the University of Edinburgh and experts at Historic England to explore applications for generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the cultural heritage sector. With funding from the Digital Strategy Innovation Board (Historic England), our team has begun developing HAZEL, a pilot generative AI chatbot designed to assist authors of Historic England's guidance literature. Powered by a fine-tuned GPT model, HAZEL will provide support during the writing and editing stages by suggesting revisions that improve the clarity, accessibility and inclusivity of written content. 

  

At the pilot stage, HAZEL will provide text summarisation and analysis capabilities for internal users and suggestions for enhancing and extending content. These suggestions might include updating language to improve inclusivity and tone, such as using gender-neutral versions of nouns and pronouns, in addition to changes that would ensure compatibility with text-to-speech software and other accessibility tools. Therefore, we hope that our work provides a meaningful contribution not only to the emerging body of knowledge about generative AI capabilities for heritage contexts, but also for improving accessibility and inclusion in written content.  

 

Alongside the technical development work, the team will be ‘interviewing’ generative AI models to explore the ethical implications of creating HAZEL and its potential impact on the organisational culture, voice and discourse of Historic England and other possible heritage organisations. This research, combining deeply qualitative and data-intensive methods, will be published as peer-reviewed journal articles and presented at international conferences. 

 

Team: Dr Chiara Bonacchi (PI, University of Edinburgh); Dr Jessica Witte (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Project Manager; University of Edinburgh); Edmund Lee and Lisa Brausem (CIs, Historic England); Dr Terrie Lynn Thompson (Research Collaborator, University of Stirling) and Daniel Pett (Historic England).



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