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AI and the future of digital preservation

AI and the Future of Digital Preservation

Webinar Details

Date and Time 18 June 2024, 16:00 CET (UTC+2)
Organizers IFLA Information Technology Section, Artificial Intelligence Special Interest Group, and IFLA Preservation and Conservation Section


Digital preservation is the safeguarding and maintenance of digital content to ensure its accessibility and usability over time. In the era of rapidly advancing technology, preservation of digital records and artifacts becomes crucial for retaining our cultural, historical, and scientific heritage.

The concept of digitally born documents refers to information that originates in a digital format, rather than being a digital representation of a physical document. This includes emails, blogs, social media posts, and other content created and disseminated solely in the digital realm. Ebooks represent a significant shift in how we consume literature, and their preservation is vital for future generations. Preserving these documents (as well as grey literature and other special formats) requires proactive measures to address format obsolescence and data integrity.

Preserving digital arts (including performance and immersive art) involves overcoming unique challenges presented by constantly evolving technologies and formats. Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a role in the curation and restoration of digital artworks, ensuring that the essence and intent of the artist are maintained, even as the underlying technologies change.

AI is increasingly becoming a valuable tool in digital preservation initiatives. AI algorithms can aid in the automatic categorization, tagging, and metadata creation for digital content, making it easier to manage and retrieve information. Additionally, machine learning models can contribute to the identification and mitigation of digital decay or obsolescence and can act as aids to making sense, finding and summarization and synthesis of large earlier era knowledge. AI can assist in the organization and cataloging of vast digital libraries, helping users discover and access diverse literary works with greater efficiency.

While AI presents new possibilities for digital preservation and especially now multimedia archives, it also brings challenges such as ethical considerations, biases in algorithms, and the need for continuous adaptation to emerging technologies. Striking a balance between innovation and ethical responsibility is crucial in leveraging artificial intelligence for the long-term preservation of digital content.

Call for Papers

For our webinar, we are looking for papers describing practical experience encompassing both completed pragmatic successful projects but also beta prototypes, research and development, and recent test results in these areas outlined below with particular attention to new generation AI possibilities:

Topics of Interest

  1. Automated Metadata Generation
  2. Content Categorization and Classification
  3. Format Migration and File 'Normalization'
  4. Digital Decay Detection
  5. Automation of Content Appraisal
  6. Facial and Object Recognition
  7. Language Processing for Textual Content
  8. Digital Restoration of Media
  9. Predictive Analysis for Preservation Planning
  10. Enhanced Access and Discovery
  11. Monitoring and Security

Important Dates

Submission Deadline 19 April 2024
Notification of Selection 3 May 2024
Webinar 18 June 2024, 16:00 CET (UTC+2)

Submission Guidelines

Proposals must be in English and include the following information:

  • Title of proposal
  • Abstract of the proposal (No more than 500 words)
  • Name/s of presenters and positions and/or titles
  • Employer or affiliated institution
  • Contact information including email address and telephone number
  • Short biographical statement of no more than 100 words
  • Note a willingness to comply with IFLA’s Authors’ Permission
  • Presentation slides submitted with author permission form. Full papers are recommended but not obligatory and will be published in IFLA’s online Repository following webinar

Contact Information

Please contact the following email addresses for inquiries:

  • Alenka Kavčič Čolić: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Miguel Angel Mardero Arellano: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Notes

  • Presentations must be in English. Each presentation should be no more than 20 minutes in length with discussion at the end of each session.
  • Abstracts and papers should be sent in Microsoft Word file, doc or rtf. formats.
  • The webinar will be recorded and published on IFLA websites.