Cultural AI Lab

Cultural AI Lab

A collaboration between the KNAW Humanities Cluster (KNAW HuC), the National Library of the Netherlands (KB), the Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, TNO, the University of Amsterdam, the VU University Amsterdam, and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI).

De Boelelaan 1105 + Science Park 900, 1098 XH Amsterdam

Cultural AI Lab bridges the gap between cultural heritage institutes, the humanities, and informatics. It is a collaboration between Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), the KNAW Humanities Cluster (KNAW HuC), the National Library of the Netherlands (KB), the Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Wereldmuseum, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam.

Artificial Intelligence plays a crucial role in analysing digitised cultural collections and making them accessible. Cultural AI Lab wants to harness the potential of AI for cultural research, and make the technology aware of cultural context. Core research themes revolve around public values such as diversity and inclusivity. The lab investigates how technology can deal with biases in data, account for multiple perspectives and subjective interpretations and bridge cultural differences.

Cultural AI Lab’s mission is the study, design and development of socio-technological AI systems that are implicitly or explicitly aware of the subtle and subjective complexity of human culture. The lab is as much about using AI for understanding human culture as it is about using knowledge and expertise from the humanities to analyse and improve AI technology. It studies how to deal with input and output data in the context of the intended (or other) application areas, how to deal with cultural bias in data and technology and how to build AI technology that is optimised for cultural and ethical values.

Sustainable Development Goals

Research projects

  • AI:CULT - Culturally aware AI: addresses the gap between AI and our digital  cultural heritage. ‍
  • SABIO - The SociAl BIas Observatory: aimed at investigating bias in the digital collections of the members of the Dutch Digital Heritage Network.
  • BETTER-Mods - Better Informing Citizens about Current Debates:  develop and evaluate digital tools for improving the quality of online discussions about current debates (ranging from, for example, COVID-19 to Black Pete and climate change), to better inform citizens.


Marieke van Erp
Laura Hollink
Victor de Boer

PHD Students

Marieke van Erp
Laura Hollink
Victor de Boer


Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision is the institute for media culture and a leading knowledge institute in the field of media culture and AV archiving.

KB is the national library of the Netherlands. The KB promotes the visibility, usability and longevity of the Dutch Library Collection.

KNAW Humanities Cluster is an alliance between Meertens Institute, Huygens ING, and the International Institute for Social History.

Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a broad research and education university in Amsterdam.

University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
KB National Library of the Netherlands
KNAW Humanities Cluster
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
University of Amsterdam

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