Welcome to CNI’s Spring 2021 Membership Meeting - meeting attendance is limited.
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Monday, March 15 • 9:00am - 9:30am
Centering The Human Expert: Experiments in Computer Vision Infrastructure for Digital Collection Management

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We will report on a computer vision (CV) and GUI experiment at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries to incorporate visual similarity search to help archivists and metadata specialists search, de-duplicate, and describe a large institutional photo archive. Rather than trying to replace the archivist by creating an image classifier, we aimed to make a flexible, search-based technological aid that centered the human decision-maker. The main goal of this prototype was to test what combination of system architecture and user interfaces would be most useful for a production-ready CV infrastructure for managing visual digital collections, and begin to think about how it could impact wider workflows for describing, linking, and publishing our collections. After describing the challenges presented by this particular collection and the specific experimental tasks and results we did, we will discuss the immediate implications for archival organization, UI design, and CV research, particularly the need for models fine-tuned to historical, non-born-digital photographs, and the risks of reinforcing systemic racial and gender bias when using pretrained CV models.


avatar for Julia Corrin

Julia Corrin

University Archivist, Carnegie Mellon University
Julia Corrin is the university archivist at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her MSI from the University of Michigan in 2012. She formerly held the position of Political Collections Archivist at Arkansas State University.
avatar for Matthew Lincoln

Matthew Lincoln

Collections Information Architect, Carnegie Mellon University
avatar for Emily Davis

Emily Davis

AV & Collections Archivist, Carnegie Mellon University

Monday March 15, 2021 9:00am - 9:30am EDT
Pre-recorded Video