The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence. It was established in 2015 with headquarters at the British Library in London. The work of the Institute is achieved through collaborations between universities, businesses, and public and third sector organisations to address some of the biggest challenges in science, society and the economy.
Currently Rachel Salzano, a PhD student within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, is contributing to the institute’s research on detecting and understanding harmful content online. She has been employed by the Institute in two roles.
In her first role, Rachel is a member of a team of annotators who have been assisting with research into online abuse and hate speech as part of the Hate speech: measures and counter-measures project. This work has involved reviewing comments and posts in Reddit threads, then annotating them for hate speech against identities (e.g. race, gender, class, age, religion, nationality) and affiliations (e.g. jobs/careers, political parties) using an established taxonomy.
Rachel’s second role at the Alan Turing Institute is as a Policy Analyst. Here Rachel is assisting in policy research on the use of hate speech tools by policy makers, and means of regulating and detecting online abuse. In this work Rachel supports the research team across a range of activities including literature reviewing, developing questionnaire/interview questions, and conducting statistical analysis on data collected for the project.
Rachel is carrying out this work while working on her doctoral study on the influence of culture on the information behaviour and use in public libraries of newcomer populations such as immigrants and refugees. To find out more about Rachel’s PhD, please see her blogged PhD musings on her web site Librarian sans library.