Getting Ready for AI at IOPC: First What is the Problem, and is AI the Answer?

27th June 15:40 – 16:00

Speaker: Rebekah Taylor & Angharad Turner

Abstract: This talk will focus on assessment of records for disposal and permanent preservation (IOPC coming under the Public Records Act in 2018), and challenges we are having in relation to selection of records on a number of systems, including email and legacy systems such as shared drives.

While IOPC is an Arms-length body (ALB) in the early stages of looking at a roadmap for AI, this talk will look at the importance of not solutionising, and just ‘doing AI’ for the sake of ‘doing AI’ and ‘keeping up’ with other bodies.

The talk will look at questions we are asking ourselves within the records management team, and what we need to know to determine the best approach (including beneficial reading and talks we have attended). What are the issues we are facing? What do we need to solve? While AI can be a powerful tool, are there other options to consider? What are costs required? What are the benefits? What extend of records in the future will we be producing/how much of that is likely to be kept for permanent preservation – what resourcing do we need?

We will also be looking at how we are undertaking ‘get ready’ assessments, and also identifying how we need to ensure our data foundations are in place.

Bio: Rebekah Taylor has had experience of working as both a Records Manager and Archivist, since graduating with an MSc in Archive Administration at the University of Aberystwyth in 2012. She has worked at the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) since 2016, firstly as the Hillsborough Archive Manager, and then as the Records Manager and Departmental Records Officer since 2020; work has included looking at our Public Records act obligations, which the IOPC came under in 2018. Previously she worked as an Archivist at the University of Creative Arts from 2012.

Angharad Turner is the Archives Manager for the Hillsborough investigation at the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Following a traineeship at Liverpool University, she started her career as an Archives Assistant on the Hillsborough Investigation in 2013, when the investigation was still in its early stages. Having completed a PGDip in Archives and Records Management with the University of Dundee, she went on to work as a Corporate Information Officer with the Science Museum Group, covering Freedom of Information, Data Protection, and Records Management. She returned to the Hillsborough investigation in 2022 to work on preparing the investigative records for early transfer to the National Archives. The volume of material created and received by the investigation, the commitment to providing the utmost transparency and accountability to the public, and the need to ensure appropriate safeguards in a highly sensitive set of records, led her to develop an interest in the potential uses of AI for digital records. She has previously participated in workshops and interviews for the LUSTRE project and is preparing an article for a forthcoming special issue of AI & Society on making digital records more accessible with AI.