UCL Research Domains


Artificial Intelligence in qualitative sociological research: strategies, tactics and ethics

Christina Silver: Workshop lead for AI & Sociological Research, 20 March 2024

20 March 2024 (2pm to 4.30pm)
Room W3.05, Level 3, Whitty Wing, IOE Main Building, UCL, 20 Bedford Way

  • The workshop is fully booked.  If you would like to join a waiting list, please click on the relevant link below:
    UCL researchers (post docs and above): Waiting list   
    UCL PhD students: Waiting list
  • This is an in-person workshop for a maximum of 30 UCL researchers
  • There will be an opportunity to experiment with selected AI tools during the workshop, so bring a laptop if you'd like to participate in the hands-on element. It is also possible to participate without a laptop

What is this workshop about?
The past 12 months has seen increasing discussion about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in qualitative research, spurred by widespread access to generative-AI technologies such as ChatGPT.  This workshop discusses the rise of AI in qualitative research, focusing in particular on data preparation and analysis tools. This includes AI-assisted transcription tools, the use of chatbots alongside other qualitative analysis tools, the integration of generative-AI technology into already established qualitative software; and the rise of new generative-AI applications designed specifically for qualitative data analysis tasks.

Selected tools will be illustrated and the implications of these developments for the practice of qualitative research will be discussed. When are these tools appropriate? What do researchers need to know about them? How is their emergence influencing qualitative methodologies? What are the ethics of using them? What should we be cautious and excited about? How can the qualitative community shape their continued development?

Workshop lead
Christina Silver PhD is Associate Professor (Teaching) in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey, where she is Director of the CAQDAS Networking Project. She is also co-founder of Qualitative Data Analysis Services, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). She is author of many publications about the use of digital tools for qualitative analysis, including Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step by Step Guide (with Ann Lewins) and Qualitative Analysis with ATLAS.ti/MAXQDA/NVivo: The Five-Level QDA Method (with Nick Woolf). Since 1998 Christina has specialised in computer-assisted qualitative data analysis and she has become a leading specialist in the field, with a unique depth and breadth of understanding and expertise in the area. Christina has trained more than 20,000 researchers around the world working across sectors and disciplines to harness these tools powerfully.

Professor Katherine Twamley, Chair, UCL Sociology Network / Professor of Sociology, Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Social Research Institute, IOE, UCL.