To further develop the field of digital humanities and understand more about the impact of datafication in the field of culture, the Faculty of Cultural Studies (FCS) Universitas Brawijaya (UB) invited a researcher, an associate professor in the field of digital humanities, Dr. Matti Pohjonen from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Dr. Pohjonen was invited to give a guest lecture to FCS UB lecturers about his experience and expertise.

The guest lecture was held on Monday (1/22/2024). The event began with remarks from the Dean of FCS UB, Hamamah, Ph.D., who expressed her joy at Dr. Pohjonen’s presence at FCS UB in the midst of his busy schedule.

“Dr. Matti, I would like to thank you and extend our warm welcome and sincere gratitude, as you’re willing to spend your time with us during your tight schedule.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Matti brings with him his knowledge and expertise, especially in the fascinating realm of datafication as a theory and method. This lecture offers a unique opportunity to understand how data can profoundly influence our understanding of the world, and this can reach beyond disciplinary,” she added.

Shortly after, Scarletina Vidyayani Eka, S.S, M. Hum., lecturer of the English Literature Study Program at FCS UB, the moderator of the guest lecture, also highlighted the importance of this lecture in paving the way for new developments in the world of digital humanities at FCS UB. She emphasized that Dr. Pohjonen’s background in digital technology, data science, and philosophy became a strong foundation in the discussion of datafication as a theory and method.

In his presentation entitled “Datafication as Theory and Method: Current and Future Challenges in a Global and Comparative Context”, Dr. Pohjonen introduced the complexity of datafication and its implications for various research fields. He also discussed the double challenges faced in datafication and how to navigate the changes in digital humanities.

The guest lecture became more interactive when participants, including Syariful Muttaqin, Ph.D., Head of the Master of Linguistics Program, raised interesting questions about the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and datafication in linguistics research.

“Last year, our study program was accredited by AQAS and they suggested integrating more computational linguistics, increasing the use of technology in our linguistic analysis. How can we integrate more datafication and artificial intelligence (AI) in our studies? Do you have any suggestions on the software we can use?” he asked.

“One of the things that I’m trying to emphasize towards the end of the lecture is that many of the solutions are problems when you’re dealing with languages they have not fully developed for,” Dr. Pohjonen said.

“Regarding your question, there are hundreds of software, some are very expensive, some are free. But it’s very hard to tell which one works for each language. So, what we do is we work with computer scientists, and this is not difficult. If you have theoretical knowledge and you collaborate with those who have technical knowledge, I think that’s the best for your situation,” he adds.

The discussion with Dr. Pohjonen provided new insights into the transformative potential of datafication and digital humanities in academia. The guest lecture was not only an opportunity to expand knowledge, but also opened the door for future collaborations and innovative research. [trans.acl/ed.vidya/PR FCS]