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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of AI in Qualitative Analysis

Christina Silver, CAQDAS Networking Project, University of Surrey

Steve Wright, University of Central Lancashire

SRA Annual Conference, 6 June 2024. 

Abstract 

Building on the Symposium on AI in Qualitative Analysis that Christina organised in collaboration with the SRA late 2023, this talk considers where we are now at in terms of the role and use of AI in the qualitative research process.

Christina and Steve discuss some of the key methodological and ethical considerations that face the qualitative community of practice in this new AI-infiltrated world.

Whether you work with in academic, government, industry, voluntary, or other sectors, there are issues to critically evaluate before using Generative-AI which Christina and Steve urge every qualitative and mixed methods researcher to consider 

References mentioned

Paulus TM & Marone V (2024)

"In Minutes Instead of Weeks": Discursive Constructions of Generative AI and Qualitative Data Analysis. Qualitative Inquiry. Published Online May 8th 2024

Emily M. Bender, Timnit Gebru, Angelina McMillan-Major, and Shmargaret Shmitchell. (2021)

On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?. In Proceedings of the 2021 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAccT '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 610–623. 

Kristi Jackson, Queri, Trena Paulus, University of Georgia &
Nicholas H. Woolf, Woolf Consulting (2018)

The Walking Dead Genealogy: Unsubstantiated Criticisms of Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) and the Failure to Put Them to Rest

Relevant podcast and youtube videos

Mystery AI Hype Theatre 3000

Episode 28: LLMs Are Not Human Subjects. March 4, 2024

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CAQDAS Chat with Christina

Episode 10: Christina Chats with Janet Salmons. May 31, 2024

From 30 mins we begin talking about research integrity and the ethics of using generative AI

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Symposium on AI in Qualitative Analysis

Organised by the Social Research Association in partnership with the CAQDAS Networking Project

Part 1 AI in Qualitative Analysis: Developments and Methodological implications. November 25, 2023. Full recording available on YouTube

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Part 2 AI in Qualitative Analysis: Research Applications, Opportunities and Challenges, December 2, 2023. Full recording available on YouTube

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Blogposts

Artifical Intelligence and Machine Learning in Qualitative Analysis

Steve Wright 

Important Issues for Automated Transcription, 

David Woods, Lead Developer of Transana. 

Automated transcription and some risks of machine interpretation

Daniel Turner, Director of Quirkos Software

AI in Qualitative Research, blog series

Christina Silver, Director of CAQDAS Networking Project, University of Surrey

& Director of Qualitative Data Analysis Services (QDAS) 

Future workshops

Software mentioned in the talk

(NB: these are not all the available options, just those mentioned in this talk).

 

For reviews of these and other CAQDAS packages see the CAQDAS Networking Project website and the Qualitative AI blog series

 

  • AILYZE - founded 2023 - Generative-AI for Qualitative Analysis (proprietary models not OpenAI)

  • ATLAS.ti - founded 1989 - Established CAQDAS package incorporating Generative-AI tools since 2023 (using OpenAI models)

  • CoLoop - founded 2023 - Generative-AI for Qualitative Analysis (using OpenAI models)

  • DiscoverText - founded 2009 - Established CAQDAS combining human interpretation and machine-learning to perform text classification

  • MAXQDA - founded 1989 - Established CAQDAS package incorporating Generative-AI tools since 2023 (using OpenAI models)

  • NVivo - founded 1980s - Established CAQDAS package incorporating sentiment analysis, pattern-based auto-coding and automated identification of noun-phrases as well as automated transcription (no generative-ai capabilities, yet)

  • Quirkos - founded 2013 - Established CAQDAS package incorporating automated transcription since 2023

  • Reveal - founded 2024 - Generative-AI for Qualitative Analysis (using OpenAI models)

  • Transana - founded 2002 - Established CAQDAS package incorporating automated transcription since 2023

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