DALAI - Using artificial intelligence to improve the quality and usability of digital records

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Improving the quality and usability of digital materials by means of artificial intelligence (Dalai) is a project led by the National Archives and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Partners of the National Archives in the project are the Central Archives for Finnish Business Records (Elka), South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Ltd (Xamk) and Disec Oy. 

The purpose of Dalai is to develop the automation of the digitisation of cultural heritage materials and the automated description of such materials through artificial intelligence. In addition, the project promotes the introduction of the methods developed.

The main target group comprises memory organisations, archives, museums and libraries that digitise and provide digital materials to their customers, as well as companies that develop services related to digitisation and the processing of digital materials.

Dalai cooperates closely with the operators of the Mikkeli Memory Campus in particular, and the results developed in the project will be openly available to all organisations digitising their materials.

The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund’s ”Sustainable growth and jobs 2012–2020” programme and the City of Mikkeli. The project was launched on 1 September 2021 and will end on 31 August 2023.

Partners in the project

The National Archives is responsible for three work packages, which develop tools for the automatic validation of digital image quality, material typology and the identification of entities.

Disec Oy, which provides services for organisation information management processes, is responsible for testing the models developed in the project, especially using the Memory Campus’ operator network. The components developed in the project will be integrated into a user interface, which is developed by the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

National Archives of Finland

The National Archives is an agency belonging to the administrative branch of the Ministry of Education and Culture and covering the whole country.

The tasks of the National Archives include ensuring the preservation of official documents that are part of Finland’s cultural heritage, acting as the specialist authority on the permanent preservation and the archiving of official documents and their information and promoting the availability, use and research of permanently preserved documents and their content.

As part of its tasks, the National Archives has already been carrying out and developing the digitisation of documents belonging to the national cultural heritage and the usability of digital documents for 20 years. 

Elka – Central Archives for Finnish Business Records

Elka, Central Archives for Finnish Business Records, has been operating in Mikkeli since 1981. The purpose of Elka is to secure the preservation of historical information and traditions concerning and related to Finnish business life. The material in Elka is intended for use by existing and future researchers of various fields of science as well as other people who need such information. Elka also has an archive of Finnish design.

The materials handed over to Elka have been digitised since the beginning of the 2000s. A large part of the archives is still received in paper form, but as document management is digitised, Elka will also develop its electronic services to meet the needs of companies and document users.

South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Xamk

Xamk is the central research, knowledge and innovation cluster of two regions. Measured in terms of RDI performance, Xamk is the largest and most research and development intensive university of applied sciences in Finland. Xamk has more than 20 years of experience in project activities. It has approximately 200 ongoing projects.

Xamk’s strength areas support regional strategies and action plans. The guidelines of the EU’s research and innovation programmes have also been taken into consideration in the strength areas. The digital economy strength area has excellent proof of project activity in the research, development and product development of digital data management and archiving.

Disec

Founded in 2004, Disec Oy is a Mikkeli-based company offering information management and digitisation services. Disec is a spin-off company set up through a joint EU project between Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences and Southern Savo Hospital District. From South Savo, Disec offers versatile SaaS (Software as a Service) services to both big and small private and public sector operators. Currently, its customers include national health operators, major cities, universities, museums and archives.

Further information

  • Maija Mäkikalli, Project Manager, maija.makikalli@kansallisarkisto.fi

Project group

National Archives of Finland

  • Maiju Pohjola, Product Owner
  • Maija Mäkikalli, Project Manager
  • Riikka Marttila, Chief Designer of Machine Learning (on family leave)
  • Mikko Lipsanen, Lead Machine Learning Designer
  • Atte Föhr, Machine Learning Designer
  • Satu Palander, Data Coordinator
  • Roosa Kytöaho, Producer of Training Data
  • Laura Kukkohovi, Producer of Training Data
  • Vesa Laitinen, Producer of Training Data

ELKA – Central Archives for Finnish Business Records

  • Tuire Paajanen, Project Specialist
  • Satu Soivanen, Producer of Training Data
  • Mika Kokkonen, IT Specialist

XAMK – South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuomo Räisänen, Software Designer
  • Mira Kolari, Software Designer
  • Anssi Jääskeläinen, Research Manager

Disec Oy

  • Aki Lassila