19 December 2018

Living with Machines: can LAC and SSHRC be inspired?

A new £9.2 million UK initiative is funded that will see data scientists working with curators, historians, geographers and computational linguists with the goal of devising new methods in data science and artificial intelligence that can be applied to historical resources, producing tools and software to analyse digitised collections at scale for the first time.

Family Tree magazine has a news release here.

At a recent LAC meeting a LAC speaker mentioned that the need to make their holdings amenable to data mining is on their radar.

I reached out to Ian Milligan, a leading Canadian digital historian, for a comment:

This is really exciting news out of the UK. I think Canada is moving in this direction – the recent SSHRC “New Frontiers in Research Fund” is really promising as it aims to support interdisciplinary and high-risk research – but we’re not quite there yet in terms of the ability to bring together this much funding to involve such large teams of experts across fields. Library and Archives Canada is moving in new innovative directions, however, so hopefully SSHRC and LAC can be inspired by this sort of work to begin to imagine funding schemes that could support this kind of work.

 Looking forward to seeing more as this comes together.. I think I just saw the first glimmers of this on my Twitter timeline this morning.

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