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SAILS Lunch Time Seminar

Monday 11 October 2021

Gerhard de Kok

AI and historical research

Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) is revolutionizing historical research. Models trained using neural networks can now read seventeenth and eighteenth century handwriting better than most humans alive today. Such models have already automatically transcribed vast archives, including those of the Dutch East and West India Companies (WIC and VOC). The resulting transcriptions are not perfect, but they open up new avenues for research. For the first time in history, it is possible to search through these archives with full text search. The millions of pages of transcriptions also invite further exploration through the use of NLP techniques. A first experiment with word embeddings has already led to some promising results.

Please email for more information or if you would like to attend the seminar.

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