Biographies form an interesting object of investigation for both historians and researchers from social sciences. They are particularly suitable for analysis with computer techniques, since individuals share a set of common characteristics that can be relatively easily identified by a machine, such as a birthdate, a partner, a profession, and a network. Tools and approaches from the digital humanities can be used for both quantitative analyses of such data and for providing leads for more qualitative research questions.
This Working Group’s main aim is to exchange information between researchers from various fields working on biographies and digital technology. We particularly focus on bringing together researchers from humanities and social science who have an interest in studying biographies and researchers working on natural language processing and semantic web technologies who can provide new ways of looking at the data. Central questions around this topic are: What can we do already with computational methods with the huge amount of digital biographical data that is available? What will we be able to do in the future? What will we not be able to do?
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