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Historica's blog is a special feed of publications on the application of AI and historical research. Here, researchers, history enthusiasts, and those entranced by the marriage of history and technology gather to share their new explorations

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Generative AI

The Future of History in the Age of AI

In this feature, the author examines the transformative influence of generative AI on historical scholarship. Discover how this innovative technology is reshaping traditional research methodologies, from data analysis to knowledge dissemination.
Victoria Clark
Victoria Clark
May 15, 2024
9
min read
Generative AI
Historical Research
Historical Processes
History and Predictive Analysis depicted on the map

Depths of History: Predictive Analysis and the Quest for Understanding

Historians are integrating predictive analysis into their research, uncovering hidden patterns in historical data and even forecasting future trends. This approach, notably used to reconstruct ancient texts, presents challenges such as bias and data availability but offers immense potential for deeper historical insights.
Vasiliki Sampa
Vasiliki Sampa
May 3, 2024
6
min read
Generative AI
Predictive Modelling
Mathematical Models
Students learning history with AI

AI Innovations in History Teaching and Mapping

In this article, the author explores how AI's capabilities in data analysis, virtual reconstructions, and personalized learning reshape historical education, offering new perspectives and fostering greater engagement.
author
Tatiana But
April 17, 2024
5
min read
Generative AI
History
History through AI Spanish Civil War

A Contemplation: Orwell in the ChatGPT Universe

This article explores the intersection of literature, history, and artificial intelligence through George Orwell's experiences during the Spanish Civil War and his enduring views on language and propaganda.
Writer and editor
Crystal Reiss
April 9, 2024
7
min read
Generative AI
History
Children in a classroom engaged in computer generative AI learning

AI in History Classrooms: How Artificial Intelligence can Foster Genuine Learning

This article examines the educational implications of using AI in historical research and classroom teaching. Learn how AI is reimagining research methodologies and advancing critical thinking skills and how AI can be used to empower educators and students to navigate the complexities of the past.
Julianna DeSilvia
Julianna DeSilvia
March 14, 2024
7
min read
Generative AI
Digital Humanities
Historical Research
People learn about AI in extracting and exposing different historical narratives

Responsible human-guided AI in extracting and exposing different historical narratives

In this blog post, author explores the delicate balance between performance and safety in AI applications, focusing on extracting narratives from school history learning materials. The author discusses responsible AI development, favoring transparency and cautious experimentation.
chih-chun chen
Chih-Chun Chen
February 28, 2024
5
min read
Historical Processes
Digital Humanities
Generative AI
Historical Research
 A painting depicting a group of people in a room, learning about history and artificial intelligence identity.

Identity and AI: large language models, group dynamics and community building

Do large language models possess any kind of “identity”? On the one hand, such models ostensibly stand apart from the identity formations of human life; on the other, they are trained on texts and images derived from a world that understands identity – both claimed and attributed – as an inherent element in navigating social space. This article addresses how far this tension may undermine some of AI’s grander claims, but nonetheless offers distinct ways of thinking about our position in the world, and our relationship to history.
angus russell
Angus Russell
February 23, 2024
8
min read
AI Identity
Machine Learning Models
Digital Humanities
A robot at desk with book, engrossed in reading Historica's blog

Embracing Artificial Intelligence in Archival and Historical Scholarship: A Step Forward in Digitizing the Past

This article explores how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping archival and historical scholarship, focusing on Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) systems and ChatGPT.
salvatore-spina
Salvatore Spina
February 21, 2024
4
min read
Historical Research
Digital Humanities
Generative AI
Man is writing about history and AI

Evaluating history, or solving it? Thoughts on the epistemology of historical “discoveries”

This article starts from a recent paper on the application of large language models to mathematical problems, to ask how far “evaluating” and “solving” are conceptually useful in understanding the past. It explores whether the idea of knowledge as “discovery” can be applied to history, and, if so, what that would mean for the parameters invoked by, and applied to, machine learning.
angus russell
Angus Russell
February 1, 2024
7
min read
Generative AI
History
Historical Research
Historical Processes
Mathematical Models
Researches discuss art history and ai axioms

Art, History, AI, and Axioms

Discover the impact of AI on art and history through insightful axioms. Explore ethical considerations, AI's role in historical research, and the balance between human and AI capabilities.
Anastasia Serbinova
Anastasia Serbinova
January 22, 2024
8
min read
History
Historical Processes
Ethics
Historical Research
The team is working on ontology using AI

Is it possible to create an ontology that could serve as the basis for describing the history of humanity using AI?

Developing an ontology for AI in human history, crucial for a digital footprint, involves interdisciplinary challenges: diverse data, multiple interpretations, expanding datasets, language barriers, standardization issues, and ethical considerations.
Anastasia Serbinova
Anastasia Serbinova
December 23, 2023
5
min read
Generative AI
History
Digital Humanities
Ontological Bridges
Machine Learning and Human History in a library

The Perspective of Academic Historians on Projects Attempting to Use AI to Create The Digital Footprint of Human History

In the quest for an unbiased Digital Footprint of Human History, the emphasis is not on achieving a singular, definitive history but on embracing the multitude of human experiences and perspectives. AI, when harnessed to present multiple viewpoints, becomes a catalyst for a more inclusive and dynamic dialogue about the past.
Anastasia Serbinova
Anastasia Serbinova
December 11, 2023
5
min read
Historical Research
Digital Humanities
History
Generative AI
An ai-generated map showcasing difficulties and complexities of borders in historical research

Territoriality, borders, maps: fixity and flexibility in historical research

How do maps created fixed points, and what do those points reveal about history? This article explores how the information provided by maps can be rendered flexible and responsive throughAI-generated models, and so open up new avenues of historical research. 
angus russell
Angus Russell
November 16, 2023
6
min read
Historical Research
Historical Processes
Generative AI
History
Digital Humanities
The Choice Between Virtue and Vice depicted man's choice and the eternal dilemma in historical research

A Reality Check on McKinsey's AI Bias Matrix

McKinsey addresses algorithmic bias in AI neatly and structurally but overlooks inherent philosophical paradoxes and complexity dynamics. A multidisciplinary, agile model that incorporates ethical pluralism and continuous adaptation better suits today's AI landscape. Revisiting older frameworks is essential due to shifting societal norms and emerging regulations.
Fedor Ragin
Fedor Ragin
November 14, 2023
8
min read
History
Generative AI
Machine Learning Models
Ethics
A robot with metal body and a face represents learning confluence of machine learning and history

ML and History: Trust and Its Implications

The intriguing confluence of machine learning and history, where trust plays a central role. With its historical significance in both medieval and modern contexts influences our understanding of the past. The article discovers the challenges and far-reaching implications of trusting machine learning as effective arbiters of history.
angus russell
Angus Russell
October 20, 2023
6
min read
History
Historical Research
Generative AI
Machine Learning Models
"Melencolia I" features a winged figure amidst scientific and mathematical tools, an enigmatic polyhedron, and a magic square. The scene captures themes of introspection, knowledge, and existential weight.

The Unfreedom of Choice

Incomplete knowledge of history shapes strategic advantage and de facto freedom in a deterministic world. The tension between predestination and free will resolves through the sustaining power of historical ignorance.
Fedor Ragin
Fedor Ragin
October 13, 2023
2
min read
History
Incomplete Knowledge
Predetermined World
Determinism
A man using a laptop in a trench discovering digital history revolution.

Generative AI and the (Tame) Digital History Revolution

What is the transformative potential of generative AI like ChatGPT in historical research? Beyond its writing abilities, generative AI can analyze data, summarize text, and create visual aids like graphs and charts. This technology promises to revolutionize historical research, simplifying data processing and opening new avenues for exploration in the digital era of history.
Mark Humphries
Mark Humphries
September 14, 2023
8
min read
Generative AI
History
A desk with two monitors displaying the ai hallucinations.

Hallucinations in Generative AI Models

Discover the mathematical underpinnings behind AI hallucinations and the significance of latent spaces. Despite the ability to handle vast datasets efficiently, generative models sometimes produce "hallucinations," creative but inaccurate outputs.
Ivan Sysoev
Ivan Sysoev
September 12, 2023
3
min read
Generative AI
Digital Humanities
"The Ambassadors" (1533) by Holbein depicts two figures with scientific instruments, symbolizing Renaissance knowledge. A distorted skull at the bottom serves as a reminder of mortality.

Cliodynamics and Mathematical Models in History. Part 3

Artzrouni and Komlos's 1996 spatial model visually represents territorial dynamics in Europe from 500 to 1800 AD using a grid system. The model underscores the influence of a state's border position and suggests coastal countries form more predictably than inland ones. However, it highlights the limitations of solely using geopolitical mechanisms to predict empire dynamics. Turchin believes other factors, like Ibn Khaldun's concept of "asabiyyah" (collective solidarity), play a significant role in empire rise and fall.
Dr. Alexander Tsikhilov
Dr. Alexander Tsikhilov
August 17, 2023
3
min read
Mathematical Models
Cliodynamics
Historical Processes
Rubens' "A Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt" depicts a chaotic scene of men battling a fierce hippopotamus and crocodile amidst a turbulent waterscape.

Cliodynamics and Mathematical Models in History. Part 2

Peter Turchin utilizes the Lotka-Volterra (predator-prey) equation, originally designed to model population dynamics between predators and their prey, to understand the complexities of medieval agrarian states. These states, according to Turchin, can be viewed as oscillating systems influenced by variables like territory size and military success. Drawing from Randall Collins' geopolitical theory, Turchin identifies key parameters such as geopolitical resources, logistic loads, and peripheral position. The interplay of these variables results in non-linear relationships between territory size and rate of change, suggesting there's an equilibrium point beyond which territorial expansion becomes inefficient for the state.
Dr. Alexander Tsikhilov
Dr. Alexander Tsikhilov
August 10, 2023
4
min read
Cliodynamics
Mathematical Models
Historical Processes
Léon Cogniet's 1835 painting depicts Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, capturing the drama and ambition of the era with detailed figures and vivid landscapes.

Ontological Bridges: Fusing Archaeology, Digital Technology, and AI for a Comprehensive View of History

The University of Barcelona's team is exploring how combining AI, digital technology, and archaeological methods can provide a deeper understanding of history. Their research introduces concepts like Units of Topography and Actor to enrich archaeological standards. This approach aims to make history more accessible and better understood through modern technology while valuing human interpretation.
Fedor Ragin
Fedor Ragin
August 3, 2023
3
min read
Unit of Stratigraphy (US)
Units of Topography (UT)
Ontological Bridges
Archaeology
History
"The Art of Painting" by Johannes Vermeer depicts a painter at an easel, capturing a young woman dressed as the muse Clio. The studio setting showcases a map, chandelier, and draped curtain. This masterpiece celebrates artistic creation, with the woman symbolizing history and fame through her trumpet and book.

Cliodynamics and Mathematical Models in History. Part 1

Introduced by Peter Turchin in 2003, cliodynamics uses mathematical models to analyze long-term historical trends. Drawing from the concept of “asabiyyah” (social solidarity), Turchin focused on medieval agrarian societies, using differential equations and multi-agent modeling. He identified various growth patterns in state dynamics and emphasized the need for negative feedback in models, highlighting the cyclical nature of historical growth and decline.
Dr. Alexander Tsikhilov
Dr. Alexander Tsikhilov
July 27, 2023
2
min read
History
Cliodynamics
Mathematical Models
Predictive Modelling
Historical Processes
A painting attributed to the Venetian artist Titian and his assistants, painted in 1550-1565. The painting depicts three human heads facing in different directions, painted above three animal heads: a wolf, a lion and a dog.

Predicting the Past: Harnessing Event Prediction Techniques for Historical Research

In an era fuelled by the might of big data, the question arises: can the blossoming field of event prediction enrich the realm of historical research? Delving into this interdisciplinary area, while recognizing its inherent complexities and potential setbacks, could be a stride towards constructing a higher quality historical timeline.
Fedor Ragin
Fedor Ragin
July 20, 2023
2
min read
Predictive Modelling
Historical Events
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