dr.sc. THOMAS AIGNER (MaS), historian, since 1995 director of St. Pölten diocesan archives in Austria, founder of online platforms for charters (www.monasterium.net [2]), church registers (www.matricula-online.eu [3]) and the international network ICARUS (www.icar-us.eu [4], since 2008 president). Member of Time Machine CSA Executive Team.  Many publications on modern archival science and central European history.   

THE POWER OF BIG DATA OF THE PAST – LET´S BUILD A TIME MACHINE!

 

What would the world look like if we could access documents from the past as easily as present day‘s data? How would it be, if we could link all the data of our ancestors contained in any old record automatically with artificial intelligence? A consortium of more than 350 research institutions is currently aiming at nothing less than building a Time Machine. To succeed, a series of fundamental breakthroughs are targeted in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and ICT. Massive digitisation infrastructures and High-Performance Computing will be coupled with Machine Learning techniques to produce a multiscale simulation of more than 5000 years of history. Miles of archives and museum collections will be transformed into a digital information system.

 

The so generated BIG DATA of the PAST will enable us to deal with historical information in fundamentally new ways real revolutions will happen.

The Time Machine project (www.timemachine.eu [1]) will be this decisive turning point – turning a vision into (virtual) reality. The Time Machine plans to build a large-scale simulator capable to map 5,000 years of European history. This big data of the past, a common resource for the future, will trigger pioneering and momentous cultural, economic and social shifts.

Understanding the past undoubtedly is a prerequisite for understanding present-day societal challenges and contributes to more inclusive, innovative and reflective societis.

The fundamental idea of this project is based on Europe’s truly unique asset: its long history, its multilingualism and interculturalism. It aims to engage not only scholars but also European citizens, connecting millions of participants with millions of documents, massively participating to a unique endeavour: building a time machine to negotiate a common history of Europe.

Today, science and technology can profoundly transform the conservation and experience of cultural heritage impacting research, education, new applications and, as a result, the European or global economy and society at large.

Computer and data sciences, physics and chemistry, material sciences and robotics; these disciplines must join forces with the Humanities to get a new paradigm for historical sciences off the ground.

To this end, a consor􀆟 um comprised of the leading European institutions in Computer Science, Digital Humanities, Archival and Historical Sciences and Cultural Studies is aiming at becoming a future European large-scale research initiative.

It seeks to effectively join forces with as many partners as possible who are willing to off er input from various professional backgrounds (science, technology, industry, content owners).