When archives use artificial intelligence

While artificial intelligence is gradually being introduced into documentary processes, the world of archives and heritage is also interested in AI to process old documents. The Socface, Transkribus and Lettres en lumière programs are among the pioneering projects.

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In turn, the world of archives begins to dream of artificial intelligence. At the Service interministériel des archives de France (Siaf) of course, but also in European research laboratories and in some departmental archive services.

> Read also: Socface project: the study of French society using artificial intelligence applied to archives

Socface: large-scale archive processing technologies

At the Interministerial Service for the Archives of France, the Socface project brings together archivists, demographers, economists, historians and computer scientists. These different professions work together to develop technologies for large-scale processing of large series of historical documents. In particular the twenty censuses of the population carried out between 1836 and 1936.

Objective: to study the changes in French society over a century thanks to the exploitation of a source describing precisely the French population.

After being digitized, the censuses will be automatically transcribed and analyzed to build a database of several million individuals. Result: the public will be able to carry out ad hoc nominative searches.

Researchers, for their part, will be able to conduct studies in economic, demographic or social history. Very concretely, they will be able to rely on archives to study changes in the labor market, mobility or inequalities.

> Read also: Digital archives: good recovery practices

Artificial intelligence is not yet the miracle tool

The Socface project is supported by several public institutions: the Interministerial Service for the Archives of France, but also the National Research Agency and the National Institute for Demographic Studies. To which must be added a private company, Teklia which, in partnership with Paris School of Economics….

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When archives use artificial intelligence


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