DH Benelux 2022 long paper: Historic machines from ‘prams’ to ‘Parliament’: new avenues for collaborative linguistic research
We – Mia Ridge, Giorgia Tolfo, Kalle Westerling, Nilo Pedrazzini and Barbara McGillivray – were delighted to have a long paper accepted for the DH Benelux 2022 conference.
Research in computational linguistics has made successful attempts at modelling word meaning at scale, but much remains to be done to put these computational models to the test of historical scholarship. More importantly, a lot of computational research looks at texts in a historical vacuum, ‘synchronically’, as linguists would say. As part of Living with Machines, we decided to address a fundamental question: what did people mean by ‘machine’ and how has this meaning changed over time?
This paper outlines how a simple research question like ‘what was a machine?’ can provide an opportunity to engage the public with our work while also generating data for analysis and new avenues of research in a radically collaborative way.
Full abstract: https://zenodo.org/record/6578021