Smart Data Development Seminar towards Digital Humanities was successful held
2018-01-03 16:13:02

On November 30th 2017, Smart Data Development Seminar towards Digital Humanities, of Luojia Forum of Big Data, was convened in Hongyi Hotel in Wuchang District, Wuhan, the opening ceremony of which was hosted by Professor Wang Xiaoguang, the vice director of the Center for Studies of Information Resources (CSIR) of Wuhan University. Professor Ma Feicheng, the senior professor in humanities & social sciences and chief scientist of the CSIR, as well as Professor Fang Qing, one of the Chang Jiang Distinguished Professors and the dean of School of Information Management attended the opening ceremony and gave short speeches.

One-day seminar revolved around smart data and digital humanities, and had 10 content-rich keynote speeches with innovative themes. Professor Zeng Lei, the tenured professor of U.S. Kent State University introduced the origin and connotation of smart data as well as its application to digital humanities. Liu Wei, the researcher and deputy director of the Shanghai Library, explored what “smart” means in smart data and the influence of artificial intelligence on smart data. Zhang Zhixiong, the researcher and deputy director of Wuhan Branch of the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the process of rich semantics representation, taking the knowledge base of Chinese history ontology as an example. Professor Qi Guilin from Southeast University, the deputy director of Special Interest Group on Language and Knowledge Computation, Chinese Information Processing Society of China, shared his project experience in the Chinese knowledge graph on Buddhism and Buddhism Exam Machine. Wang Tao, the vice professor and director of Research Centre for Digital Humanities in School of History, Nanjing University, suggested the demand for data of researchers engaged in history and pondered over the current “data craze” from the perspective of historians. Mr. Wang Hongsu, the project manager of China Biographical Database of Harvard University, introduced tools in the fields of digital humanities like CBDB, CTEXT, MARKUS and Google Cloud Platform. Mr. Hong Tao, the vice director and senior editor of Digital Publishing Center of Zhonghua Book Company explained the problems met in the course of Chinese classic texts digitalization including different values, high price of manual work, high cost and uncertain business models. Xia Shengping, the deputy director and deputy researcher of Information Center of Dunhuang Research Academy made an analysis of the significance of digitalization to the protection and inheritance of cultural relics with Digital Dunhuang Project as an example. Xia Cuijuan, the senior engineer from System and Network Center of Shanghai Library introduced how the smart data were collected, selected, processed and correlated in the project of The Reconstruction of Shanghai History and Culture.

Ren Hongliang, the vice professor and director of Information Integration and Application Laboratory of the CSIR at Wuhan University, introduced the procedure and result of the automatically-constructing knowledge map of Chinese poems studied by his team.

The roundtable discussion was set at the end of the seminar, the topics of which were collected from the attendees. According to the topics, more than ten expert representatives from around the world engaged in smart data and digital humanities and the like had an in-depth discussion about the collected topics including technologies to achieve digital humanities, the choice of semantic annotation tools, the digitalization of libraries, museums and archival centers, as well as the responsibilities of researchers studying digital humanities. They agreed that digital humanities had obtained widespread recognition, and that more and more organizations made their attempts in the field of digital humanities, so digital humanities had a bright future. Smart data as an emerging concept acted as a flag, which led the resource organization and management of organizations of culture production and memory to smarter, more advanced and more intelligent development.

The number of the seminar attendees summed up to about 150, and apart from the faculty and students from School of Information Management, School of Law, School of Foreign Languages and Literature as well as College of Chinese Language and Literature at Wuhan University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Tsukuba, Nanjing University, Renmin University of China and Central China Normal University, the directors from state-level publishing houses and organizations of library, museum, and archival center digitalization as well as the service providers of Chinese classic texts database were attended the seminar.

The seminar was jointly hosted by the CSIR, the key research institute of humanities and social sciences in universities supported by Ministry of Education, and the Research Center for Digital Humanities of Wuhan University, and co-organized by the Journal Center of School of Information Management and the Information Retrieval and Knowledge Mining Laboratory of Wuhan University. In addition, the seminar got the support from several academic journals like Documentation, Information & Knowledge, Journal of Information Resources Management, Library Tribune, Journal of Academic Library and Information Science as well as Chinese Social Sciences Today.

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The group photo of experts attending the seminar