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Time Machine Conference: Do we have enough data about the past to create a Time Machine?

November 21st 2019



The Time Machine Conference “Do we have enough data about the past to create a Time Machine?” will take place on November 21 in Paris, as part of TimeWorld, first international congress on time that will take place from 21 to 23 November in Paris. TimeWorld combines expertise with collective intelligence in order to expand new ideas in science and it will display aspects of time from different perspectives, from theory to fact and from the past to the future. Challenging questions will be discussed by industrial actors, researchers and the general public.


The European Time Machine consortium will define a detailed programme to design and implement innovative and advanced digitisation and artificial intelligence technologies with the aim of preserving and exploiting Europe’s cultural heritage, transforming it into an open and intelligent information system. Ultimately, this infrastructure will provide a comprehensive mapping of Europe’s social, cultural and geographical evolution.


As Frédéric Kaplan, professor of digital humanities at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and coordinator of the Time Machine project, explains, “Time Machine is likely to become one of the most advanced Artificial Intelligence systems ever built, trained on data from wider geographical and temporal horizons”.

The Time Machine will create advanced AI technologies to make sense of vast amounts of information from complex historical data sets. This will enable the transformation of fragmented data – with content ranging from medieval manuscripts and historical objects to smartphone and satellite images – into useable knowledge for industry.

In essence, a large-scale computing and digitisation infrastructure will map Europe’s entire social, cultural and geographical evolution. Considering the unprecedented scale and complexity of the data, The Time Machine’s AI even has the potential to create a strong competitive advantage for Europe in the global AI race.


More information available here.



Photo by Jakob Dalbjörn on Unsplash


November 21 2019 from 14:30 to 17:00