Time Machine as part of the recommendation for AI policy in the European Parliament

September 21, 2020

The Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) released its draft report on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education, Culture and the Audiovisual Sector”

Acknowledging the fact that AI technologies are being developed at a fast pace, and are increasingly being used in Education, Culture and the Audiovisual Sector, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) formulated a motion for a Parliament resolution, stressing the following facts – and Time Machine couldn’t agree more:

  • the availability of high-quality and meaningful data is essential for the development of AI;
  • the use of AI raises many concerns regarding the ethics and transparency of data collection, use and dissemination, so the benefits and risks of AI in these sectors must be carefully assessed;
  • AI can be used to improve learning and teaching methods, notably by helping education systems to use data to improve educational equity and quality, whilst promoting personalisation and better access to education;

The Committee highlights, that

“Culture plays a central role in the use of AI at scale and is emerging as a key discipline for cultural heritage thanks to the development of innovative technologies and tools and their effective application to respond to the needs of the sector”

… and more concretely:

“AI can be used to create innovative ways to make datasets of cultural artefacts held by cultural institutions across the Union widely accessible whilst allowing users to navigate the vast amount of cultural and creative content”

… putting our Time Machine initiative in a nutshell!

Section (ii) of the Committee’s document’s “explanatory statements” goes even further, naming our project as shining example:

“(ii) AI can be used to safeguard and promote cultural heritage

In recent years, AI has been of increasing relevance to cultural heritage, notably in response to potential modern threats, such as climate change or conflicts. AI can have various applications in that regard: it can be used to enhance users’ experience by enabling visitors of cultural institutions and museums to create personal narrative trails or to enjoy virtual tour guides. Conversational bots could communicate in an interactive way about cultural heritage on any topics and in any language. They would also make the access to information easier whilst providing a vivid cultural experience to users.

AI could also facilitate the understanding of the history of the Union, such as how the ‘Time Machine Project’ aims to create advanced AI technologies to make sense of vast amounts of information from complex historical data sets stored in archives and museums. This enables the transformation of fragmented data into useable knowledge by mapping Union’s entire social, cultural and geographical evolution. This may facilitate the exploration of the cultural, economic, and historical development of European cities, and improve understanding thereof.”

(c) CULT_PR(2020)655862 PE655.862v01-00

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