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'Millions of Historic Newspaper Images Get the Machine Learning Treatment at the Library of Congress' by Devin Coldewey
Devin Coldewey writes the following for TechCrunch:
A new effort from the Library of Congress has digitized and organized photos and illustrations from centuries of news using state of the art machine learning.
Led by Ben Lee, a researcher from the University of Washington occupying the Library’s “Innovator in Residence” position, the Newspaper Navigator collects and surfaces data from images from some 16 million pages of newspapers throughout American history. …
Using the initial human-powered work of outlining images and captions as training data, they built an AI agent that could do so on its own. After the usual tweaking and optimizing, they set it loose on the full Chronicling America database of newspaper scans.
‘It ran for 19 days nonstop—definitely the largest computing job I’ve ever run,’ said Lee. But the results are remarkable: millions of images spanning three centuries (from 1789 to 1963) and organized with metadata pulled from their own captions. The team describes their work in a paper you can read here.
For more information, read the article.
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