Methodology: Integrating research and innovation activities into the project

The URRACA project aims to revolutionize historical research by integrating artificial intelligence and digital humanities, with a focus on ancient and medieval Iberia. To further enrich and validate our research, we propose to leverage OpenAI’s advancements in natural language processing and machine learning. Specifically, we intend to incorporate OpenAI’s GPT-4 architecture to enhance our AI-driven analysis of historical texts, artifacts, and data sets. We will collaborate with OpenAI and other AI research centers within the United States to adapt the latest NLP algorithms for historical research. This will involve fine-tuning the model on specialized historical datasets to improve its accuracy and reliability in interpreting ancient languages and scripts. Given the project’s European focus, we will establish partnerships with European AI research institutions. This will enable us to align our objectives with the Horizon Europe Programme and ERC work topics, thereby contributing to the broader European AI ecosystem. Our implementation strategy includes:

  • Data Sharing: We will establish a secure data-sharing agreement with OpenAI to access and utilize their pre-trained models.
  • Fine-Tuning: Our team of data scientists and historians will work collaboratively to fine-tune the OpenAI models on our specialized datasets.
  • Validation: We will validate the AI’s interpretations through peer reviews and scholarly publications, ensuring the model’s findings are academically rigorous.
  • Feedback Loop: OpenAI’s advancements will continuously feed into our project, and our findings will contribute to OpenAI’s ongoing research.

By integrating OpenAI’s cutting-edge technology into URRACA, we aim to create a symbiotic relationship that advances both historical research and AI capabilities, thereby fulfilling our commitment to innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Interdisciplinary Approach in URRACA Project

The URRACA project is inherently interdisciplinary, aiming to revolutionize historical research through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital humanities. Our objectives necessitate a multi-faceted approach that brings together expertise and methods from various disciplines.

  • Historical Studies: Scholars specializing in ancient and medieval Iberian history will provide the foundational knowledge and context for the project. They will help curate and interpret the datasets, ensuring historical accuracy and relevance.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Data Science: Experts in AI will work on adapting and fine-tuning machine learning algorithms for historical research. They will collaborate closely with historians to ensure that the AI models are both technically robust and contextually appropriate.
  • Digital Humanities: Specialists in this field will bridge the gap between traditional historical research and modern computational methods. They will work on digitizing historical texts and artifacts, making them accessible for AI analysis.
  • Ethics and Social Sciences: Given the sensitive nature of historical interpretation, ethicists and social scientists will be involved to ensure that the AI’s methodologies and findings are socially and culturally sensitive.
  • Archaeology and Geography: These experts will contribute spatial and material context to the historical data, enriching the AI’s understanding of ancient and medieval societies.

Our implementation strategies include conducting regular interdisciplinary workshops to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaborative problem-solving. Additionally, we will use iIntegrated development teams. Each team will comprise members from different disciplines, ensuring a holistic approach to problem-solving. Most importantly, we will rely on a traditional peer view of our work. Findings will be subjected to interdisciplinary peer review to ensure academic rigor. By integrating these diverse fields, URRACA aims to create a comprehensive, nuanced, and ethically responsible AI tool for historical research.

Gender Dimension in URRACA’s Research and Innovation

The URRACA project is committed to incorporating a gender dimension in its research and innovation activities to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach. Recognizing that historical narratives often marginalize or overlook the contributions and experiences of women, our project aims to rectify this by actively including gender as a variable in our analyses.

  • Role of Female Scholars: We are proud to have female scholars as integral members of our research team, contributing to various aspects of the project, from historical research to AI development and ethical considerations. Their perspectives enrich our understanding of gender roles and dynamics in ancient and medieval Iberian societies, thereby adding depth and nuance to our AI’s analyses.
  • Gender-Specific Data Analysis: Our AI will be trained to identify and analyze gender-specific data, such as the roles women played in historical events, their contributions to art and literature, and their societal statuses. This will help us create a more balanced and inclusive historical narrative.
  • Ethical Considerations: Gender bias in AI is a well-documented issue. Our team of ethicists, which includes female scholars, will work to ensure that our AI algorithms are free from gender biases. They will also review the AI’s findings from a gender perspective to ensure they are socially and ethically responsible.
  • Publications and Dissemination: We will ensure that the gender dimension is adequately represented in our scholarly publications, workshops, and public engagements. This will not only contribute to academic discourse but also raise public awareness about the importance of considering gender in historical research.
  • Justification for Inclusion: Given that history is often told from a predominantly male perspective, incorporating a gender dimension is not just relevant but essential for the URRACA project. It allows us to challenge traditional narratives and contribute to a more equitable understanding of history.

By actively incorporating the gender dimension, the URRACA project aims to set a new standard for inclusivity and representation in historical research and AI development.

Open Science Practices: Balancing Openness and Ethical Responsibility

The URRACA project is deeply committed to the principles of open science, recognizing its potential to accelerate innovation and foster a more inclusive and transparent research environment. However, given our particular concern about the societal impacts of AI—especially its potential to generate false, erroneous, and discriminatory analyses harmful to European civil society—we are adopting a judicious approach to open science practices.

  • Research Output Management and Reproducibility: All our research outputs, including publications, data sets, and algorithms, will be made openly accessible, subject to ethical and security considerations. We will employ version control systems and metadata tagging to ensure the reproducibility of our research outputs.
  • Open Peer-Review: Our project will engage in open peer-review processes, inviting experts from various disciplines to scrutinize our methodologies and findings. This will enhance the credibility and reliability of our work.
  • Limited Citizen Science Engagement: While we value the concept of citizen science and public participation, we are cautious about the misuse of AI technologies. Therefore, any engagement with citizen scientists will be carefully curated. We will implement strict protocols and guidelines to ensure that the AI is used responsibly and ethically during these interactions.
  • Ethical Safeguards: Given the sensitive nature of AI’s societal impacts, we will have an ethics board overseeing the project. This board will review all open science activities to ensure they align with ethical standards and societal responsibilities.
  • Transparency in AI Decision-Making: One of our key objectives is to make the AI’s decision-making processes transparent. We will publish white papers and technical reports to openly share our methodologies and findings, thereby contributing to the broader discourse on ethical AI.

By implementing these open science practices in a manner adapted to the specific challenges and responsibilities of our project, URRACA aims to maximize its positive impact while minimizing risks. This balanced approach will increase the chances of the project delivering on its objectives without compromising ethical and societal values.