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Biographical Data in a Digital World 2017 (BD2017)

This year's BD2017 aims to continue the discussion on the multidisciplinary investigation of biographical data, targeting to facilitate knowledge exchange and innovation.

Over recent decades, the amount of digital biographical data has increased immensely. Traditional resources such as encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries and other biographical works have been digitized. At the same time, new resources are being generated digitally, for example, through the creation of Wikipedia pages. Other biographical data is produced or tracked automatically by health or fitness apps, or it is networked, as in smart journals [1], where biographical data from a number of apps is combined.

How can we get the most use out of these digitized resources? What research opportunities do they provide for biographers, historians, literary scholars, social scientists, data scientists How do such tracking mechanisms and the data they collect generate new kinds of biographies in today’s digital world? How do social networks contribute to a person’s biography? What analytical tools do we need to approach these new developments?

The second edition of the conference on Biographical Data in a Digital World (BD2017) aims to address these questions. BD2017 aims at bringing together researchers from the humanities, computer sciences and researchers as well as practitioners of any other fields to exchange experiences, methods and practices with respect to ICT mediated quantitative and qualitative analysis of biographical data.

What can be done with computational methods to address the vast amount of digital biographical data that is available?

By means of cooperative labs and 3D animation, this conference aims to foster multidisciplinary experimentation regarding human life and life writing. We invite you to participate in a vivid discussion about the latest results, emergent technologies, digital transformation and the future.


Topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • New paradigms for interdisciplinary biographical and identity research
  • Experimental approaches to aggregating and analysing digital biographical data
  • Digital life tracking, lifelogging, passive data collection, reality mining and social physics
  • (New) interpretations of biographical data in a digital world? BioDigital, Digital Comics etc.
  • Persons as actors in the Network Society
  • Social Media and biographical research
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP), especially, but not exclusively:
    • Semantic technologies, Linked (Open) Data, Deep Semantics
    • Machine learning, Deep learning related to biography
    • Big data analysis, Data Mining
    • Geodemographics
  • Visualisation, visual analysis and multimedia
  • Biographical standards and research infrastructures
    • Biographical dictionaries and portals
    • Standards, canonization of relevant information types
    • Dealing with heterogeneity across cultures and communities
    • Digital object and data security, privacy, ethics
  • Non-textual digital data related to persons and their lives
  • Art and biography, human being and digital objects
  • Art history as biography


[1] Elsden, Chris, Abigail C. Durrant, and David S. Kirk. "It's Just My History Isn't It?: Understanding Smart Journaling ; Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2858103: ACM, 2016. 2819-2831.


6 Nov 2017 @ 12:00 am

7 Nov 2017 @ 12:01 am

Duration: 1 days


Ars Electronica

1 Ars-Electronica-Straße

4040 Linz


Organised by

Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ACDH), Austrian Academy of Sciences

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