Public history Luxemburgische Zeitgeschichte Europäische Zeitgeschichte Digitale Geschichte und Historiographie

History as 'retrospective prediction'? On the limits of predicting the future by learning from the past

“If you don’t know about your past, you don’t know
about your future” is probably one of the most
repeated phrases in Sunday-speeches of politicians
at official commemorations or historical anniversa-
ries. Alas, the reality looks different. While history
has a lot of lessons to offer, people don’t learn from
it. This intervention will reflect on the reasons of this
ignorance or oblivious of history and ask the question,
whether the abundance of historical sources in the
age of “big data of the past” will help to cure this
phenomenon with the help of machine learning
and AI or rather accelerate the digital forgetting.

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