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uni'wissen 01-2016_ENG

Chronopoulos is convinced: “There’s nothing more human than a computer – a constantly growing collection of knowledge that can be recalled by means of various commands.” No matter how much data computers become capable of spitting out, it is all largely useless if there is no researcher around to scrutinize and interpret the information. The elements the Freiburg research group is assembling piece by piece to construct a theo- retical framework are diverse – and they reveal major problems already plaguing research prac- tice. For example, one subgroup of the project is examining possible open-source models. There have long been freely accessible editions on the Internet that anyone can comment on or translate. But how should these comments be weighted? use digital tools? Do they need to reconsider their approaches, or can they combine long- established methods with the new ones? And finally, there is the provocative question of whether the powerful and seemingly infallible machines could soon even make classical philologists or historians superfluous. “Many are afraid that our entire humanist tradition, which has in Europe taken the form of a print culture for the past 500 years, might be in danger,” reports Novokhatko. But there is no reason to fear a robot takeover, of that uni wissen 01 2016 Useful skill or passing fashion? The project is studying the influence of digital humanities on teaching. Photo: highwaystarz/Fotolia “We want to observe ourselves and our work as researchers.” 38 uni wissen 012016