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Computers taking archaeology jobs away
barkingdigger Wrote:Since computers can't think, their algorithm-generated predictions are only as good as the data they have to chew on!

Hence the 'big data' thing - it has to be really big data, you have to look at whole populations over years and such like, but then it starts turning up stuff like people get mugged on particular American streets but only when the temperature gets over 25 degrees and the like. Archaeology doesn't have a large enough dataset to work with, quite apart from problems with different ways of recording stuff.

Having said all that, an effort like the Roman Rural Settlement project using a much bigger dataset than usual seems to have generated some new and interesting (and sometimes unexpected) stuff, so more seems to be better in a general way, but it's not going to tell you that there are going to be Neolithic pits in a particular field for instance.
Archaeology biggest data is the context sheet. What is really going on is that no one has attempted to mine big collections of context sheets from across many disparate sites. Imagine all the crimes it would show up. Obviously first there would a lot of mueing about non standardised context sheets and the use of back of beer mats.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
BAJR Wrote:You can automate data collection, but not interpretation.
I am not so sure about is relatively easy to write a programme that will identify circular or roughly circular features up to a certain size as 'post-holes' and circular or roughly circular features over a certain size as 'pits'....whilst the majority of human archaeologists these days interpret circular or roughly features up to a certain size as 'post-holes' and circular or roughly circular features over a certain size as 'pits'.... am I missing something here?:face-stir:
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Careful, Kevin - that's how Skynet is born. And we all know how THAT will end!

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