On September 21, 2023, at the national Deutscher Historikertag in Leipzig, Student Assistant Anika Merklein received the Peter Haber prize for AI in historical sciences for her poster titled "Analyse gedruckter Initialen aus der Frühen Neuzeit mit neuronalen Netzen.”
Anika is a member of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) research project “The Sphere. Knowledge System Evolution and the Shared Scientific Identity of Europe” led by Matteo Valleriani.
Her poster summarizes a machine learning research project in historical sciences that focuses on finding initials of similar styles across different books and printers from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period. By using artificial neural networks to extract and compare different representations of style, this research helps to better understand the dissemination, transmission, and imitation of woodcuts for printing during that time period. Additionally, it can identify connections between printers and provide missing information about them.