I am looking forward to an upcoming symposium at the University of Chicago: What Do You Do With a Million Books? (November 5 and 6: but why on a Sunday?):
In the wake of recent large-scale digitization projects aimed at providing universal access to the world's vast textual repositories, humanities scholars, librarians and computer scientists find themselves newly challenged to make such resources functional and meaningful.
Digitizing "a million books" ... poses far more than just technical challenges. Tomorrow, a million scholars will have to re-evaluate their notions of archive, textuality and materiality in the wake of these developments. How will humanities scholars, librarians and computer scientists find ways to collaborate in the "Age of Google?"
Speakers include John Unsworth, from the University of Illinois, a pioneer in digital humanities, and Gregory Crane, who's March 2006 article perhaps suggested the name for this symposium. (He discusses the challenges of scale, heterogeneity, granularity, noise, audience, and distributors.)
The Computation Institute is a sponsor. We already have a preliminary project underway applying machine learning technology to english language texts, and I hope to see more such projects in the near future.