Tech on Tap: Using Artificial Intelligence to Explore Black History in Civil War Alexandria
February 11, 2021

4-5:15 p.m.

Alexandria and its surroundings provided the training camps, hospitals, and even burial grounds for thousands of African American Union soldiers during the American Civil War. We’re diving into this history with two experts who will engage us in a lively tour of local Black history in the civil war era enhanced by the possibilities and perspective of crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence.


John T. Chapman was elected to Alexandria City Council in 2012, 2015 and 2018, and ceremonially serves as the city’s Night Mayor. Professionally, Chapman is a career educator and currently works for Fairfax County Public Schools. Chapman was born and raised in Alexandria and is the founder of Manumission Tour Company, which provides curated heritage tours focusing on the stories of early African Americans in Alexandria.
Dr. Kurt Luther is an associate professor of computer science at Virginia Tech, based in the Washington, D.C. area. He directs the Crowd Intelligence Lab, researching how the complementary strengths of crowdsourced human intelligence and artificial intelligence (AI) can help people make sense of complex data. Since 2015, he has written a quarterly column on Civil War photo sleuthing for Military Images Magazine and is the project director for Civil War Photo Sleuths.

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