To reconstruct Gandhi's social network, IIT Kharagpur has joined hands with IIT Gandhinagar and National Council of Science Museums. They will be developing Gandhipedia, which is a one-stop portal for browsing Gandhian literature, life events and his social network.
Gandhipedia will be carried in four phases till march 2024. Phase I of the project will focus on digitization and indexing of more than 40 books of Gandhi. The first phase is expected to be completed by March 2020. Phase I will also involve the launching of social bots on Twitter.
In the later phases of the project, IITs and National Council of Science Museums wants to increase the number of digitized publications by processing 100 volumes of collected works of Gandhi. The volumes will contain several letters, speeches, etc.
"We will initially use his book 'My Experiments with Truth' for reconstructing the social network. This work would require AI-enabled tools to read the indexed and digitized version. The results will be visualized by the modern powerful network visualization tools and a dashboard of network statistics," said Prof. Animesh Mukherjee from IIT Kharagpur's Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering who is leading the project.
"There will be two types of bots - (a) event agnostic and (b) event specific bots. In the event-specific case, as a first pilot we shall consider a crisis event and try to check whether the social bots are able to reduce the spread of hatred, fear and trauma among the public by injecting positive and motivating thoughts from the writings of the Mahatma," Mukherjee explained.
Prof. Mayank Singh and Prof. T S Kumbar from IIT Gandhinagar will be launching social bots that can post Gandhian text excerpts in multiple Indian languages namely Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, and Tamil on Twitter.
The researchers are also putting their best foot forward to digitize works of other freedom fighters to mark the 75th year of independence.