The role of eXtended Reality and Artificial Intelligence in Digital Humanities


RP Roberto Pierdicca

Roberto Pierdicca

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile e dell’ Architettura, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy

MP Marina Paolanti

Marina Paolanti

Department of Political Sciences, Communication and International Relations, University of Macerata, Italy

Gatto Carola Gatto

Carola Gatto

AVR Lab - University of Salento


The application of eXtended Reality (XR) technology to the Digital Humanities (DH) field is finally beginning to receive attention. The reason is due to its indisputable value, proven in a set of tech oriented environments. Indeed, boosted by marketing, gaming and entertainment fields, XR is constantly increasing in terms of both offered opportunities and audience engagement.

A well-known bottleneck, hampering the use of XR techniques in humanistic disciplines, is that they are still complex for the end-user, as well as they need a multidisciplinary team, composed of ICT experts and DH experts, to be implemented. While engineering scholars seek to understand and embrace such complexities, DH struggles to experiment XR experiences in pedagogy, data visualization, cultural heritage, social and human science and simulation. And more, the large-scale cultural and societal implications of these changes and the ethical questions that raise offer an important challenge as these technologies have matured. For instance, we are witnessing the spreading of new methods of data processing and digitalization such as Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), Neural Radiance Fields (NeRF), and Large Language Models (LLM). These tools play pivotal roles in this convergence, offering innovative methods for reconstructing, visualizing, and interpreting data in DH domain.

This panel encourages researchers from a multidisciplinary provenance, to propose novel strategies and original research in applying XR techniques in digital humanities research (e.g., in literature, linguistics, culture heritage, media, performing arts, social science, history, music and acoustics, pedagogy and academic curricula). This special session aims not only to serve as a venue for presenting work in this area but also to build a community and share information in this new field.


The special session calls for submissions addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Metaverse, Avatars, Agents and NFT
  • NFT in Art and Museum
  • AI for Cultural Heritage safeguarding and reconstruction
  • Integration of digital technology into cultural spaces and experiences
  • Neural Radiance Field in XR
  • XR platforms for Education purposes and edu-/infotainment
  • XR interfaces for Cultural Heritage dissemination
  • Human-Brain interfaces for XR content creation
  • Multimodal interaction
  • System architectures and intelligent environments
  • Society and socio-technical aspects
  • Human Factors
  • Distributed and cooperative VR/AR environments
  • Collaborative XR interfaces
  • Content creation / authoring and content management
  • Conversational and speech interfaces
  • Immersive visual analytics and visualization techniques
  • Localization, spatial registration and tracking
  • Locomotion and navigation techniques
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Mediated and diminished reality
  • Ethics & social implications


Roberto Pierdicca is Tenure Track Assistant Professor and adjunct professor of Geomatics and statistics, co-director of GAP - Geomatics Applications and Processing Lab. His research interest is mainly focused on Geospatial Intelligence, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 3D Point Clouds, Cultural Heritage and eXtended Reality. He is author of more than 100 papers in international conferences and journal, and participates to several international projects related to Cultural Heritage, Tourism Management, Education, Geosciences and Archaeology. He is an expert member of international associations such as ICOMOS (Cultural Heritage Conservation), CIPA and ISPRS where he is Secretary of the WGIII/commission 8 - Remote Sensing for Agricultural and Natural Ecosystems (http://www.commission3.isprs.org/wg8). He is member of the Copernicus Academy, with affiliation to Università Politecnica delle Marche, actively engaged in advancing Earth observation and geospatial sciences for a sustainable future. Member of SFARM (Smart FARMing) group within the D3A (Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences) at Università Politecnica delle Marche. He actively participates in the COST Action Three-dimensional forest ecosystem monitoring and better understanding by terrestrial-based technologies (3DForEcoTech). From 2022 he’s president of the SIFET Marche (National association of Geomatics). He organized international conferences, workshops and tutorial (such as ISPRS, CIPA, SalentoXR among the others) and was invited speaker in international venues. In 2020 he was honored with the Outstanding Early Carreer Scientist by the European Geoscientist Union. In 2022 he was named by Standford and Elsevier among the 2\% of most cited researcher in the field of Geomatics Engineering.

Marina Paolanti is Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Sciences, Communication and International Relations of University of Macerata and Adjunct Professor at LUISS Guido Carli. In March 2018, she obtained the European PhD in Information Engineering from Università Politecnica delle Marche. Her research focuses on Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision, with particular focus to specialized Machine Learning algorithms and Deep Learning architectures.
She is the author of over 100 international articles and collaborates with numerous national and international companies in technology transfer and innovation activities. She co-organized several international workshops and Tutorial at CVPR 2021-2023-2024, ICPR 2020, ICIAP 2019-2022-2023, ECCV 2022. During her PhD, she has worked at GfK Verein (Nuremberg, Germany) for Visual and Textual sentiment analysis of brand related social media pictures using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks. She is co-founder of GAIA srl and Moda Metrics srl, both innovative start-ups and spin-offs from the University of Macerata. GAIA aims to recognise the need to integrate ethical and legal considerations at every stage of the AI development process. The main objective is to ensure that AI solutions are designed and deployed in a way that avoids and minimises social, ethical and legal risks. Moda Metrics aims to build AI systems for understanding fashion trends. She is also a member of IEEE, CVPL and AIxIA.

Carola Gatto is currently Postdoc at the Augmented and Virtual Reality Laboratory (AVR Lab), of Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, in the european project entitled "E.T.E.R.I.A.-Enhance Transborder Experiences, Rebuild Interaction" about Immersive Technologies and Video Mapping for the Performing Arts and Cultural Heritage. In 2023, she received a PhD in Cultural Heritage Sciences from the University of Salento. The research project focused on digital curation and transformation in the museum field, with a focus on Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies for the enhancement and enjoyment of cultural heritage, and the relationship between well-being and museums.
She is the author of several scientific publications. She is part of the Italian working group “Multimedia and Emerging Technologies” of ICOM.
She is currently coordinator of the “Young researchers group” at the Digital Humanities Centre of the University of Salento.