If you’re a loyal listener to the Italian American Podcast, you’ll know that technology isn’t exactly an area we focus on week in and week out. Artificial intelligence and chat-bots and whatnots might not exactly be our expertise, but for this week’s guest, the rapidly unfolding revolution in artificial intelligence has become a valuable tool in his quest to bring Italian American genealogy to as many paesani as possible… and to bring Italian American stories to life!
Erick Lucera, a long-time Italian American Podcast devotee and part of our “New Neighborhood” membership group, took inspiration from his countless hours listening to the show when he created a whole new way to tell the story of immigrants who arrived from Biccari, Puglia, to Philadelphia, PA, and has chronicled it in his book, “The Birth of the New Biccari in Philadelphia.”
In this book, Erick combines qualitative and quantitative data surrounding Biccarese immigration, utilizing the latest advancements in artificial intelligence to connect statistical data to the oral histories passed on by generations of Biccari’s diaspora around the world… revealing incredible truths behind the popular tales of his ancestral village.
We discuss what led him to use statistics in researching Italian American history and how big data genealogy can help us learn more about our heritage than ever before.
Erick discusses how anecdotal evidence can be backed up by numbers and how microstories that are unique to each Italian town can help illuminate the reasonings behind our ancestors’ decisions to leave their ancient homelands.
We’ll also discuss how urban renewal in the United States impacted places like Eric’s beloved “New Biccari” in Philadelphia and what drives the continuing and oftentimes diverse, evolutions of Italian enclaves in the United States.
Join us as we discover new ways to look at an old science in this week’s fascinating episode!