A new artificial intelligence tool called Photo Sleuth is connecting modern-day individuals to their distant relatives who fought in the U.S. Civil War, Fox News reported.
"Seeing my distant relative staring back at me was like traveling through time," Virginia Tech assistant professor Kurt Luther, the program developer, said in a statement. "Historical photos can tell us a lot about not only our own familial history, but also inform the historical record of the time more broadly than just reading about the event in a history book."
Users upload photos which are connected to profiles of 15,000 Civil War soldiers, some from the U.S. Military History Institute, in the Photo Sleuth database.
"Typically, crowd sourced research such as this is challenging for novices if users don't have specific knowledge of the subject area," Luther's statement read. "The step-by-step process of tagging visual clues and applying search filters linked to military service records makes this detective work more accessible, even for those that may not have a deeper knowledge of Civil War military history."
In the first month after the August 2018 launch, more than 600 users uploaded more than 2,000 photos from the Civil War to the database, according to Virginia Tech.
The May 4 grand opening of the expanded American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Virginia, will feature a demonstration of the Photo Sleuth, according to the report.