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The Conversation: Ancient scrolls are being ‘read’ by machine learning – with human knowledge to detect language and make sense of them

March 13, 2024 — 

The following was written by C. Michael Sampson, Associate Professor of Classics, University of Manitoba:

A groundbreaking announcement for the recovery of lost ancient literature was recently made. Using a non-invasive method that harnesses machine learning, an international trio of scholars retrieved 15 columns of ancient Greek text from within a carbonized papyrus from Herculaneum, a seaside Roman town eight kilometres southeast of Naples, Italy.

Their achievement earned them a US$700,000 grand prize from the Vesuvius Challenge. The challenge sought to incentivize technological development by inviting public participation in the research.

Read the full article.

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