Artificial intelligence helped to decipher papyri almost 2000 years old

Researchers have used artificial intelligence to decipher some of the papyri that are almost 2000 years old, reports The Guardian.

These are papyri that were stored in the library of a villa on the outskirts of Herculaneum. This area was damaged during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

In the middle of the eighteenth century, the villa was found. Here, scientists discovered sensational finds, including charred papyri. The collection is believed to contain thousands of ancient texts, including works by Aeschylus and Sappho.

Since then, attempts to unwrap the papyri have failed, so their secrets have remained unknown. But now a group of students has been able to decipher at least 15 papyrus fragments using artificial intelligence.

Luc Farritor, Youssef Nader, and Julian Schilliger developed an AI tool that could identify text from digital scans. Thanks to this, they won a $700 thousand prize in the Vesuvius Challenge.

Three students have so far been able to read more than 2000 characters, which is about 5% of the text of the ancient papyri. Although the work is not yet complete, preliminary analysis indicates that the deciphered text is a philosophical treatise on the enjoyment of food and music.