Posted on October 18, 2023 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Artificial intelligence, like just about any other tool humans have invented, has its admirable uses along with its morally questionable ones.
The latest literary (or literary-adjacent) example: the college student who used machine learning to read words on a scroll buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE.
Vice reports that Luke Farritor, a computer scientist enrolled at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, won an award through the Vesuvius Challenge.
The challenge invited competitors to help decipher scrolls found in 1752 from the volcanic disaster; the scrolls will disintegrate if unrolled, so they're still bound, almost 2,000 years later.
Farritor found the Greek word for purple, as did another competitor (albeit not as quickly).
Read more about the carbonized scrolls from Herculaneum in Vice.
Categories: Today in Books