Friday, March 3, 2017

How a Computer Scientist Uses AI to Read Lost Literature

If you’ve ever read The Da Vinci Code or thrilled to the adventures of Indiana Jones, you know few things are more fun than stories of how the ancient world — and our modern one — intersect. A University of Kentucky computer scientist, Brent Seales, has found himself in the middle of such a tale, as he uses AI to virtually unravel ancient texts, long thought unreadable, and bring lost literature to light. Last year, Seales and his team caused a worldwide sensation when they used non-invasive scans to unlock writings on the ancient Ein-Gedi scroll to reveal the earliest copy of a book of the Bible — Leviticus — ever found in a holy ark. “It confirmed readings that were there in our bibles in Sunday school, that really was a dream for me,” Seales said in a conversation on the AI Podcast with host Michael Copeland.