Using AI to uncover the mystery of an ancient manuscript

January 24, 2018 Jennifer-Anne Pascoe

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Folio publishes stories every weekday that highlight new research or share expertise from researchers at the University of Alberta.

Computing scientists at the University of Alberta are using artificial intelligence to decipher an ancient manuscript.

The mysterious text in the 15th-century Voynich manuscript has plagued historians and cryptographers since its discovery in the 19th century. Recently, U of A computing science professor Greg Kondrak, an expert in natural language processing, and graduate student Bradley Hauer used artificial intelligence to decode the ambiguities in human language using the Voynich manuscript as a case study.

Their first step was to address the language of origin, which is enciphered on hundreds of delicate vellum pages with accompanying illustrations.

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Greg Kondrak, PhD


Department of Computing Science, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta

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