Computer Scientists Crack Voynich Codex With AI

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Computer Scientists Crack Voynich Codex With AI

Postby toucana on January 27th, 2018, 6:31 pm 

The Voynich manuscript

Computer scientists at the University of Alberta believe they have made significant progress in deciphering the mysterious Voynich manuscript.

Dated to the 15th century, the Voynich manuscript is a hand-written text in an unknown script, accompanied by pictures of plants, astronomical observations and nude figures.

Since its discovery in the 19th century, many historians and cryptographers have attempted to unravel its meaning - including code breakers during the Second World War - but none have been successful.

Some critics even suggested that the manuscript might be an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the Polish book collector Wilfrid Voynich who purchased it in 1912.

Computer scientists at the University of Alberta have now applied artificial intelligence to the text, with their first goal to establish its language of origin.

They used text from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 380 languages to “train” their system and then ran their algorithms, which determined the most likely language for the document was Hebrew. 

They hypothesised the manuscript was created using alphagrams, or alphabetically ordered anagrams. This theory has previously been suggested by other Voynich scholars.

The results of this work were published in the journal Transactions of the Association of Computational Linguistics.

In their paper, the researchers conclude that the text in the Voynich manuscript is likely Hebrew with the letters rearranged to follow a fixed order. 
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