Nand Kishor Contributor

Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc... ...

Full Bio 
Follow on

Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc...

3 Best Programming Languages For Internet of Things Development In 2018
315 days ago

Data science is the big draw in business schools
488 days ago

7 Effective Methods for Fitting a Liner
498 days ago

3 Thoughts on Why Deep Learning Works So Well
498 days ago

3 million at risk from the rise of robots
498 days ago

Top 10 Hot Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technologies
308793 views

Here's why so many data scientists are leaving their jobs
80388 views

Want to be a millionaire before you turn 25? Study artificial intelligence or machine learning
75408 views

2018 Data Science Interview Questions for Top Tech Companies
75294 views

Google announces scholarship program to train 1.3 lakh Indian developers in emerging technologies
60996 views

Mysterious 15th century manuscript decoded by computer scientists using artificial intelligence

By Nand Kishor |Email | Jan 28, 2018 | 16377 Views

Artificial intelligence has allowed scientists to make significant progress in cracking a mysterious ancient text, the meaning of which has eluded scholars for centuries.

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.

While some have written the Voynich manuscript off as a hoax, use of modern techniques has previously suggested the presence of "a genuine message" inside the book.

Now, computer scientists at the University of Alberta have 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. 

"That was surprising," said Professor Greg Kondrak, who led the research. 

"And just saying 'this is Hebrew' is the first step. The next step is how do we decipher it."

The scientists set out to employ an algorithm that could decipher the scrambled text that makes up the manuscript.
1. Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics describes itself as 'building dynamic robots and software for human simulation'. It has created robots for DARPA, the US' military research company

2. Google's self-driving cars

Google has been using similar technology to build self-driving cars, and has been pushing for legislation to allow them on the roads

3. DARPA Urban Challenge

The DARPA Urban Challenge, set up by the US Department of Defense, challenges driverless cars to navigate a 60 mile course in an urban environment that simulates guerilla warfare

4. Deep Blue beats Kasparov

Deep Blue, a computer created by IBM, won a match against world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. The computer could evaluate 200 million positions per second, and Kasparov accused it of cheating after the match was finished

5. Watson wins Jeopardy

Another computer created by IBM, Watson, beat two champions of US TV series Jeopardy at their own game in 2011

6. Apple's Siri

Apple's virtual assistant for iPhone, Siri, uses artificial intelligence technology to anticipate users' needs and give cheeky reactions

7. Kinect

Xbox's Kinect uses artificial intelligence to predict where players are likely to go, an track their movement more accurately

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

By applying algorithms designed to decode such puzzles, Professor Kondrak and his graduate student Bradley Hauer were able to decipher a relatively high number of words using Hebrew as their reference language.

"It turned out that over 80 per cent of the words were in a Hebrew dictionary, but we didn't know if they made sense together," said Professor Kondrak.

While they noted that none of their results, using any reference language, resulted in text they could describe as "correct", the Hebrew output was most successful.

The scientists approached fellow computer scientist and native Hebrew speaker Professor Moshe Koppel with samples of deciphered text.

Taking the first line as an example, Professor Koppel confirmed that it was not a coherent sentence in Hebrew. 

However, following tweaks to the spelling, the scientists used Google Translate to convert it into English, which read: "She made recommendations to the priest, man of the house and me and people."

"It's a kind of strange sentence to start a manuscript but it definitely makes sense," said Professor Kondrak.

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. 

While fully comprehending the text will require collaboration with historians of ancient Hebrew, Professor Kondrak has great faith in the ability of computers to help understand human language and said he is looking forward to applying his techniques to other ancient scripts.

Source: Independent