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28Oct

DeepMind AI system Pythia restores damaged ancient Greek texts

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Pythia was the name of the High Priestess of the temple of Apollo at Delphi who also served as the oracle, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi. Now researchers at Deep Mind, Google's most prominent artificial intelligence company, led by a Greek scientist, have created "Pythia", a smart system that can read half-destroyed inscriptions in ancient Greek.

There are thousands of such inscriptions around the world and every year dozens of new ones are discovered. Unfortunately, many of them have been eroded or destroyed over the centuries, making them illegible or part of their text permanently lost. Filling in the gaps is a difficult job, requiring a great deal of knowledge.

Fortunately, the researchers, led by Greek Yiannis Asael, have trained a neural network (an artificial intelligence algorithm) to guess the missing words or letters from ancient Greek text. This is an invention that will surely speed up and revolutionize the way Ancient Greek is studied.

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