And thanks to Luke Farritor, a 21-year-old computer science undergrad at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and like-minded AI enthusiasts, there might soon be a lot more to think about.
Blending a passion for history with machine learning skills, Farritor has triumphed in the Vesuvius Challenge, wielding the power of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU to bring a snippet of ancient text back from the ashes after almost 2,000 years.
The Herculaneum scrolls are a library of ancient texts that were carbonized and preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum under a thick layer of ash and pumice.
The competition, which has piqued the interest of historians and technologists across the globe, seeks to extract readable content from the carbonized remains of the scrolls.
In a significant breakthrough, the word “πορφυρας,” which means “purple dye” or “cloths of purple,” emerged from the ancient texts thanks to the efforts of Farritor.