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a few of my previous articles, I have discussed how technology has helped us to better understand the history behind many lost cultures and civilizations. However, today I am excited to present you with a new stage within this technological trend that will help us unveil so many mysteries from ancient history. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has just created an algorithm that can decipher ancient languages without the input of any sort of data.

This sort of new technological trend is known as machine learning and it can be simply defined as an algorithm that can, in simple terms, teach itself. Engineers from MIT that have worked on this algorithm for some time state that they have perfected it in such a way that it can read ancient languages without any information about the culture of the language or other relations the language may have to other similar ancient languages.

An imperative tool for historians and archeologists

Over the last two centuries, archeologists have found many different types of ancient inscriptions in different locations of the world that have been secluded for thousands of years, these texts are a testament to the existence of ancient civilizations. With no one still alive to understand these inscriptions, this has been the greatest puzzle for historians to decipher and put together, but with no success as there are simply too many gaps. These gaps can now be filled by this new algorithm that can endlessly process different possibilities in order to find a logical meaning to these ancient texts.

The algorithm has been programmed in a way that it tries to analyze the evolution of all existing languages in the world and find a pattern that may be similar to the ancient language analyzed by it. However, as this algorithm is always evolving, for now, it can only decypher certain words or phrases, but it cannot be used like “google translate” where you input a phrase in a certain language to get a translation. Machine learning has huge possibilities and it is seen by many “futurologists” as the technology that will define the next technological revolution.

Deciphering 40,000-year-old languages

The tool has already been put to the test as it managed to actually decipher the forgotten Iberian language which was estimated by historians to be 40,000 years old. The language has a very specific dialect that is quite unique and not similar to any ancient language.

Iberian alphabet (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

It is said that this language used to be spoken by native Western Europeans, as many scripts have been found within North of Spain. Historians say that by understanding various ancient languages, we can better understand the culture within lost civilizations, and how they managed to evolve or perish in time.

This is truly an exciting time for history, as technology opens many doors towards a better understanding of our past and will hopefully get us closer to “the meaning of life” which is said to be found within ancient civilizations. What is even more exciting is the ability of this algorithm to make a link between lost languages and maybe find some new information that we are yet to find about lost civilizations or ancient times.

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