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Kondrak & Hauer on Voynich ms. (2016) (Read 699 times)
hck
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Kondrak & Hauer on Voynich ms. (2016)
30.01.2018 at 13:15:11
 
Seen thanks to https://twitter.com/monicaMedHist/status/958294371589173248 :
Jennifer Pascoe: Using AI to uncover ancient mysteries : Modern scientific methods help to decipher ancient manuscript (2018-01-25) :
i.a..
Quote:
Kondrak and Hauer used samples of 400 different languages from the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” to systematically identify the language. The scientists initially hypothesized that the Voynich manuscript was written in Arabic. After running their algorithms, it turned out that the most likely language was Hebrew.

“That was surprising,” said Kondrak. “And just saying ‘this is Hebrew’ is the first step. The next step is how do we decipher it.”

Kondrak and Hauer hypothesized the manuscript was created using alphagrams, defining one phrase with another, exemplary of the ambiguities in human language. Assuming that, they tried to come up with an algorithm to decipher that type of scrambled text.

“It turned out that over 80 percent of the words were in a Hebrew dictionary, but we didn’t know if they made sense together,” said Kondrak.

After unsuccessfully seeking Hebrew scholars to validate their findings, the scientists turned to Google Translate. “It came up with a sentence that is grammatical, and you can interpret it,” said Kondrak, “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.”

Without historians of ancient Hebrew, Kondrak explained that the full meaning of the Voynich manuscript will remain a mystery.

 
The paper is:
Bradley Hauer & Grzegorz Kondrak: Decoding Anagrammed Texts Written in an Unknown Language and Script in: "Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics" 4 (2016) pointing to https://transacl.org/ojs/index.php/tacl/article/download/821/174 . (The download did take some time.)
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hck
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Re: Kondrak & Hauer on Voynich ms. (2016)
Reply #1 - 30.01.2018 at 13:24:38
 
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Re: Kondrak & Hauer on Voynich ms. (2016)
Reply #2 - 31.01.2018 at 09:44:36
 
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Re: Kondrak & Hauer on Voynich ms. (2016)
Reply #3 - 09.02.2018 at 11:38:59
 
Now see also https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16241656 .
 
i.a.:
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A questioner in the audience asked "If you needed a document in hundreds of languages, why didn't you use the Bible?", to which he had no real answer.)

So he ran this somewhat anachronistic model and it told him that the text was a good statistical match for being in... Esperanto. He threw this prediction out on the basis that it makes absolutely no sense. You'd think this would be the first sign that the model did not fit the data.

The #2 prediction was Modern Hebrew, which of course did not exist in the 15th century, so he said "that's close enough to biblical Hebrew" and claimed that as the result.

He asked a Hebrew speaker he knew to decipher a couple of sentences based on the model. The Hebrew speaker could not actually decipher them. The author pressed on and the Hebrew speaker obligingly produced some unsatisfying guesses at sentences, which sound remarkably like sentences from unsuccessful attempts to decipher Linear B texts.

And I don't understand why anyone would so confidently report a modification of the #2-ranked prediction of the model. We might as well go ahead and say "AI confirms: the Voynich Manuscript is in ancient Esperanto!"

 


 
Seen thanks to https://twitter.com/FrueheNeuzeit/status/961655748282519552 .
 
 




 
And see also http://scienceblogs.de/klausis-krypto-kolumne/2018/02/05/voynich-manuscript-errr m-no-not-really-sorry-but/
 


 
Seen thanks to https://twitter.com/spinfocl/status/961658476819828736
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for contact information etc. concerning hck (Heinrich C. Kuhn): see http://www.phil-hum-ren.uni-muenchen.de/php/Kuhn/
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