American researchers have developed an amazing artificial intelligence. The latter is able to study dead languages automatically. However, AI does not need to acquire prior knowledge of the language to be deciphered. However, it should be noted that the system does not decipher these languages like an online translator.
Artificial Intelligence for Better understanding of dead languages
In a pre-publication on the arXiv platform on October 21, 2020, a team from MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) unveiled their latest project. It is about a new technology allowing us to decode dead languages. The device integrates an artificial intelligence that does not need prior knowledge of the language to be studied, nor of the links of this language with others.
The researchers explain that this new project aims to discover the different relationships between certain dead languages. This could allow historians to decipher several very difficult to understand written records. According to the study leaders, most of the languages that existed are no longer spoken today.
“We are proposing a measure of linguistic proximity leading to the selection of the best target language from among the wealth of languages in the world”, one can read in the publication of the CSAIL.
An AI dedicated to evolve
Currently, a dozen of these languages are considered lost. Unfortunately, linguists have too little information about their grammar, vocabulary, or even their syntax. However, researchers are certain that deciphering the written records would provide the opportunity to better understand the peoples in connection with these languages.
The algorithm is able to understand how languages evolve over time. Then, this one manages to determine certain linguistic patterns, and thus better to apprehend these same languages. The algorithm can classify the words of one language in order to relate them to those of another. However, she is unable to decipher ancient texts and translate them into a modern language like an online translator. However, AI is able to identify the roots of the language to be studied.
As an example, let us quote the identification by the AI of a linguistic family to which the Iberian belongs. This extinct language was spoken in Western Europe from the 7th to the 1st century BC While linguists debated for a long time its supposed link with the Basque language, the AI decided. The two languages are completely independent of each other. Researchers now hope that this system can decipher dead languages in the future using only a few thousand words.