Has A.I. Finally Decoded Bizarre 600-Year-Old Voynich Manuscript?

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An esoteric text, discovered over a century ago has left cryptographers and linguists puzzled for decades, but now artificial intelligence may finally decipher the enigmatic content of the Voynich Manuscript.

Carbon dating shows that this esoteric text was written sometime in the 15th century by an unknown author. Its modern provenance has been attributed to an Italian antique book collector, Wilfred Voynich, whom it was named after.

The manuscript contains writings on calfskin parchment that look like a cross between ancient Celtic and some amalgam of middle eastern text. It is thought to be encrypted using a series of cyphers, including anagrams, micrographic shorthand, and abbreviations.

 

AI decodes Voynich Manuscript

 

Since its discovery was publicized in 1912, cryptographers and even WWII codebreakers have tried to decipher its contents to no avail, leading many to label it a hoax or simply full of gibberish. In addition to the bizarre inscriptions, the manuscript contain a number of strange illustrations that have led some to believe it to be either alchemical instructions or a book of medicine.

But now, Greg Kondrak, an expert in natural language processing at the University of Alberta, is using artificial intelligence to solve this age-old mystery. The computer algorithm used to translate the text implements information from the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” which contains over 400 different languages.

Their first discovery: the script is an encoded version of Hebrew.

They believe that one of the cyphers may be anagrams alphabetically ordered, showing 80 percent of the words decoded this way as Hebrew. Kondrak and his team have also deciphered a near grammatically correct first sentence that reads:

 

“She made recommendations to the priest, man of the house and me and people.”

 

The rest of the script remains somewhat encrypted with incongruent words and phrases that have yet to be untangled. Kondrak’s next goal is to bring in someone with more knowledge of ancient Hebrew and its possible ambiguities, as he’s currently been relying on Google translate.



What is Gematria and Can It Unlock a Hidden Code to the Universe?

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If you speak to someone who studies numerology they will tell you that there is an uncanny relationship between numbers and words. They’ll tell you that letters and words all have a numerical value and weight that is implicit of deeper meaning, connecting other words of similar weight. In fact, this concept has been given merit and studied in relation to biblical texts for hundreds of years. Kabbalist Jewish scholars call this study gematria and believe that there is a hidden code in the Torah that contains clues to current and future events.

The concept of gematria numerology stems from the idea that mathematics is the universal language of nature and within it may be the keys to explaining our universe or evidence of supernatural power. Marty Leeds has taken this concept of the Kabbalistic gematria and applied it to the English language, believing that he has found a cipher in our alphabet to prove this theory.

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