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artsexperiments.withgoogle.com

Sep 15, 2021 2021-09-15

Digital Learning • Learning Support

Machine Learning Opening New Avenues of Research

Fabricius is a Google Arts & Culture Lab Experiment that uses machine learning to help translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. In the Learn section of Fabricius, students take their first steps into the world of hieroglyphs. They then move to the Play section where they can send coded messages using hieroglyphs. And finally to the Work section, where they will find a set of tools to assist them in translating hieroglyphs. The experiment began with The Hieroglyphics Initiative, a research project that was launched at The British Museum in September 2017. Working with Google and development agency Psycle Interactive, the researchers sought to identify whether machine learning could transform the process of collating, cataloguing, and understanding the written language of the Pharaohs. Academics from institutions around the world worked with the team to explain the translation process and provide feedback on the tools and models for the three phases of translation in Fabricius: extraction (taking hieroglyphic script and sequences from source images and creating workable facsimiles); classification (training a neural network to correctly identify more than 1,000 hieroglyphs); and translation (matching sequences and blocks of text to available dictionaries and published translations). A YouTube video walks through the project’s three steps.

Social Studies Reading/English/Language Arts Educational Technology

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