29 Feb 2024 18:00 Online Book Now


Please note this event is organised by Cambridge Centre for Greek Studies

Greek Dialogues | Critical Editing with AI: Herculaneum Papyri

Seminar Six of Cambridge Centre for Greek Studies’ fourth Greek Dialogues series features Professor James Brusuelas (University of Kentucky) discussing the dramatic impacts artificial intelligence is having in the field of papyri analysis.

In October of 2023 five columns of Greek text within an unopened carbonized papyrus scroll from Herculaneum were revealed. Text that is not – nor will ever be – accessible to the human eye is in fact now legible. Although only partially reconstructed, about four to five lines for each column, the application of artificial intelligence (AI) was responsible for this achievement. AI officially entered the workflow of editing papyri.

And there are consequences. This talk will offer a general introduction to the technology that is now making unopened carbonized papyri scrolls readable. In producing text that cannot be verified by the human eye, transparency and scientific reproducibility are of the utmost importance. Deepfakes are real.

Moreover, with an update on the reading and identification of this carbonized scroll (PHerc.Paris3), we will address how AI is also causing a subtle evolution in the methodology of critical editing and textual criticism.

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