Humanosity says….If you’ve never heard of the Voynich Manuscript then this article is worth reading! The 15th-century book has puzzled experts for centuries and proved immune to the kind of technological code-breaking that nations pour billions into. But is it just gibberish and one of history’s greatest pranks?
- The “Voynich Manuscript” is a 15th-century book containing confusing images and text that confound even the best linguists and historians.
- When AI is applied to the text, the results are usually rejected shortly afterwards.
- There are two possible reasons why AI is having a rough time with this manuscript: Either it’s all just gibberish, or AI isn’t quite as good at understanding language as we thought it was.
In 1912, Polish-American bookseller Wilfrid M. Voynich acquired the puzzling 240-page collection of strange drawings and writings, which would come to be named after him. (You can see photocopied images of the entire text here).
The manuscript is filled with drawings of unidentified plants, zodiac symbols, pregnant women wading through some kind of fluid and lots of sketches of known medicinal herbs and roots. It has been dated to around 1500 and so far no-one has been able to decipher what any of it means.
All the experts who have tried to decipher the book have so far failed. Recently researchers have been trying to use AI to discover the book’s hidden meaning without success. This is leading some to say that the book is undecipherable because it is simply gibberish. Others are arguing that the failure of AI to decipher the text is more about the inherent limitations of AI as it currently stands.