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ruins of pompeii with vesuvius int he background

Researchers Use AI to Decipher Ancient Scrolls from Near Vesuvius

February 29, 2024

Researchers Use AI to Decipher Ancient Scrolls from Near Vesuvius

Ask students: When and Where did Mount Vesuvius erupt? What find from Herculaneum can now be deciphered because of AI? What have researchers found so far?

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It's the first U.S.-built spacecraft to land on the moon in more than 50 years, and the first ever by a private company. The Odysseus lander took off from Cape Canaveral last week and made it to the lunar surface on Thursday. The Houston-based company Intuitive Machines created the spacecraft and the trip is key to NASA's goal of returning to the moon with a manned mission.

View the transcript of the story.

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Discussion Questions

  1. When and Where did Mount Vesuvius erupt?
  2. What find from Herculaneum can now be deciphered because of AI?
  3. Who is researching the scroll found in Herculaneum?
  4. How does AI help researchers decipher the scroll?
  5. What have researchers found so far?

Focus Questions

What other ways do you think artificial intelligence could help us better understand history? What might be some downsides to using such methods?

Media literacy: Who else would you want to hear from to understand how AI can transform academic research?

Extension Activity

Learn more about the technology involved in deciphering the charred scrolls in this article from the Guardian.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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