AI Translates 5,000 Year Old Cuneiform Tablets Into English

Researchers have developed an AI model that can automatically translate ancient Akkadian cuneiform text, dating back to 3,400 BCE, into English. The model offers two versions, one using Latin script transliterations and the other using unicode representations of the cuneiform signs.

The Latin transliteration version performed better, achieving a BLEU4 score of 37.47, particularly for sentences with 118 or fewer characters. While the AI occasionally generated inaccurate translations, it can serve as an initial translation tool. The researchers suggest combining human expertise with this AI for improved results in a collaborative approach.