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Google launches hieroglyph discovery on Rosetta Stone discovery anniversary

Google launches hieroglyph discovery on Rosetta Stone discovery anniversary

In 1799, the Rosetta Stone was discovered, allowing historians to finally understand and make sense of the now millenia-old hieroglyphic language from ancient Egypt — which consists of about 1,000 unique characters — which had puzzled them for years. Now, thanks to this stone, which was originally created in 196 B.C. and is now housed in the British Museum, modern society can read the stories of the Egyptians who used this language for 4000 years.

To help non-historians discover this writing system and to celebrate the Rosetta Stone’s discovery anniversary, Google announced on Wednesday a new Arts & Culture tool called Fabricius, which gives users a trio of ways to learn about hieroglyphs — a creation made in collaboration with the Australian Center for Egyptology at Macquarie University, Psycle Interactive, Ubisoft and Egyptologists worldwide.

This experience begins with an educational introduction which is followed by an activity where users can “Play” and translate their own words and messages into hieroglyphics ready to be shared with friends and family. Finally, Fabricius offers an open-source digital tool that uses machine learning to decode hieroglyphs. Developers can use the tech behind this creation, AutoML Vision, to train machines to identify all sorts of objects.

Fabricius is available currently in English and Arabic, and is complemented by the existing educational resources about Egypt currently available from Google Arts & Culture. RGA