An artificial intelligence program has helped regather over 100,000 pieces of documents amassed over 1,000 years that describe what Mediterranean Jewish life was like, reported the New York Times.
These documents detail personal aspects of Jewish Mediterranean life, including marriage, medicine and mysticism. For years, up until now, researches depended heavily on memory to match up pieces of the Cairo genizah, a stash of papers that include writing of the Rambam, parts of Torah scrolls, Siddurim, poetry and personal letters, contracts, and court documents, even recipes, said the Times. But now, amidst the development of the digital age, a complicated and respected computer program is managing to complete 4.5 trillion calculations each second to assist in matching up these documents.
“In one hour, the computer can compare 10 million pairs — 10 million pairs is something a human being cannot do in a lifetime,” said Roni Shweka, as scholar of computer science and Gemarrah, according to the New York Times. “It’s going to be a very powerful tool for every researcher today that’s going to work on one fragment. In a few seconds, he’ll be able to find the other fragments, like finding the needle in the hay.”
This project is but one example which provides insight into how the fields of history, literature, and the arts, intersect with science and technology. More importantly, it will provide the community with quick details and insights into the history, life, and culture of our ancestors.