AI Making Ancient Japanese Texts More Accessible NVIDIA Blog

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Natural disasters aren't just threats to people and buildings, they can also erase history -- by destroying rare archival documents. As a safeguard, scholars in Japan are digitizing the country's centuries-old paper records, typically by taking a scan or photo of each page. But while this method preserves the content in digital form, it doesn't mean researchers will be able to read it. Millions of physical books and documents were written in an obsolete script called Kuzushiji, legible to fewer than 10 percent of Japanese humanities professors. "We end up with billions of images which will take researchers hundreds of years to look through," said Tarin Clanuwat, researcher at Japan's ROIS-DS Center for Open Data in the Humanities.