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News
 Written by Brandon Hofer  on October 03, 2017

News: While developing Assassin’s Creed Origins Ubisoft set out to try and unlock some of the secrets of the past.



”Assassin’s

Assassin’s Creed Origins is going to be released later this month. Recently Ubisoft revealed something interesting when they unveiled The Hieroglyphics Initiative, a machine learning based research project powered by Google TensorFlow, to simplify the decipherment of hieroglyphics, one of the oldest written languages in the history of mankind.

During the recreation of Cleopatra’s Egypt for Assassin’s Creed Origins, the most ancient time period ever explored in an Assassin’s Creed game, the development team at Ubisoft realised how challenging it still is to unlock the secrets of the past and wondered how modern technology could help. Translating hieroglyphics is a manual and time-consuming process. It has been over 200 years since the Rosetta Stone first helped to understand them. Collaborating closely with Google, Ubisoft set out to explore the potential of machine learning technology in order to make the hieroglyphics written language accessible to everyone.

“The Hieroglyphics Initiative not only has the potential to save us time as Egyptologists, it could unlock the magic of hieroglyphics for a new audience”, said Perrine Poiron, Egyptologist, Ph. D student (Sorbonne/UQAM).

Machine Learning is the technique used to develop artificial intelligence, which is the science of making things smart. Image recognition is a classic example of machine learning, where the application learns to identify an object by being told which images contain the object and which don’t. The Hieroglyphics Initiative will use this technique to identify the images of hand-carved hieroglyphs, all of which differ significantly from one source to another, in order to recognise individual hieroglyphs which we know the meaning of.

One of the main elements of this project is to gather source material (imagery of Middle Period hieroglyphics in its original form), and multiple samples of the thousand or so hieroglyphs which have been identified and translated by scholars in the past. Therefore, Ubisoft calls for Researchers and Historians to add their contribution, in order to collect as much data as possible and to create the ultimate hieroglyphics translator.

“By making the Hieroglyphics Initiative an open source project, we aim to create a new connection between two things that we love at Ubisoft - history and technology”, said Pierre Miazga, Hieroglyphics Initiative Project Coordinator at Ubisoft. Contributors can register on the Hieroglyphics Initiative website at www.hieroglyphicsinitiative.com

What do you think about the Hieroglyphics Initiative? Assassin’s Creed Origins will be available on October 27th, 2017, for major consoles and Windows PC. Will you be picking it up?



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