Vesuvius Competition Prize Awarded

The Vesuvius Competition, a machine learning and computer vision competition focused on the Herculaneum Papyri, has awarded its $700,000 grand prize to a team of three scholars – Youssef Nader, Luke Farritor and Julian Schilliger.

They were able to meet the challenge to recover four passages of 140 characters each, with at least 85% of the characters recoverable. The organizers had believed that there was only a 30% chance anyone could meet these criteria. In addition, the winning submission included another 11 columns of text for a total of more than 2000 characters.

There was a three-way tie for runner-up, and each of the three teams was awarded $50,000.

The competition is intended to accelerate the process of using AI to “read” the scrolls, which are digitally “unwrapped” using 3-D X-ray scans.