Friday, December 14, 2012

They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside

This is a really cool article - A linguistic tool was used to decipher a 250-year old code from a secret society.

The tool, actually a translation tool, works by considering that the input is a "code" to be broken - it makes hypothesis on the meaning of input symbols and checks whether the deciphering looks legit in the destination language, based on rules such as grammar, word frequency or word sequences. For some fun with the latter, visit Google Ngram Viewer. People interested in the underlying theory will find a good approach in the chapter 22 of Russell&Norvig's "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach"