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Researchers Successfully Used Artificial Intelligence To Uncover Three Different Ancient Geoglyphs In Peru That Are At Least 2,400-Years-Old

alexpermyakov - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

This past summer, researchers used artificial intelligence to find three ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca desert of Peru. The geoglyphs are at least 2,400-years-old and include a fish, a bird, and a pair of relatively large legs.

The fish was 62 feet wide, the bird was about 56 feet across, and the legs were 250 feet long.

Researchers say that by employing a deep-learning artificial intelligence system on high-resolution aerial photographs, they were able to spot potential geoglyphs around 21 times faster than with the naked eye alone.

The lead author of the study, Masato Sakai, has been working with satellite imagery to seek out geoglyphs since 2004.

But it wasn’t until 2016 that he and his team used artificial intelligence technology to help search for new geoglyphs.

“Even with human visual inspection, there are cases of missed or unrecognized geoglyphs,” wrote the study’s authors. “For example, the newly discovered human geoglyph was near the famous hummingbird geoglyph but had never been found before. With the aid of deep learning, more geoglyphs can be discovered.”

Object detection through deep learning will automatically determine the size, location, and nature of the geoglyphs. Still, teams of researchers visited the area where the new geoglyphs were detected to confirm the computer’s accuracy.

The Nazca desert is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where more than 350 geoglyphs were previously uncovered. These geoglyphs were typically made by removing the top layer of black stone from the desert to reveal lighter-colored sand underneath.

Most of them were etchings of various animals, such as dogs, cats, lizards, birds, monkeys, and humans. There were also depictions of plants, trees, and flowers. At times, the artwork was of mythical creatures.

alexpermyakov – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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