Elon Musk wants to help with efforts to decode 2,000-year-old papyrus scrolls.
In a post on X, the billionaire offered up funds for the Vesuvius Challenge project, suggesting the money would come from the Musk Foundation. In a message to Bloomberg, the Tesla CEO said he didn’t know how much he’d contribute.
Musk, who is known to be sceptical of AI safety, told the outlet he was in “favor of civilizational enlightenment.”
Scholars believe the Herculaneum Scrolls, named for the city where they were discovered, may contain knowledge that could transform our view of the ancient world.
The 2,000-year-old Mount Vesuvius eruption burned and buried the scrolls, making them difficult to understand.
Previous attempts to read them had little success and caused damage.
On Monday, Nat Friedman, the former CEO of GitHub, who funded the Vesuvius Challenge, stated on X that the project was a success. After 2,000 years, we can now read the scrolls.
Luke Farritor, a former SpaceX intern and student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, won $700,000 for deciphering a part of the text.
Youssef Nader, an Egyptian Ph.D. student in Berlin, and Julian Schilliger, a Swiss robotics student in Zurich, were also members of the winning team.
The Vesuvius Challenge is still underway, as the scrolls have only been partially interpreted. The target for 2024 is to read 90% of each scroll.
Musk representatives did not immediately react to Business Insider’s request for comment, which was made after normal business hours.