The Zodiac Killer is one of the most notorious criminals of the 20th century. During the killer's tenure, starting in the late 1960s, he killed at least five Northern Californians and claims to have killed as many as 37 people. All the while, he kept sending cryptic messages to local media and the police department explaining his motives and detailing clues to his identity using a cypher full of letters and abstract symbols, known as the Z340.
Though he hung up his boots, so to speak, in the late seventies, his identity still remains a mystery. That's not to say there haven't been plenty of accusations made over the years, one of the most recent being US senator and ex-presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. (For the record, as hilarious as this theory may be, Cruz is way too young to be the killer.) The Z340 also remains unsolved.
Fast forward, after decades of baffling detectives and amateur sleuths alike, a supercomputer is on the case. Programmed by one Keven Knight, an expert in artificial intelligence, cryptography, and code breaking from the University of California's Information Science Institute, the machine – called CARMEL – is using the writings of the Zodiac Killer to decode the so far impenetrable cypher. It's already been used to work out the Copiale Cipher (a handwritten manuscript from 18th-century Germany) so there is real hope we could soon know the true identity of the Zodiac Killer.
But that's not all. CARMEL, the supercomputer detective, moonlights as a Shakespearian poet, as revealed in a new documentary on HISTORY.
Rather excitingly, there is an online tool where you can pick a topic and CARMEL will come up with a short poem for you about said topic. You can play around with the number of lines, the number of curse words, and alliteration patterns.
We plugged in a few vaguely science-related words like "life", "galaxy", "pattern" and "seed" and this is what we got.
Not those whose little candy coated paper,
Would save us from these California poppy!
How one can make they own convenience layer!
Have mathematical biology.
So now he opens up his human root,
Who knows what gives them other crop rotation!
But when her hearts were pure as olive fruit,
Each watch which forms a galaxy formation.
No plague or on its way for zen tradition!
This time has come to wonder where it grows,
That there was nothing less than repetition!
I see some people passing through their rows.
Though the trees are filled with garden plots,
We know my life is like a set of dots.