AI Used In Astromomy, Google Opens AI Lab In China

AI Used In Astromomy, Google Opens AI Lab In China

Movies and media may sometimes picture artificial intelligence (AI) as evil machines that are sooner or later going to get rid of humans. Fortunately, astronomers do not think so, as it turns out that AI can actually be used in the search of new exoplanets.

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Movies and media may sometimes picture artificial intelligence (AI) as evil machines that are sooner or later going to get rid of humans. Fortunately, astronomers do not think so, as it turns out that AI can actually be used in the search of new exoplanets.

Usually, when a telescope is pointed at the stars, it collects massive amounts of information about their brightness. Whenever a planet crosses in front of a star, star’s brightness slightly diminishes. Kepler-90 solar system turned out to be with 8 planets, just as ours. The discovery was made thanks to AI.

When looking for new planets, it’s much easier to investigate the brightness data, rather than staring at the pictures. If the star is orbited by more than one planet, brightness’ dips follow a complex algorithm. When studied long enough, this gives information about planets’ masses and distance from the star. All these data may be processed by machines, so scientists use AI to look for small and previously unnoticed brightness dips.

Google’s AI engineer Christopher Shallue and astronomer Andrew Vanderburg, taught a computer to identify brightness changes from the recordings of Kepler. The neural network is designed to mimic the work of the human brain. It works with the impressive 4% error rate, which turned to be enough to find 2 planets that where lying in the data without researchers paying attention to them. NASA’s director of Astrophysics Division acknowledges the fact that new technology can help them rediscover hidden things in Kepler’s archived data.

But AI is here to help not only with exoplanets finding. It can detect gravitational waves. This certainly gives us the opportunity to study outerspace objects using a complex set of instruments. In addition, Astroparticle physicist Gianfranco Bertone believes that with the implementation of teachable software we can quest for dark matter.

With all possible applications of artificial intelligence it is no wonder that Google are opening new AI research lab in China. In spite of Google’s search engine block there, the company is looking for AI talents willing to work for them. The team will supposedly work on international projects with other AI offices from all around the globe – New York, Toronto, Zurich and London just to name a few. Dr. Fei-Fei Li and Jia Li are going to be the leaders of the Chinese team. They both share passion in artificial intelligence and believe it may benefit all of us.

The research lab still has 20 open positions, but we have to bear in mind that the competition for talents is fierce over there. Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, SenseTime and Face++ all want to hire the best employees.

According to Li, the newly open office will closely work together with Chinese AI sector as well as funding workshops and events related to AI.

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