Scientists Train AI To Solve Mystery Of Life On Mars | Details Inside
Life beyond Earth has always a fascinating subject intriguing the people around the world. Now, senior researchers at USA’s SETI Institute senior have discover a breakthrough in the search for life beyond Earth. The team, led by Kim Warren-Rhodes, was able to do this by training machine learning models to recognize and predict biosignatures in data that have not previously studied.
According to the research publish in Nature Astronomy, by combining statistical ecology with AI/ML, the researchers were able to locate and detect biosignatures up to 87.5% of the time.
This is a significant improvement over random searches and reduces the area need for search by up to 97%.
As this a crucial development because researchers have limit opportunities to collect samples or use remote sensing instruments when hunting for life beyond Earth.
Kim Warren-Rhodes Said :
The team use the Salar de Pajonales, a hyper-arid, dry salt lakebed on the border of the Chilean Atacama Desert and Altiplano, as a Mars analogue to map sparse life hidden in salt domes, rocks, and crystals.
A total of 7,765 images and 1,154 samples were gather by the team.
They also test instruments to detect photosynthetic microbes that exude pigments.
This is how they were able to represent one possible biosignature on NASA’s Ladder of Life Detection.
By training convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to recognize and predict macro-scale geologic features and micro-scale substrates most likely to contain biosignatures, the team successfully integrate datasets at vastly different resolutions from orbit to the ground.
They tied regional orbital data with microbial habitats, paving the way for machine learning to assist scientists in the search for biosignatures in the universe.
The results affirm that microbial existence at the Pajonales earthly analogue location is not haphazardly distributed.
Byut, it is concentrate in patchy biological hotspots strongly link to water availability at kilometre to centimetre scales.
The team’s next research objective is to test the CNNs’ ability to predict the location and distribution of ancient stromatolite fossils and halite microbiomes with the same machine-learning programs.
This is a breakthrough step towards locating life beyond Earth efficiently.