Are we alone in the universe? Researchers at the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems are using artificial intelligence to answer that very question. They have trained an artificial neural network (or ANN, software that mimics the human learning process) to rapidly scan data and find planets that may meet the criteria for hosting potential life. The ANN then breaks down candidates into five categories, based on bodies in our own solar system that could harbor life:
1. Modern Earth
2. Early Earth
5.Saturn’s moon Titan
The ANN works by measuring the atmospheric and orbital data of planets to find candidates that may harbor life. The goal, one researcher said in a statement, is to explore “a hypothetical, intelligent, interstellar spacecraft scanning an exoplanet system at range.” This exciting application of AI could prove invaluable in helping humanity understand its place in the vast cosmos.