Artificial Intelligence has infiltrated just about every corner of the modern world from art to creative writing to animation and more, but a recent finding from an AI “alien hunter” should concern all of us.
University of Toronto student Peter Ma developed a new AI algorithm that’s sole purpose is to sort through galactic noise to find what may be signs of intelligent life. Believe it or not, space is not a quiet place at all, so deciphering the various beeps and bloops out there was nearly impossible… for humans.
Artificial Intelligence and Space
With Ma’s latest study, the AI sorted through over 3 million signals to find 20,515 that seemed to be more than just random sounds. From there, the researchers painstakingly inspected each sound manually, ultimately coming up with eight that had the right characteristics of possible extraterrestrial life.
“Eight signals looked very suspicious, but after we took another look at the targets with our telescopes, we didn’t see them again,” said Ma. “It’s been almost five to six years since we took the data, but we still haven’t seen the signal again. Make of that what you will.”
Listen to the ‘alien’ sounds of Earth’s poles: Rarely heard Arctic and Antarctic noises including ‘singing’ ice and a seal that sounds like it is in space are revealed to the world
via https://t.co/mzARDwYvcn https://t.co/M3nS2uruEo
— Sergey Minaev (@sminaev2015) February 7, 2023
So let’s get this straight: the eight sounds that were positively identified as not resulting from common space interference just vanished? As if whatever was making those noises just left?
With the booming progress of AI in the last year alone, it’s not unheard of to think that this algorithm could be finely tuned enough to interpret these space sounds and their true origins.
Astronomer Daniel Price of Breakthrough Listen is a bit more skeptical, though. While he believes that the eight sounds are merely interference, he does admit that each sound is worth looking into.
“If astronomers do manage to detect a technosignature that can’t be explained away as interference, it would strongly suggest humans aren’t the sole creators of technology within the Galaxy,” he wrote in The Conversation newsletter.
“This would be one of the most profound discoveries imaginable.”
[Via New Atlas]
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