Artificial intelligence just located new craters on Mars in 5 seconds

Images taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been run through AI, and new craters have been found in just 5 seconds.

1 minute & 4 seconds read time

One way researchers discover "new" craters on Mars is to analyze images taken from NASA satellites that are pointed at the surface of the Red Planet.

Artificial intelligence just located new craters on Mars in 5 seconds 01

Researchers will look at a collection of images spanning over various time frames, then compare images of the surface to each other. If a new crater appears between an image taken on A date and an image taken B date, then researchers can estimate that an impact must have occurred sometime between the dates of the images taken. To analyze one image, a researcher will spend about 40 minutes.

As humans tend to do, we have offloaded the process to technology that can complete the task much more efficiently, freeing up time for researchers to work on other tasks. Researchers have now used a supercomputer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to train an artificial intelligence with around 7,000 images, reducing the time it takes to analyze a single image to just 5 seconds and causing the discovery of new craters.

Ingrid Daubar, a planetary scientist who helped create the AI, spoke to Wired and said, "The possibility of using machine learning to really delve into large data sets and find things that we otherwise wouldn't have found is really exciting. This is just beginning. We're looking forward to finding a lot more."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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