AI Helping Scientists Discover Fresh Craters on Mars

Original article was published by on Communications of the ACM – Artificial Intelligence

By Jet Propulsion Laboratory

October 5, 2020

Scientists were able to find craters on the surface of Mars that were the result of recently being struck by a comet with the assistance of artificial intelligence.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Planetary scientists and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) developed a machine learning tool that is helping to discover new craters on Mars.

Fresh crater detection typically involves hours of studying low-resolution images of potential new craters captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Context Camera; the new process scans images from the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment.

The classifier can complete in about five seconds what would take a human 40 minutes to accomplish.

JPL’s Kiri Wagstaff said. “This paves the way for an exciting symbiosis of human and AI ‘investigators’ working together to accelerate scientific discovery.”

From Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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