NASA and Google to Announce AI Breakthrough

Gwen Vasquez
December 12, 2017

"Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and shows new ways of examining Kepler data", NASA said. But it will nearly certainly relate to exoplanets - Earth-sized worlds that orbit around their own stars, and are our best hope of finding alien life.

Exactly what has been discovered won't be revealed until Thursday, but with Kepler there's always a good chance that some new distant planets will be part of the reveal. The exact details of the subject of the press conference have not been revealed, but the space agency said it will talk about the latest discovery made with its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope.

The teleconference will take place on December 14 and will be live-streamed on Nasa's website.

Kepler completed its main mission in 2012, but continued to collect data in an extended mission. "The idea is that if advanced alien civilizations build planet-sized megastructures - solar panels, ring worlds, telescopes, beacons, whatever - Kepler might be able to distinguish them from planets", Wright wrote in a blog post.

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Kepler is NASA's most successful planet discoverer, having identified over 2,500 exoplanets in its two missions over eight years. The discovery was driven by Google's machine-learning artificial intelligence software. The telescope's most recent biggest revelation was the discovery of seven Earth-like exoplanets orbiting a dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1.

In 2014, Kepler began a new exoplanet-hunting mission: K2.

Experts from NASA and Google will be on hand to explain the latest breakthrough. He will be joined by Kepler project scientist Jessie Dotson, who works in NASA's Ames Research Center located in Silicon Valley, California. One of the attendees is Paul Hertz, the director of NASA's Astrophysics division in Washington D.C, as well as Christopher Shallue from Google.

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