Artificial Intelligence could make us think that we have found aliens Scientists warn.
This technology means the simulation of human intelligence in a machine that is programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.
Artificial intelligence is one of the breakthrough technologies in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is used to sort through huge amounts of the image in the hopes of spotting “technosignatures”, or indications of alien life.
But the discovery suggests that people could be get excited about potential discoveries spotted by artificial intelligence, only to find that they are meaningless, accidental formations on alien planets.
The study used a particular formation on the dwarf planet Ceres, which excited alien-hunters when it was first discovered. Ceres Ceres is a dwarf planet and the biggest object in the asteroid belt that sits between Mars and Jupiter. For a long time, scientists could only guess at what was causing the areas of brightness — with suggestions including gas, ice, volcanos or something else entirely. Nasa even asked the public for help in identifying the cause of the bright spots.
But the new research finds that the spots are probably salt, reflecting light up and so giving the appearance of a bright area on Ceres’s surface.
The study concludes that the “unusual areas are consistent with hydrated magnesium sulfates mixed with dark background material”, the researchers say. The paper has been published in Nature.
In all, there are more than 130 bright areas, most of which seem to have come from asteroid impacts. When those asteroids landed they likely dislodged the salt that is leading to the bright areas.
“The global nature of Ceres’ bright spots suggests that this world has a subsurface layer that contains briny water-ice,” Nathues said.
This claim has been made after the new images taken from the camera on Dawn.
The planet’s surface includes what appears to be a square structure within a triangle one, and appears to have been intentionally built. The discovery of the crater, named Occator, led some to speculate that it had been constructed by an alien civilisation – though it is most likely just an accident of light and shadow on the surface.
In the new research, conducted by scientists from the University of Cadiz and published in the journal Acta Astronautica, participants were shown one of those mysterious formations on the planet’s surface. They were then asked to describe what they saw, with many people pointing out the unusual formation.
The scientists then did the same with an artificial intelligence system, which had been trained to spot squares and triangles in images. The AI also spotted the formations – and, once it had, it meant that participants also saw them too.
“Both people and artificial intelligence detected a square structure in the images, but the AI also identified a triangle,” said Gabriel G De la Torre, the neuropsychologist who led the study. “And when the triangular option was shown to humans, the percentage of persons claiming to see it also increased significantly.”
The researchers said the study should warn those hunting for alien civilisations that the use of artificial intelligence “could confuse us and tell us that it has detected impossible or false things”. But it might also help us spot structures that would never have been noticed by humanity, he said,