New artificial intelligence technology is able to determine the origin of organic materials with high accuracy. This allows her to clarify the controversial question of whether there are living organisms on Mars.
Organic materials are not only found on Earth, but are also widespread on other planets. This is also the case on Mars, for example. Rocks can form in two different ways: either without or with the participation of living organisms. Since it is difficult to determine the origin of ancient samples, scientists have long wondered whether organic materials found on Mars could be of biological origin. The answer is at hand thanks to a new study.
90 percent accuracy
A team of researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science presented their latest achievement in a scientific article in collaboration with the University of Tokyo: Scientists have created artificial intelligence that can determine the origin of organic rocks with a high degree of probability. In 90% of cases, the algorithm is able to identify the correct source.
Artificial intelligence recognizes patterns in organic materials
To do this, the researchers fed an algorithm with existing data from samples of known origin. This includes properties such as the size and shape of the small material. “We started from the idea that the chemistry of life is fundamentally different from the chemistry of the inanimate world; There are “chemical rules of life” that influence the diversity and distribution of biomolecules, explains lead author Robert Hazen in a Carnegie Science Center press release. And the scientists were right in their assumption: AI recognizes a pattern in biological and organic materials that humans have not yet discovered.
Revolutionary technology for discovering extraterrestrial life
The necessary data are obtained using the so-called high-chemistry Pyr-GC-EI-MS process, which is also available on many probes currently on Mars. This means that the new AI technology could soon be used on the Red Planet. “This analysis method has the potential to revolutionize the search for extraterrestrial life,” says Hazen.
When did life actually originate on Earth?
However, AI is not only capable of working with extraterrestrial materials. The algorithm can also answer some of the biggest questions in research. Scientists also want to examine ancient organic rock samples – coming from Greenland and Australia, for example – for biological remains. In this way, it can finally be clarified when life actually arose on Earth.
You may also be interested in:
Life without the moon: This is how the world will change
Black holes are much closer to Earth than thought
“Social media evangelist. Baconaholic. Devoted reader. Twitter scholar. Avid coffee trailblazer.”