Astronomers Use AI to Help Classify Galaxies

Slashdot links to a Singularity Hub article describing a project that is forehead slappingly obvious in hindsight.

Scientists are teaching an artificial intelligence how to classify galaxies imaged by telescopes like the Hubble. Manda Banerji at the University of Cambridge along with researchers at University College London, Johns Hopkins and elsewhere, has succeeded in getting the program to agree with human analysis at an impressive rate of more than 90%.

The article goes on to explain how the team used data from Galaxy Zoo to train the AI.  Galaxy Zoo is a crowd sourced effort to aggregate small bits of highly distributed human effort to classify galaxies in astronomical imagery.  It has produced some startlingly good results due to efforts at cross verification.  It makes perfect sense as a training set for a directed learning program.

The AI will be used to alleviate the more trivial tasks involved in many coming astronomical projects so that human input can be applied for best effect, on the harder problems inherent in sifting through the reams of data.

feeds | grep links > Distance Record for Teleportation, Uncommon Goods Being Pirated, Useful User Created Protein, and Pay What You Will for Bread

  • New distance record for quantum teleportation
    Teleportation is the instantaneous correlation in properties between a pair of entangled particles that hints at the possibility of communication information instantly regardless of distance. Casey Johnston at Ars explains this latest demonstration by researchers who have managed to show the effect at a staggering ten miles separation between the entangled pair. This is far from any practical application but a critical stepnonetheless.
  • Four surprising things affected by piracy
    Jacqui Cheung has a nice, short post at Ars drawing attention to works most people probably don’t consider when thinking about piracy and copyright. Since my wife is an active crafter and seamstress, the mention of patterns and embroidery files actually doesn’t surprise me at all. She and I have had some in depth discussions of the ethical and legal implications of sharing these works as well as the views and actions of publishers in those respective categories. Anything that can be digitized and copied is going to face these issues, sooner or later.
  • User created protein may have useful applications
    Slashdot points out that a protein created by a user in the Foldit game is being prepared for lab tests as it may have useful medical applications, in particular for being able to better treat influenza virii. I use Rosetta@Home and am a big fun of user contributed projects like it and of games, like Evoke, that aim to produce real world benefits.
  • Panera to experiment with pay what you will
    Mike Masnick has the story at Techdirt. I am very curious about how this will work out, too. This kind of buyer driven price discrimination has worked surprisingly well again and again online. A bakery is going to have much higher marginal costs than a site offering digital music but many experiments with digitals goods generate incredible margins, ones that might translate well to physical goods.