Scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, have achieved a significant breakthrough in the quest to detect alien life by developing a straightforward test. This AI-driven test can accurately determine whether a sample originates from a living organism, achieving an impressive 90 percent accuracy rate. The exciting aspect is that it has the potential to analyze existing samples, including those collected from Mars.
This breakthrough relies on AI’s ability to identify subtle differences in molecular arrangements within samples. Unlike previous methods, it doesn’t rely on specific molecules associated with life, making it highly versatile.
Researchers trained the AI using data from 134 known samples, providing information on whether each sample was of living origin or not. Subsequently, they presented the AI with new samples for identification, and it accurately classified them 90 percent of the time.
One remarkable feature of this AI system is its capability to distinguish between freshly living organisms and fossils, even when samples have undergone significant changes over time. This is particularly significant because organic molecules, which can serve as indicators of life, often degrade over extended periods.
The potential applications of this AI-powered test extend beyond space exploration. It could aid in solving Earth’s mysteries, such as determining whether ancient rocks contain the oldest fossilized life forms. Researchers are already utilizing this method to analyze rocks from various locations, including Australia and Canada.
Artificial intelligence is a versatile tool that is revolutionizing how we process information, analyze data, and leverage knowledge to enhance decision-making across all aspects of our daily lives.