Google researchers use AI to spot distant exoplanets

Engadget

Hunting for exoplanets is a very data-intensive and time-consuming task. Sifting through piles of data to find subtle signs of distant planets takes quite a lot of work, but researchers at Google have been developing a way to use AI to make the process faster and more effective. NASA's Kepler mission spent four years focused on one patch of sky and during that time it collected 14 billion data points from 200,000 stars. Spotting an exoplanet is typically done by observing when a star's light temporarily dims as an exoplanet passes between us and the star. During those years, Kepler took a picture every 30 minutes, so there were a lot of chances for that effect to be observed.


Scientists find a miniature version of our solar system, with eight planets and a sun-like star

Los Angeles Times

Scientists applying artificial intelligence to data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope have discovered an eighth planet around the star Kepler-90 -- breaking the record for the star with the most exoplanets and, for the first time, tying with our own. The planet Kepler-90i, described at a briefing Thursday and in a paper accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal, demonstrates for the first time that other stars can host planetary systems as populous as our own solar system. The findings also establish the growing role that neural networks and other machine learning techniques could play in the hunt for more elusive planets outside our own solar neighborhood. "Kepler has already shown us that most stars have planets," said Paul Hertz, director of NASA's Astrophysics Division in Washington. "Today Kepler confirms that stars can have large families of planets just like our solar system."


Samsung to launch smart speaker in first half of 2018: Report

ZDNet

Samsung plans to launch a smart speaker to rival Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others, in the first half of 2018, according to Bloomberg. The smart speaker will use Samsung's Bixby voice assistant utilized in the Galaxy smartphone lineup, and aims to connect smart home appliances. It's not clear what Samsung plans to call its smart speaker, however the report said it may be priced at $200 and harp on audio quality. Samsung's focus for the speaker is to be a hub for its SmartThings ecosystem and other Samsung devices including smart refrigerators and Galaxy smartphones. Bixby, like Apple's Siri and Amazon Alexa, allows users to access information like weather, sports scores, news, traffic info, web services, and more with their voice.


Machines, not stargazers, spot eighth planet in faraway solar system, matching ours

Japan Times >> News

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – A record-tying eighth planet has been found in a faraway solar system, matching our own in numbers. Even more amazing, machines and not humans made the discovery. NASA joined with Google on Thursday to announce the finding. This eighth planet orbits the star known as Kepler-90, some 2,545 light-years away. Like Earth, this new planet, Kepler-90i, is the third rock from its sun.


NASA's Latest Kepler Exoplanet Discovery Fueled by AI

WIRED

Saturn's rings sure are pretty, and Matt Damon's been to Mars, but our eight-planet solar system may not be that special after all. Today, scientists using data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft announced they'd discovered an eighth planet orbiting a star 2,500 light years away. They've named the planet Kepler-90i after the star it orbits, Kepler-90, which is slightly hotter and more massive than our sun. "This discovery of an eighth planet ties Kepler-90 with our own solar system for having the most known planets," said NASA astrophysicist Paul Hertz during a press conference about the discovery. Researchers found the exoplanet by re-sifting through four years of data from a Kepler instrument called a photometer, a machine that measures the brightness of stars.


14 jokes about net neutrality while they're still free

Mashable

In a brave motion, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal a nasty net neutrality protection on Thursday that was put in place by the evil Obama administration in 2015. Finally, the internet will be able to serve its true and real purpose: make untold billions of dollars for faceless corporations, which nearly everyone in the United States hates. Finally, the people who make the internet a weird place for new opportunities, creation, innovation, and social interaction will be forced to pay for that privilege. Finally, the poor corporate CEOs of major telecom companies will be able to afford a new jet to replace their old and outdated planes. But before the new regime takes hold of the invisible force that bonds the modern world together as we know it, bringing new life to underprivileged areas and creating a global conversation and marketplace, we can wallow in the mediocre humor of those sarcastic shits who define the culture of the internet.


Google Home Max: Google's max effort pays off in powerful smart speaker

USATODAY

If you care more about your smart speaker's sound than which digital assistant it employs, the new Google Home Max speaker should be on your holiday short list. After days of pumping an eclectic range of music through Google's $399 speaker -- from AC/DC to the Three Tenors -- it's clear the Google Home Max is in a class by itself when it comes to filling a home or apartment with sounds even an audiophile could appreciate. The downsides: It's big, heavy, cord-powered and not particularly portable. Admittedly, for many people the decision to purchase this or that voice-activated smart speaker has often boiled down to which AI-infused digital assistant you're most comfortable engaging with in your home, most likely Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant. But when music is the priority, different features come into play.


Big Data and Analytics – What's Ahead? @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #BigData

#artificialintelligence

Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things. In the area of big data, a combination of new and long-established technologies are being put to work. Hadoop and Spark are expanding their roles within organizations. NoSQL and NewSQL databases bring their own unique attributes to the enterprise, while in-memory capabilities (such as Redis) are increasingly being utilized to deliver insights to decision makers faster. And through it all, tried-and-true relational databases continue to support many of the most critical enterprise data environments.


Classifying and visualizing with fastText and tSNE

#artificialintelligence

Previously I wrote a three-part series on classifying text, in which I walked through the creation of a text classifier from the bottom up. It was interesting but it was purely an academic exercise. Here I'm going to use methods suitable for scaling up to large datasets, preferring tools written by others to those written by myself. The end goal is the same: classifying and visualizing relationships between blocks of text. I'm thinking of the classifier as a different representation of the block of text, so (1) and (2) are similar.


Why blockchain is perfect for building a distributed AI platform

#artificialintelligence

"The next AI revolution is going to solve these problems: It's going to bring more intelligence, it's going to coordinate and connect many different special AIs together, and it's going to enable AI to be applied for broader benefit," says SingularityNET's CEO Ben Goertzel. TechRepublic's Dan Patterson spoke with Goertzel to discuss why blockchain technology is perfect for building an open and distributed artificial intelligence (AI) platform. Blockchain gives users the ability to create a decentralized network of AIs where anyone can post their AI online, and their AI can participate in the network, Goertzel said. So when someone needs AI-as-a-Service, they can send out a request to the network and find agents that can do the task they are looking to accomplish. The concept of SingularityNET is that it's an open market for AIs.