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Held virtually today on the sidelines of the 64th IAEA General Conference, the first ever IAEA meeting discussing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for nuclear applications showcased the ways in which AI-based approaches in nuclear science can benefit human health, water resource management and nuclear fusion research. Open to the public, the event gathered over 300 people from 43 countries and launched a global dialogue on the potential of AI for nuclear science and the related implications of its use, including ethics and transparency. AI refers to a collection of technologies that combine numerical data, process algorithms and continuously increasing computing power to develop systems capable of tracking complex problems in ways similar to human logic and reasoning. AI technologies can analyse large amounts of data to "learn" how to complete a particular task, a technique called machine learning. "Artificial Intelligence is advancing exponentially," said Najat Mokhtar, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications.
Among the places within our solar system that could potentially support life as we know it (other than Earth, of course), Jupiter's icy moon Europa is one of the prime candidates. New research by a team of Brazilian researchers indicates native life-forms on the solar system's sixth-largest moon, if they exist, could be powered by nuclear energy.