TechSupernova discovered by a computer. Will artificial intelligence replace humans?

Supernova discovered by a computer. Will artificial intelligence replace humans?

Supernova SN2023tyk
Supernova SN2023tyk
Images source: © Legacy Surveys | D. Lang (Perimeter Institute)
11:16 AM EDT, October 17, 2023

Artificial intelligence has identified and classified its first supernova. It can replace a human in this task, and it's not necessarily bad news.

This is another field where artificial intelligence can replace humans. Moreover, it's an opportunity to speed up the process of analysis and classification of supernovae. For the first time, a fully automated algorithm detected, identified, and classified a supernova. This was accomplished by the BTSbot program (which is an abbreviation for Bright Transient Survey bot). After making observations and identifying it, the program communicated with another telescope, ultimately confirming the discovery of the supernova.

The first supernova detected by SI

Scientists highlight the positive aspect of this matter. Thanks to this, people will not have to search for supernovas, they will be able to devote more time to the analysis of observations and the development of credible hypotheses that will help explain the origin of cosmic explosions, as reported by Space.com.

Supernovae most often occur when dying stars exhaust their nuclear synthesis fuel. The internal pressure of gravity becomes impossible to stop, as a result of which the cores of stars collapse, and the outer layers burst. There are also supernovae that are the result of explosions after white dwarfs in a binary system remove matter from their companion stars, and the reignition of white dwarfs leads to their explosion and total destruction.

Tangible benefits of using technology

Let's get back to the benefits of using artificial intelligence. How much time savings are we talking about? The team responsible for the development of BTSbot reports that over the past six years, astronomers have spent approximately 2,200 hours just on visual sky checks and classifying supernova candidates.

To test the BTSbot program, scientists assigned it to "hunt" for the recently discovered supernova SN2023tyk, which is approximately 784 billion miles away from Earth. Observation, identification, and classification – all of this was accomplished by artificial intelligence in just a few days.

- The simulated performance was excellent, but it's unclear how this will translate into reality. The observations and automatic classification brought a huge wave of relief - commented Nabeel Rehemtulla. - If everything is switched on and working correctly, we don't have to do anything: we go to bed in the evening, and in the morning, we see that BTSbot steadfastly does its job.

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