back to article Astroboffins build AI to chase galactic blue nuggets in space

AI systems can be trained to help astronomers identify if galaxies are still active in producing new stars, according to a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal. A team of researchers have built a convolutional neural network to identify galaxies at various evolutionary stages. Galaxies are mostly massive blobs of …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Just had a look at the paper

    What stuck me as odd was that at first glance they seemed to be training a deep neural network (because most CNNs are employed in deep networks) on just 9000 images, which is usually way too little, but then looking at their architecture, it is just 5 layers, or so, which is hardly deep. Indeed the authors clearly state the shallow architecture was chosen because of the low number of example images. As the authors state, more data are needed, but I would suggest a comparison to other, feature-based approaches might be nice as well, just to see if CNNs really work better than other ML approaches in this case.

    1. Tom 7

      Re: Just had a look at the paper

      If they are just looking for patterns in the colours and rough shape evolution then that's probably all you need to get something 'useful'.

  2. ravenviz Silver badge

    Galaxies are mostly massive blobs of gas, dust and stars

    Well, the components we can see anyway!

  3. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Seems a bit odd...

    Doesn't a lot of science advance because someone notices something "off" about a sample or piece of data? From the reporting, it would seem that the various AI systems are quite happy to force data into some small set of buckets. This application feels backwards...

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: Seems a bit odd...

      I think the idea is that AI can help us expose causal relationships that we could no longer be able to realise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems a bit odd...

        It's not that this AI would be more accurate than human inspection, but that it could go thru massive data sets must faster, pre-segregating said data into more relevant chunks for later study.

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