NASA will offer a somewhat unusual press conference on Thursday to announce the latest finding of its. Kepler has found hundreds of planets beyond our solar system over the years, but this week's announcement will be different because Google will share the center of scientific attention.
"The discovery was made by researchers who used Google machine learning," says a launch by the space agency, adding that the breakthrough "demonstrates new ways to analyze Kepler's data."
Christopher Shallue, an engineer at Google AI and Google Brain will be presented at NASA's press conference alongside NASA scientists, his Kepler team and NASA Sagan fellow Andrew Vanderburg of the University of Texas.
Exactly what was discovered will not be revealed until Thursday, but with Kepler there is always a good chance that some new distant planets will be part of the revelation.
What we do know is that Shallue and Vanderburg have collaborated in an effort that uses machine learning. to find new planetary candidates in the Kepler data (PDF link), which would be considered inconclusive using more traditional methods of analysis.
So maybe you would expect to hear something about a new planetary-hunting era assisted by artificial intelligence: that would be my fortune teller for Thursday. We'll have to wait and see if the Google A.I is also helping to detect signs of extraterrestrial life in the many worlds beyond our solar system as well.