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Artificial Intelligence finds six new pulsars in Arecibo data. In the modern era of big data, many fields of astronomy are generating huge volumes, the analysis of which can sometimes be the limiting factor in research. Fortunately, powerful data-mining techniques have been developed by computer scientists, ready to be applied to various fields. In a recent paper, Wei Wei Zhu and Aaron Berndsen from the University of British Columbia plus collaborators present a novel artificial intelligence (AI) program that identifies pulsars from recent surveys using image pattern recognition with deep neural nets the PICS (Pulsar Image- based Classification System) AI.

Traditionally, new pulsars are identified from diagnostic images by humans (such as the new pulsars found in the LOFAR pilot surveys). The AI mimics these human experts and distinguishes pulsars from noise and interference by looking for patterns from candidate plots. Different from other pulsar selection programs which searched for expected patterns, the PICS AI is taught the salient features of different pulsars from a set of human-labeled candidates through machine learning. ... Read more



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