AI in Action: Machines that make sense of the sky

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Science  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6346, pp. 26
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6346.26

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Astrophysicists are using artificial intelligence (AI) to create something like the technology in movies that magically sharpens fuzzy surveillance images: a network that could make a blurry galaxy image look like it was taken by a better telescope than it actually was. That could let astronomers squeeze out finer details from reams of observations. The system works by pitting two dueling neural networks against each other. One is a generator that concocts images, the other a discriminator that tries to spot any flaws that would give away the manipulation, forcing the generator to get better. The team took thousands of real images of galaxies, and then artificially degraded them. Then the researchers taught the generator to spruce up the images again so they could slip past the discriminator. Eventually the network could outperform other techniques for smoothing out noisy pictures of galaxies.