back to article What could power an early-warning system for harmful radiation storms in Earth's Van Allen belts? AI? Let's see, say Los Alamos boffins

Machine-learning algorithms may in future be able to warn scientists of harmful radiation storms days in advance of their formation in Earth’s Van Allen belts. Charged particles from the Sun get trapped in our planet's magnetic field to form two donut-shaped lobes known as Van Allen belts. Satellites traveling through these …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the Van Allen Probes [..] recently de-orbited"

    And what's the plan on sending up some new ones ?

    Whatever it is we're calling AI these days, it cannot replace measurements.

    Otherwise let's just make it official that we're living in a simulation and give me my bloody flying car already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "the Van Allen Probes [..] recently de-orbited"

      You are correct, but it can replace the funding. ;)

      New rocket or probe? Someone else gets the funds/funds get cut as "too expensive".

      Magic AI? We can make that fit *any* budget requirements... and syphon off into our paychecks.

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Suggestion

    An AI model that only works on one data set? That seems to me to be truly artifical intelligence. Maybe it wold be better to replace the satellites.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Suggestion

      As far as I understand that this is exactly the same in all cases where people claim to have "AI". It is a certain model trained on specific data. Good luck using any of the "is this a horse" picture analysing algorithms (trained on horse vs. dog pictures) to make inference about e.g. the stock market - or even using that "is this a horse"-thingy to spot the Evil Terrorist In Disguise [TM] at a border crossing.

      So yes, the application described here is not "intelligent", but I think that in most (all?) cases it should just be called machine learning (which still sounds too "intelligent" for my taste...) anyway.

      1. deive

        Re: Suggestion

        AI does not yet exist - when anyone talks about AI at the moment I just read ML.

        It does annoy OCD me; sure ML is part of AI, but it is only the start of what is required for it :-(

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Suggestion

        >As far as I understand that this is exactly the same in all cases where people claim to have "AI". It is a certain model trained on specific data. Good luck using any of the "is this a horse" picture analysing algorithms [...] to spot the Evil Terrorist In Disguise

        This is a limitation in your own understanding. This is exactly how modern ML models work. I'd invite you to explore in particular the wonderful world of transfer learning, where a model trained on one dataset is used to build an understanding of a distinct dataset.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "it was a simple logistic regression algorithm that prevailed"

    Does that actually count as AI?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Like computers beating us at chess once a computer can do it it is no longer an intelligent problem.

  4. Beachrider

    Orion depends on space storm detection...

    The Orion space capsule has a 'predictor' mechanism that tells astronauts to get-inside special 'radiation suits'. Perhaps similar detection technology can be improved to meet a broader need. Ref: https://www.popsci.com/this-is-how-orion-astronauts-might-protect-themselves-from-radiation-storms/

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