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NASA Scientists are developing Artificial Intelligence for Underwater Drones that can Explore Jupiter’s Moon Europa

While satellites can study the ocean surface, their signals cannot penetrate the water and therefore robotic submersibles have become critical tools for ocean research

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Jupiter, Source: NASA
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Washington, Dec 1, 2016: NASA scientists are developing artificial intelligence for underwater drones that could be used to understand Earth’s marine environments as well as track signs of life below the surface of icy oceans believed to exist on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

While satellites can study the ocean surface, their signals cannot penetrate the water and therefore robotic submersibles have become critical tools for ocean research.

“Autonomous drones are important for ocean research, but today’s drones don’t make decisions on the fly,” said Steve Chien, who leads the Artificial Intelligence Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

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“In order to study unpredictable ocean phenomena, we need to develop submersibles that can navigate and make decisions on their own, and in real-time. Doing so would help us understand our own oceans — and maybe those on other planets,” Chien said in a NASA statement.

If confirmed, the oceans on moons like Europa are thought to be some of the most likely places to host life in the outer solar system.

If successful, this project could lead to submersibles that can plot their own course as they go, based on what they detect in the water around them.

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That could change how scientists collect data, while also developing the kind of autonomy needed for planetary exploration, said Andrew Thompson, Assistant Professor at California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

“Our goal is to remove the human effort from the day-to-day piloting of these robots and focus that time on analysing the data collected,” Thompson said.

“We want to give these submersibles the freedom and ability to collect useful information without putting a hand in to correct them,” Thompson noted.

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As part of this research, a team of scientists from NASA and other institutions recently used a fleet of six coordinated drones to study Monterey Bay, California.

The fleet roved for miles seeking out changes in temperature and salinity. To plot their routes, forecasts of these ocean features were sent to the drones from shore.

The drones also sensed how the ocean actively changed around them. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?