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Geophysicist uses A.I. to predict lab earthquakes

Mar 06, 2017, 7:17 AM EST
(Source: European Commission DG ECHO/flickr)
(Source: European Commission DG ECHO/flickr)

Bertrand Rouet-Leduc and his team at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have created an A.I.-based algorithm that can predict laboratory earthquakes and could one day be useful in foretelling real temblors. The discovery, being hailed as a “tectonic shift” in the world of geology, comes after years of futile experimentation and study of several phenomena to forecast a quake.

The researchers created an artificial earthquake system and then recorded the acoustic emissions i.e. the tell-tale signs of sounds that usually precede the onset of an imminent quake. This recording was fed into the machine-learning algorithm, which to the surprise of geologists and experts, deciphered a pattern that researchers have missed for years, notes MIT Technology Review.

A similar approach to predict earthquakes was tested in the 1980s but with no results, however, the technological advancement such as improved machine-learning algorithms, supercomputers and the ability to process huge amount of data, have yielded positive outcome this time, writes Scientific American.

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