Robotics discovering alternative physics

Dmitry Spodarets
Dmitry Spodarets

Is it possible to detect energy, mass, and velocity variables automatically? Researchers at the Columbia Institute of Engineering have proven that it is possible by creating their own AI program. It is capable of observing physical phenomena with a video camera and then finding a minimal set of fundamental variables that fully describe the observed dynamics.

The research began by feeding the system raw video recordings of phenomena for which there is already an answer. The technology researchers then proceeded to visualize the actual variables that the software identified.

Such AI can help scientists uncover complex phenomena whose theoretical understanding hasn't kept up with the vast amount of data - in fields ranging from biology to cosmology. "Although we used video data in this work, any source of data sets - such as radar arrays or DNA arrays - can be used," explained Quang Huang, PhD, a co-author of the paper.