Will artificial intelligence help us find evidence of UFOs?

“Are we alone in the universe?” is one of humanity’s biggest questions. But now, some of the world’s top scientists and tech companies are setting out to answer an even bigger question: “Are we being visited?”

This used to be seen as a silly topic for debate, confined to conspiratorial subreddits filled with stories of reptilian alien overlords covertly living among us. But things are starting to change.

Last year, not only did US president Biden approve a new US government office to study the nature of unidentified flying objects, but a distinguished academic, Professor Avi Loeb — the longest serving chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy — launched The Galileo Project, a search for UFOs. 

And one difference this time is that artificial intelligence is being drafted into the search. Tel Aviv-founded AI startup Timbr, for example, has offered its technology — which allows users to interact with complex databases using simple queries — to the project.

If ET’s out there, AI may finally allow us to spot them. 

Is this really serious? 

Well, serious people from the US government have certainly started to take UFOs a lot more seriously recently.  In May last year, Barack Obama admitted that there really are objects moving in our skies that can’t be easily explained away: “There’s footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don’t know exactly what they are, we can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory… They did not have an easily explainable pattern.”

A month later, the US government released a report confirming that US military personnel have encountered things in the sky that appeared to be real, physical objects that display “advanced technology”. 

Christopher Mellon, a former senior US defence official, commented that not only are UFOs a national security threat, but that they

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