Scientists mark a milestone by using artificial intelligence to produce complex 3D simulations of the universe that are fast and accurate.

The simulation works so well even beyond its parameters, much to the surprise of the creators who have ended up baffled at the AI's incredible capabilities.

In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the astrophysicists shared the results of their project known as the Deep Density Displacement Model or D3M. Its speed and accuracy set it apart from the previous attempts of universe simulation.

According to study coauthor Shirley Ho, who is a group leader at the Flatiron Institute's Center for Computational Astrophysics and an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, their new AI can run simulations in just a few milliseconds, compared to other "fast" simulations that take several minutes to complete. It is also much more accurate.

In fact, the accuracy of D3M is astounding, leaving Ho and the rest of her team shocked. The model has been found to accurately generate a simulation of the universe with some of the parameters tweaked, such as the amount of dark matter in the cosmos — even though D3M never received training data on these parameters changes.

"It's like teaching image recognition software with lots of pictures of cats and dogs, but then it's able to recognize elephants," Ho explained. "Nobody knows how it does this, and it's a great mystery to be solved."

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