Ancient hybrid ancestor has been connected to human genome through AI

Artificial intelligence has been used to drive cars and restore paintings, but now the technology has been used to connect a missing link. By studying the bones of a 50,000 year old teenage girl, AI has detected a previously unknown human species.

Reported by Science Alert, AI analysis of the ancient teen's remains has revealed new information. Previously, it was thought that there were only two sub-species of humans, but now that's no longer the case.

Background on the ancient hybrid ancestor

When the remains were discovered in 2018, the ancient hybrid’s remains were believed to be a sign of breeding between two hominin species. Back then, only two forms of hominin were believed to exist: Neanderthal and Denisovans.

In 2018, the remains signified the first dated example of breeding between the two groups. Slight differences in skeletal fragments indicated as such. However, new research with AI integration leads scientists to believe that there was a third hominin species heretofore unknown.

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AI uncovers third hominin species

Researchers examining the remains used artificial intelligence to study its genetic code. While looking for possible information to link the remains to both Neanderthals and Denisovans, a “ghost” partner was discovered. In the research paper, the team claims the evidence suggests the remains point to an archaic civilisation we have yet to discover.

This population is either related to the Neanderthal-Denisova clade or diverged early from the Denisova lineage," they said. “Our theory coincides with the hybrid specimen discovered recently in Denisova, although as yet we cannot rule out other possibilities"

More research on the remains will be conducted. The team’s next steps will be pinning down where this third hominin species comes from and when did humanity first encounter them. All signs point to a crossover around the time of the African Exodus. However, that is still just a theory.

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