Artificial Intelligence

AI&Mars : The Future

Today we are answering the question: how can artificial intelligence be implemented to help with space exploration? This is a great question because everyone is wondering about the capabilities of artificial intelligence and that is because AI has incredible potential to influence space travel.

solar system
Solar System

First and foremost, what even is artificial intelligence? Well, the definition according to The English Oxford Living Dictionary is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translation between languages. There are a ton of different definitions.

However, they all include imitation of human behaviour, the ability to adapt to change and to learn. So how does artificial intelligence actually help with space travel?
Well, one prominent and recent example is back in 2016 when NASA gave the Mars Curiosity Rover an AI program called Aegis.

Aegis stands for Autonomous Exploration For Gathering Increased Science. This gave Curiosity the ability to detect and sample rocks basically on its own using photo recognition to learn what types of rocks and soils NASA wants to study and had 93 per cent accuracy rate. Moreover, while that level of autonomy does make Curiosity “ROCK!” which it could be intimidating if it were to go one day rogue.

So besides zapping rocks, what is so useful about AI in space?
Well recently, the first robot equipped with artificial intelligence has been launched into space and it helps astronauts by collaborating with them on their daily tasks. Launched in late June 2018 by a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station, Cimon was developed by the European Space Agency Airbus and stands for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion. If an astronaut needs help with an experiment or complex procedure, they can ask Cimon and get highly detailed answers and information.

In everything from the physical chores of exploring other planets to collecting data to providing astronauts with information, AI definitely has the potential to help humans with space exploration. Furthermore, another future application for AI would be that we could send an AI robot to Mars ahead of our human travellers and have it set up all of their life support systems and habitats. This would drastically decrease the risk factor and the cost of human Mars missions.

There is a lot of potential in the future for artificial intelligence to help us explore extremely hostile environments such as the moons of Galilean planets which could have watery oceans on them. Needless to say, these situations are very difficult for humans because we are a lot more fragile.

After acknowledging all of these great stuff about how artificial intelligence could help us with space exploration, you might start to wonder why sending humans to space at all? Well as of yet AI does not have the creativity, problem-solving and the ability to react to humans.

The possibilities for artificial intelligence are limitless. As long as we avoid an AI apocalypse, which according to Elon Musk “With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon”.

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