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Sunday, December 31, 2017

A NASA Expert Says This Is The “Ultimate” Test for AI in Space Exploration | Futurism - Off World

In Brief  
Habitable worlds that hold the promise of extraterrestrial life are all extremely far from Earth. An artificial intelligence expert from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory thinks that reaching these worlds will be the ultimate test for AI in space exploration. 

What role does AI play in the search for life in the universe?

Photo: NASA

AI in Space Exploration 
Given the rate at which artificial intelligence (AI) has been advancing, it’s proving difficult to place bets on just how far the technology will be able to go. Not just here on Earth, but beyond, as researchers harness the power of AI in space exploration to take us to the outskirts of the universe.  According to Steve Chien, Technical Group Supervisor of the Artificial Intelligence Group and Senior Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, not only is AI becoming an integral part of advancing space exploration, it has become clear that the search for extraterrestrial life could be the “ultimate test” for AI in space exploration. Such a search has long been believed to require the kind of creative and intuitive decision making that, for now at least, seems uniquely human.

Chien stated in an interview with Scientific American that “Unsupervised learning is extremely important to analyzing the unknown. A big part of what humans are able to do is interpret data that are unfamiliar.”

NASA is currently adopting a number of AI technologies, as are others working on space exploration ventures. According to Chien, the upcoming Mars 2020 Mission will incorporate three major areas of AI: the rovers themselves will be equipped for autonomous driving, the systems that assist the rovers in performing science tasks will make use of AI, and they will also have a “sophisticated scheduling system that enables them to be more dynamic” allowing the rovers to adjust their to-do list accordingly so that they don’t lag behind on productivity.

Life Out There While 
AI is a major tool to aid in space exploration, the search for life in the universe is also a testing grounds for those AI technologies.
Read more... 

Scientific American, NASA

Source: Futurism