AI is now so important to space exploration that it is likely to discover alien life before we humans do - but luckily, machines are unlikely to betray astronauts any time soon.
That's according to the head of AI at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr Steve Chien, who helps steer some of NASA's major artificial intelligence programmes both on Earth and on Mars.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star, Dr Chien explained that AI - often known as 'machine learning' - has become completely integral to NASA missions.
This is because AI enables NASA scientists to analyse huge amounts of data quickly and understand 'unusual events' in space.
"NASA generates vast amounts of data, and we use machine learning to try and pull out subtle signatures and look for unusual events in these large datasets," Dr Chien says.
AI can automatically sift through things like satellite imagery and narrow down the most interesting parts of these cosmic events, which could be anything from supernovas to deadly meteorites.
It passes these onto humans for further analysis - but often, it's the AI that will spot these anomalies first.
If an AI did discover signs of extra-terrestrial life first, it would take human analysis to confirm its existence in a process Dr Chien calls "intelligence amplification".
"Would it go to [AI] before humans? I would say almost certainly yes, but I would consider it a joint discovery," he says.
"The pre-screening happens with artificial intelligence. If we're getting 500,000 images down per night, there's no way humans could look at all of it. But the machine learning [AI] narrows it down to fifty per night. Then the humans can look at those fifty."
"So if we see that signature and it turns out that we can eventually determine that it is an extraterrestrial life signature, is it the machine learning that did the discovery or is it the humans? I would consider a team discovery."
As part of one project over the last five years, NASA has even used AI to analyse mysterious radio signals from deep space and try to understand their origin.
"That's always a fun thing, because there are some people who think that these are some signs of an alien civilization reaching out to us," said Dr Chien.
"All I would say on that, because, you know, I'm not an astrobiologist, is that it is an explanation, and I don't think we can rule it out."
"But is it the most likely explanation? That would not be the consensus of the science community."
While the likes of Elon Musk and SpaceX haven't quite landed anyone on Mars just yet, AI has been playing an important role in Mars missions for some years and is likely to be central to any Mars colonisation efforts in future.
"We absolutely have to have AI if we're going to send humans to Mars," argues Dr Chien. "The reason is that, when you go someplace in space, you have to bring this huge infrastructure with you in order to ensure the people survive."
The International Space Station, for example, has five to eight astronauts on it at any one time, and they are completely reliant on a huge supply chain of food, fuel, and support systems.
Every time something goes wrong, the ISS can be assisted from Earth thanks to being in constant communication with mission control.
But Dr Chien says this won't be possible on Mars due to its distance from Earth.
"You can't really do that on Mars, because you're not going to have the same kind of communications," he says. "You can pretty much send something there roughly every two years, it's not like doing launches every few weeks to the Space Station."
He believes AI will have a vital role to play in ensuring a Mars colony stays functioning, allowing astronauts to focus on the "intellectual" tasks of exploration and research.
"If you think about your house, whenever something breaks, you have to call in the plumber or the electrician or whoever," says Dr Chien. "There's no such person like that on Mars. So it's very important that these things take care of themselves"
He adds: "The whole point of sending astronauts to Mars is to allow them to explore. We can't spend all this money and all these resources to get astronauts to Mars, just to have them fixing things and tinkering with the refrigerator."
As part of his day job, Dr Chien helps oversee AI systems that power the Perseverance rover, including its navigation system, a 'targeting' system that can search for samples, and even the kit that helps Mars rovers travel across rough terrain.
He believes colonising Mars will involve sending a small team of human astronauts who are supported by these AI-powered rovers that can scout around the red planet, send back pictures, and ask astronauts if they want to investigate further.
However, we don't have to worry about these rovers or AI systems turning on humans while they're on Mars
"I would say that kind of scenario is very far off in the distant future. It's more likely the opposite situation would occur. If you didn't have the AI, it would be so much harder to maintain things on Mars and it would be much less tenable for humans. With AI, you could certainly be able to operate a habitat for much longer."
Originally posted here:
- SpaceX Elon Musk: Population Decline Will Negatively Affect Mars Colonization, Provides Mass Extinction 'Solution' - iTech Post - January 19th, 2022
- How biomining could sustain space colonies - Big Think - January 19th, 2022
- The Expanse season 6 used aliens for a political message in the end - Polygon - January 19th, 2022
- Mars Remains Enigmatic As Ever Leading Up To Destiny 2 The Witch Queen - GameSpot - January 19th, 2022
- An interview in the metaverse | TheHill - The Hill - January 19th, 2022
- I hope that Starfield is more than "Skyrim in Space" - Gamesradar - January 19th, 2022
- Oceanfront retreat overlooks Plymouth Long Beach and the Eel River - Wicked Local - January 19th, 2022
- Free Play Arcade Is Home Again With a Massive Space in Denton - Dallas Observer - January 19th, 2022
- Dredging project will give boats room to maneuver in basin of Plymouth Harbor - Wicked Local - January 19th, 2022
- To the moon and beyond: what 2022 holds for space travel - The Guardian - January 3rd, 2022
- The Expanse Season 6, Episode 4: Recap and Review - Post Apocalyptic Media - January 3rd, 2022
- Humans would probably start eating each other in space - Metro.co.uk - December 27th, 2021
- Payments in the Off-World Colonies, 2121 - BeInCrypto - BeInCrypto - December 27th, 2021
- Who is Baba Vanga and what are her predictions for 2022?... - The Irish Sun - December 27th, 2021
- A giant 735ft moon-themed resort could be coming to Las Vegas - Metro.co.uk - December 23rd, 2021
- NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Is on the Launchpad - The Atlantic - December 23rd, 2021
- Space simulation: 120 days of isolation - this is how the crew reacted - Socialpost - December 22nd, 2021
- SpaceX Starship is Next-Level, But Has a Long Way to Go; Says Elon Musk for Interstellar Explorations - Tech Times - December 22nd, 2021
- Space sex: the trouble with joining the 62-mile-high club - Big Think - December 22nd, 2021
- Is it possible to use wind farms on Mars? - The Times Hub - December 22nd, 2021
- Lost In Space: 11 Other Shows To Watch If You Like The Sci-Fi Netflix Series - CinemaBlend - December 22nd, 2021
- A world first: Devon calls victory in 27-year war on termites - The Guardian - December 22nd, 2021
- Kerbal Space Program 2 Provides a Gateway to the Universe for Those Destined to Unveil Its Secrets - Gamers Decide - December 22nd, 2021
- Coworking offices hope for COVID-19 rebound - The Atlanta Journal Constitution - December 17th, 2021
- SpaceX Starship, Super Heavy Rocket 'Launch, Land, Repeat' Render is the Same as the Actual Thing - Tech Times - December 17th, 2021
- Cyberpunk 2077, The Outer Worlds, and Mainstream Sci-fi Games' Lack of Imagination - Paste Magazine - December 17th, 2021
- Tides (The Colony) Making SVOD Debut on Netflix US in January 2022 - What's on Netflix - December 17th, 2021
- 2,200-year-old shipwreck is a marine life haven - CTV News - December 17th, 2021
- We asked a physicist whether The Witcher's multiverse could really exist - The Verge - December 17th, 2021
- A Mars Colony Could be a Hydrogen Factory, Providing ... - December 10th, 2021
- Off-world colony simulation reveals changes in human ... - December 10th, 2021
- 10 things in tech you need to know today, Thursday, Dec. 9 - Business Insider - December 10th, 2021
- Welcome to Pakistan, colony of the People's Republic of China - Washington Examiner - December 10th, 2021
- Elon Musk Has A 'Save The Earth Warning' For You - News18 - December 10th, 2021
- Are We Tethered To Our Time Despite Time Travel? Sci-fi Saturday - Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence - December 10th, 2021
- UAE railway project: No better way to begin the next 50 journey - Khaleej Times - December 10th, 2021
- Thanks to Elon Musk, the most popular bitcoin tocogen in the United States - Hardwood Paroxysm - November 28th, 2021
- Look: Kids of determination create 'Heritage Village' to mark UAE's Year of the 50th - Khaleej Times - November 28th, 2021
- NASA plots 'important step' to powering future space colonies with nuclear reactor on Moon - Daily Express - November 23rd, 2021
- Scientists Consider Creating Magnetic Field Around Mars so We Can Colonize the Red Planet - Newsweek - November 23rd, 2021
- Legendary Comics to Release Lost in Space: The Ultimate Collection Including a New Mashup Story - LRM Online - November 23rd, 2021
- Injunction aspect of Ronan group dispute resolved, High Court hears - BreakingNews.ie - November 23rd, 2021
- This Small Town Is the Ultimate Holiday Shopping Destination - StyleBlueprint - November 23rd, 2021
- Exploring the Other Side of Haiti - AFAR Media - November 23rd, 2021
- The Bedrock of America - YourObserver.com - November 23rd, 2021
- Delhis Rajghat road redesigned to make it safer for pedestrians - Hindustan Times - November 23rd, 2021
- 'Outlander' season 6: release date, cast, plot, and everything we know - What's On TV - November 23rd, 2021
- Coral in the Gulf of Mexico are facing an extreme threat. Here's how Moody Gardens is trying to help. - Houston Chronicle - November 23rd, 2021
- Mars Colony Builder on Steam - November 21st, 2021
- Princess of Mars - Wikipedia - November 21st, 2021
- Musk to Start Colony on Mars Using DOGE, SHIB Petition ... - November 21st, 2021
- Mars (TV Series 20162018) - IMDb - November 21st, 2021
- Future Mars colonists could revolt against mission control on Earth, new study warns - The Independent - November 21st, 2021
- Cowboy Bebop Review: Netflixs Live-Action Riff on Everyones Favorite Anime Is a Cosmic Disaster - IndieWire - November 21st, 2021
- Arts This Week: ICA exhibit spotlights how a lack of affordable studio space in Boston hurts artists - wgbh.org - November 19th, 2021
- Legendary Comics' Lost in Space: The Ultimate Collection arriving in December - MP3s and NPCs - November 19th, 2021
- Elon Musk And His Fans Are Losing Their Minds Over CNN's Autopilot Criticism - Jalopnik - November 19th, 2021
- Mars colony simulations: Crew may revolt without strong interplanetary communication - CNET - November 17th, 2021
- Kids born on Mars after Elon Musks SpaceX missions would have brittle bones, weak eyesight and green ski... - The Sun - November 17th, 2021
- New 'Lost in Space' Season 3 trailer shows the entire Space Family Robinson in danger - Space.com - November 17th, 2021
- Soaring, Crashing, and Burning: Why The Billionaire Space Race Is A Horrible Idea - The Scarlet - November 17th, 2021
- Prague moon colony and koda lunar rover on show at Czech Space Week - Radio Prague - November 17th, 2021
- Forest Theatre: Century-old amphitheater has hidden connection to Lost Colony - WRAL.com - November 17th, 2021
- Iman Says She'll Never Remarry Following David Bowie's Death - wmmr.com - November 17th, 2021
- For security on Earth, we must protect space infrastructure from cyber-attacks - ITP.net - November 17th, 2021
- The Moon's top layer alone has enough oxygen to sustain 8 billion people for 100,000 years - The Conversation AU - November 17th, 2021
- Single-Family Rentals May Be Reaching an Inflection Point - Commercial Observer - November 17th, 2021
- St Kilda pier: First look at the new design with construction to start in 2022 - 7NEWS.com.au - November 17th, 2021
- 'Nepal has the potential to pursue world-class research and design' - The Kathmandu Post - November 1st, 2021
- Moro Hub Accelerates the Digital Transformation Adoption in MBRSC - Al-Bawaba - November 1st, 2021
- It's Time to Think About Tesla at $3 Trillion (Here is Why ? ) - The Lee Daily Register - November 1st, 2021
- Surviving the Aftermath is Leaving Early Access and Launching Next Month | XboxAchievements.com - XboxAchievements - November 1st, 2021
- Israeli Helios, German OHB working together to enable space colonies - The Jerusalem Post - October 21st, 2021
- Elon Musks Tweet About Extending 'Life to Mars' With His Dogecoins Gets Mixed Reaction - Gadgets 360 - October 21st, 2021
- How the billionaires ruined space - Brock Press - October 21st, 2021
- Edgewater Mansion With Heated Saltwater Pool Listed For $1.6M - Patch.com - October 21st, 2021
- The Fate of a Whole Galaxy Rests on One Person in This Exclusive 'Foundation' Clip - Thrillist - October 21st, 2021
- After Dune, Youll Never Think About Water the Same Way Again - Gizmodo - October 21st, 2021
- St. Regis Hotel and Residences on Longboat Key receives final approval - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - October 21st, 2021
- How the Dune science-fiction saga parallels the real science of Oregons dunes - GeekWire - October 21st, 2021