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Real-life HAL 9000 runs virtual space base

Posted on Tuesday, 27 November, 2018 | Comment icon 7 comments

Future space stations and planetary bases could be run by an AI. Image Credit: NASA/SAIC/Pat Rawlings
Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence that can be used to run a manned outpost on another world.
Created by Texas-based AI researcher Pete Bonasso and colleagues, the new artificial intelligence has been named "Cognitive Architecture for Space Agents" or "CASE".

Like its science fiction counterpart from 2001: A space Odyssey, it has been designed to perform various maintenance and monitoring tasks in an off-world human-occupied environment.

Unlike HAL 9000 however, it will never be able to start killing off crew members because it is simply incapable of performing any task that it hasn't been programmed to do.

CASE consists of three layers - one that connects to and operates hardware, one that conducts routine processes such as controlling life support and a third that plans for the days operations.

During a recent experiment, the system was able to successfully keep virtual astronauts alive in a simulated environment for several hours.

It may be some time however before it will be able to handle operations in a real base.

"Though CASE is impressive, it's not the fully realized HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, nor is it Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation," said Bonasso.

"Its capability is very narrow, focused on events occurring on a planetary base. While it can keep the life support systems running, it has no idea who won the last presidential election."

Source: | Comments (7)

Tags: Artificial Intelligence

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by BorizBadinov on 26 November, 2018, 11:13
Only in movies is the big red off switch accessible only by crawling into the ductwork and memory core... 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Dark_Grey on 27 November, 2018, 14:57
LOL that's what they always say  life imitates art
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nnicolette on 27 November, 2018, 15:24
It managed to keep virtual humans alive for a whole couple hours? Don't go in there!
Comment icon #4 Posted by RoofGardener on 27 November, 2018, 15:31
Indeed Dark_Grey. Any artificial intelligence runs the risk of "emergent behaviour"... exceeding the strict limits of its programming.  Let us not forget that HAL9000's malfunction - and its decision to kill the crew - arose out of conflicting instructions. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by TripGun on 27 November, 2018, 17:12
Just remember to cover your mouth when you speak inside of a capsule about pulling the plug on it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by NCC1701 on 28 November, 2018, 7:18
Jealousy will be one of the first features of AI, Astronautes, be warned!
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 30 November, 2018, 9:23
''it will never be able to start killing off crew members because it is simply incapable of performing any task that it hasn't been programmed to do. '' It was believed that Hall was incapable of murder too hehe

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