Space & Astronomy
Real-life HAL 9000 runs virtual space base
By T.K. Randall
November 27, 2018 · 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."
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