NASA has partnered with Australian tech firm Akin with a goal to create an emotionally intelligent AI to support astronauts on deep-space missions, shared Tom Soderstrom, CTO at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, highlighting that current solutions critically lack IE:

“That’s why JPL is now working with Australian tech firm Akin to develop an AI that could one day provide emotional support for astronauts on deep-space missions… We want to have an intelligent assistant that can control the spacecraft’s temperature and direction, figure out any technical problems—that is also watching human behavior”

Intelligent assistant would be especially useful during the deep-space missions, when astronauts experience the need to wait hours for a psychologist or mission control response. According to Akin’s CEO Liesl Yearsley, the project goal is to make an AI that can actively provide empathetic support.

So far, the partnership involved testing an assistant Henry the Helper. In 2020 companies plan to test Eva the Explorer and Anna the Assistant. But the true innovation is expected in a few years with Fiona the Future. If Fiona to be tested on lunar space station Artemis or Mars habitat Gateway, the prototype must be ready by September, shared Yearsley.

According to Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University, space conditions might be extremely useful for testing and improving an emotionally intelligent AI, accelerating its adoption on the Earth.

As Future Time previously reported, NASA also announced plans to use AI  to bring interpretations of the data from future telescopes or satellites to a new level, while European Space Agency committed to use robotics to clean the Earth’s orbit.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, or Youtube!

Photo credit: MIT Technology Review