Astrobiology (general)

AI in Space: Intelligence Beyond Planet Earth

By Keith Cowing
February 19, 2011

July 17, 2011
Barcelona, Spain

When speaking of AI in space the first thing that usually comes to most people’s mind are science-fiction creations such as HAL 9000, C3PO and the like. Certainly that vision is still far away, nevertheless methods rooted in AI research constantly find more and more exciting applications in areas related to space engineering. For example, we have just recently witnessed the increase in intelligent behaviour implemented on board the two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that are still exploring the martian surface on our behalf. This workshop, co-organized by the Advanced Concepts Team ( of the European Space Agency and the Artificial Intelligence Group ( of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is meant to look at the most recent applications and advances related to artificial intelligence and space, reviewing the current state of the dialogue between the two domains and discussing it’s perspectives.

The workshop will be part of the larger IJCAI conference (, dedicated this year to “Integrated and Embedded Artificial Intelligence” and with a focus on artificial intelligence that crosses discipline boundaries within AI, and between AI and other disciplines.

In order to achieve its goals, the workshop will place emphasis on uses of AI in space research, which already are, or may be of particular interest in the future from the space applications point of view, such as:

* Intelligent search and optimization methods in aerospace applications
* Image analysis for Guidance Navigation and Control
* Autonomous exploration of interplanetary and planetary environments
* Implications of emerging AI fields such as Artificial Life or Swarm Intelligence on future space research
* Intelligent algorithms for fault identification, diagnosis and repair
* Multi-agent systems approach and bio-inspired solutions for system design and control
* Advances in machine learning for space applications
* Intelligent interfaces for human-machine interaction
* Knowledge Discovery, Data Mining and presentation of large data sets

The topics covered in this workshop will be of particular interest to scientists involved in space engineering, in Artificial Intelligence, and also to those who work in other, non space-related disciplines, which intersect with the AI. The intention of the workshop organizers is to stimulate the exchange of ideas between these groups, providing the former with new tools, and the latter two with incentive for continuing their research with space applications in mind.

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻