Lockheed Martin 'Revolutionizes' Search for Alien Life With Its New AI

Friday, 15 December 2017 - 11:16AM
Technology
Space
Alien Life
Friday, 15 December 2017 - 11:16AM
Lockheed Martin 'Revolutionizes' Search for Alien Life With Its New AI
< >
Ahead of yesterday's NASA press conference announcing that algorithms created by Google have already discovered a new planet that was previously missed in Kepler data, Lockheed Martin stated that they're planning on applying their own artificial intelligence program to a similar goal: sifting through huge reams of data collected by telescopes, probes, and space missions to find planets that could support alien life.

"AI can revolutionize how we use information from space, both in orbit and on deep space missions, including crewed missions to Mars and beyond. Lockheed Martin and NEC are experts in space and systems, and that's the right blend to explore how AI can improve space products for astronauts and people on the ground," said Lockheed Martin Space Systems Vice President Carl Marchetto.

Despite making its name as one of the biggest players in aerospace and defense tech, Lockheed Martin has been making strong inroads in the field of artificial intelligence over the past few years.

One of their most recent products is FIDO, or Foraging & Information Discovery for Open Source Intelligence, "an intelligent system that uses AI to collect, collate, sift, analyze and share vast amounts of information with the intelligence community."

Though meant for intelligence organizations, the idea behind FIDO is the same when applied to space: humans need help sorting through huge amounts of data, and AI is incredibly good at the tedious task of scanning and analyzing for potentially interesting data points.

According to Lockheed, "AI offers the technology to change the human role from 'in-the-loop' controller to 'on-the-loop' thinker who can focus on a more reflective assessment of problems and strategies, guiding rather than being buried in execution detail."

Considering that NASA is still sorting through old data provided by the Kepler mission and that Google's algorithm is finding planets that were missed by human researchers, Lockheed's plans to apply AI to upcoming space missions (like the exploration of Mars) could mean the difference between discovering evidence of extraterrestrial life and missing the signs in stacks and stacks of data.
Science
Science News
Technology
Space
Alien Life