NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity now has the ability to decide what targets it wants to capture with a camera or hit with its laser all on its own. No humans needed.
The space agency announced this week that using artificial intelligence (A.I.) software, developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the robotic rover is “frequently” choosing multiple targets per week all on its own.
Most targets are still chosen by scientists curious about particular rocks or areas of soil they’ve seen in images that Curiosity has sent back to Earth, but the fact that the rover can make some of its own decisions about what to focus on adds a new, and important, capability to the mission.
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