NASA to Acquire New AI Capabilities

Representative Image
Representative ImageImage Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is working with private sector firms to acquire newer AI capabilities, a top official revealed. However, they expressed concerns about potential biases in the outcomes of these advancements.

“We can make our work more efficient, but that's only if we approach these new tools in the right way, with the same pillars that have defined us since the beginning: safety, transparency and reliability. We work with partners across industry, across universities, across our government [and] across the world to find ways to improve them,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said as reported by Nextgov.

Nelson also said NASA’s principles align with President Joe Biden’s executive order which outlines guidelines for the safe and secure implementation of AI across the federal government.

NASA has been leveraging AI to track wildfire smoke, conduct tree surveys, and pinpoint the whereabouts of exoplanets. Yet, the collaborative efforts with private sector allies have primarily emphasized the integration of increasingly robust tools.

Moreover, Jeff Seaton, NASA's Chief Information Officer, also revealed that the agency is collaborating with vendors to incorporate "publicly available, commonly known tools" and other capabilities geared more toward mission-specific technical requirements. 

"We're currently exploring a generative AI large language model capability with some of our agency personnel. We expect that by mid to late summer, we'll have this environment certified at a FISMA moderate level, enabling us to utilize certain sensitive internal data and engage in experimentation,” Seaton stated.

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