CIMON, the first "Intelligent" space assistant robot

(To Alessandro Rugolo)

Artificial Intelligence and Space: two scientific disciplines at the limit of our knowledge, allied to help man.
Last November 15, on board the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst was the protagonist of a ninety-minute experiment: he spoke with CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion), a very special on-board assistant. The little robot is equipped with artificial intelligence and is the first of his "species" to have reached the space.

CIMON is produced by Airbus and was awakened by the commander of the mission, Gerst, with the words "Wake up, CIMON". The robot responded with the classic "What can I do for you?", Thus beginning the experiment.

The robot is connected to Columbus Control Center in Germany and from here with the Biotechnology Space Support Center in Lucerne to go through the internet all 'IBM Cloud in Frankfurt.

CIMON is a first step, it is in fact a technological demonstrator of what could be an assistant on a journey of space exploration, these are the statements of the spokesman Marco Trovatello, of theAstronaut Center dell 'European Space Agency of Cologne.

The little CIMON is able to move independently in the Space Station and receive voice commands, simplifying the working procedures of the astronauts.
During the experiment (see video at bottom) CIMON recognized the astronaut, he moved independently within the base and gave instructions to his human partner.

But it is possible that things are not as simple as initially stated. According to what published in an article by Nicolas Rivero su Quartz, it seems that Gerst and CIMON had an "exchange of opinions" about the music: while CIMON wanted to sing Gerst called him to order.

How much success naturally raises a series of objections, the first of these concerns the real usefulness of "artificial intelligences". The attempts to instill in the robots an intelligence typical of the human race in fact is not exempt from dangers, the first of which lies in the fact that we do not know how to control an artificial intelligence exactly as we will never be sure to completely control a human intelligence, indeed, perhaps it's even more difficult.

All in all we know our fellowmen quite well, much less the Artificial Intelligences.

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