Artificial intelligence continues to improve and help solve more problems. Many people believe it’s a catch-all solution for some of our greatest challenges.
As an SAIC data scientist working with NASA, I like to be optimistic about the future of AI. I don’t believe that AI is — or will become — a miracle pill. But it is a great tool that I get to apply to some of NASA’s really tough scenarios.
What AI is and is not
AI is quietly in the background of countless processes and pieces of our lives without us realizing. Rosie the Robot may not be dusting our dresser and adding a wisecrack, but AI is behind the pinging alert on your phone to take an alternate route away from a traffic accident and the spam filter keeping you from receiving yet another email from a Nigerian prince with a financial opportunity of a lifetime.
To put it simply, AI uses clever mathematics, statistics, and data to do things that traditionally require human intelligence. It recognizes there can’t be that many Nigerian princes that would reach out to you. And it notes, based on other drivers’ behaviors, how you may get home faster by driving on that side street instead of being restricted to a single travel lane on the highway.
Stronger climate models
Without AI, I couldn’t help to speed up advanced climate models for NASA. By accelerating the computations, AI leverages the data on how different inputs generate different outputs. Traditional methods for this type of modeling are much slower than AI-enabled solutions.
NASA cannot accurately track how CO2 emissions impact climate change without AI. In a world impacted by high-paced change and fluctuating weather, we need AI-enabled solutions to correctly forecast shifts and variations in climate and weather patterns.