Using Artificial Intelligence, Japan Just Launched A Rocket On The Cheap

Just eight people were at the launch site, rather than the 150 needed for previous launches.

Japan has sent a rocket into space in what it hopes will be the start of cheaper space exploration. Epsilon, which launched on Saturday afternoon, is about half the size of normal rockets, and relies on artificial intelligence to do its final safety checks—meaning just eight people were at the launch site, rather than the 150 needed for previous launches. On board was the Sprint-A telescope, which was released 620 miles above the Earth's surface, and which will be observing Venus, Mars, and Jupiter.

The Epsilon is Japan's first rocket launch in seven years, and cost just half of what its predecessor, the M-5, cost to send into space. Last month, the country put a tiny robot named Kirobo into space, which will meet Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata on the space station in November.

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3 Comments

  • PandorasBrain

    Presumably this improvement in rocket science is thanks to good old Moore's Law, still
    going strong.

    The biggest consequence of Moore's Law is the progress being
    made towards the creation of a human-level, conscious machine that passes the
    Turing Test.  This is going much faster
    than most people realise.  Vast amounts are
    being invested in Artificial Intelligence research: €1bn for the Human Brain
    Project in Switzerland, $300m for Obama's BRAIN initiative (Brain Research
    through Advanced Initiatives in Neuroscience), $400m for Microsoft co-founder
    Paul Allen's Brain Research Institute, and Google and IBM are probably spending
    more than all of that combined.  Who
    knows how much the Chinese are spending? 

    We cannot know for sure yet whether and when they will
    succeed, but many experts expect the first human-level AI to arrive before 2050
    - possibly much sooner. 

    Human-level AI will either be very good for us - or disastrous.  Too little thought is going into this.  A possible roadmap  is described here: http://bit.ly/170uDbM.

  • PandorasBrain

    Anyone know how Disqus chooses which comments it will allow and which it won't?  Is it better than a random walk?

  • PandorasBrain

    Good old Moore's Law, still going strong.  One of its main effects is the race to create a human-level artificial intelligence, a conscious machine that passes the Turing Test.  Progress is much faster than most people realise.  Vast amounts are being invested in AI research:  €1bn for the Human Brain Project in Switzerland,
    £300m for Obama's BRAIN initiative (Brain Research through Advanced Initiatives
    in Neuroscience), $400m for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Brain Research
    Institute, and Google is probably spending more than all of that combined.  Who knows how much the Chinese are
    spending? 

    We cannot know for sure yet whether and when they will
    succeed, but many experts expect the first human-level AI to arrive before 2050
    - possibly much sooner. 

    Human-level AI will either be very good for us - or disastrous.  Too little thought is going into this.  A possible roadmap  is described here: http://bit.ly/170uDbM.