CIMON is designed to support astronauts in performing routine work, for example by displaying procedures or -- thanks to its --neural-- AI network and its ability to learn -- offering solutions to problems. It uses Watson AI technology from the IBM cloud and, with its face, voice and artificial intelligence, becomes a genuine --colleague-- on board. With CIMON, crew members can do more than just work through a schematic view of prescribed checklists and procedures; they can also engage with their assistant. In this way, CIMON makes work easier for the astronauts when carrying out every day routine tasks, helps to increase efficiency, facilitates mission success and improves security, as it can also serve as an early warning system for technical problems.
The International Space Station has got a new team member and if this new shared footage is anything to go by, it's quite the character. AI bot CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) was brought aboard earlier this year with the aim of assisting crew and boosting morale. But the floating basketball-shaped robot appeared to have its own opinions about what made for a happy crew, according to a new video shared by the station, which shows CIMON throwing a tantrum when told to stop playing music. The robot even accuses European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of being'mean' and orders him to'be nice' before demanding to know when it's time for lunch. The video of began simply enough with Gerst asking CIMON, which is brought to life by IBM Watson artificial intelligence, to perform different commands and engages it in small talk throughout the demonstration.
Whether or not virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa actually make our lives better is debatable to say the least. Is navigating the myriad of voice cues really faster or more convenient than just tapping on your smartphone screen a few times? Whichever side of the issue you fall on, it's clear that AI is here to stay, so the European Space Agency is planning to embrace it with a fancy virtual assistant of its own, and it's headed to the International Space Station this year.