The ‘AI in Space’ Workshop took place at TechUK, London on 22nd July 2019 and was delivered in partnership with SSPI, Space & Satellite Professionals international. Ann Swift, FAIR-SPACE Partnership Manager, presented the Hub’s work on AI & Autonomy to the audience and shared the Hub’s vision for long lived intelligent robotics for space. At a time when the Space sector is developing its new National Space Council and Government Minister, Chris Skidmore, has just announced a new Robotics Growth Partnership, the Hub’s focus on AI and Robotics for Space sits well in the landscape to support both industry inspired research as well as industrial investment in R&D and sector growth. Despite being a nascent area of growth for the sector, it is clear that there is significant ambition to commercialise in-space manufacturing, servicing and assembly, and this represents an exciting time for both small and larger companies to invest in the future technologies to support this vision.
The discussion then moved to some of the policy and legal challenges that are facing the Space sector with regards to AI in particular and the considerations that need to be made when protecting not only the hardware but also the AI systems and their decision-making capabilities. Talks were given by Andrew Sparrow from Lecote and Matthew McDermott from Access Partnerships. Finally, Nush Sharma from Naaut presented on the work she has been delivering where AI has been changing the way the sector is approaching its challenges such as the NASA Frontier Development Lab programme and also her work as Partnerships Manager at Cognition X.
After the presentations, attendees headed to a local hostelry to continue discussions and to enjoy the warm summer evening. Many thanks to SSPI for being such welcoming hosts.