Saturday, March 20, 2010

NASA Working On A Robotic Space Psychologist

NASA will begin work next month on a four-year, $1.74 million project called the Virtual Space Station. The project will attempt to create a program that can independently counsel depressed astronauts by supplying solutions to their typed insecurities. Remember HAL 9000 anyone?

Astronauts would type their psychological problems into a console, and a pre-recorded video therapist will then lead them through a series of likely solutions. The robot “helps astronauts identify reasons for their depression. Then the program helps them make a plan to fight the depression.”

If Astronauts use the thing. After all, denial is powerful. How can you admit that you are suffering psychologically if you are in denial? Plus he’s scared shitless that HAL will kill him interpret the mission differently. So you see, it’s doomed to failure either way.

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