NASA appoints its first director of artificial intelligence: who is it?

NASA appoints its first director of artificial intelligence: who is it?
NASA appoints its first director of artificial intelligence: who is it?

The US space agency (Nasa) named David Salvagnini as its first director of artificial intelligence (AI) on Monday. to align your strategic vision and planning for the use of that technology.

The agency explained in a statement that the new position responds to the executive order of the government of the current president of the United States, Joe Biden, on the development and safe use of AI, which urges all federal agencies to create such a position.

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Signing the order in October 2023, Biden noted that AI “is the most consequential technology” in recent history, Therefore, he insisted on the need to control its development and its application in all sectors of society..

NASA detailed that it has already used “a variety of AI tools for the benefit of humanity” for decades to support missions and research projects, analyze data to reveal trends and patterns, and develop autonomous aircraft support systems. Salvagnini joined NASA in 2023 and is currently the agency’s chief data officer, a role he now expands with the new responsibility of directing AI to help such technology “accelerate the pace of discovery.”

David-Salvagnini, director of artificial intelligence.

Additionally, after serving in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years, he has more than 20 years of experience working in technology leadership in the intelligence sector. “It is important that we stay at the forefront of advancement and responsible use,” NASA stated in the text, where it noted that it will continue its collaboration with other government agencies, experts, industrial partners and academic institutions.

As can be seen from the statement, NASA prepares recommendations on the use of AI technology emerging for the benefit of its objectives and missions, among which it lists the possibility of programming the communications of the Mars explorer ‘Perseverance’ or the search for data on planets outside the solar system.

Until now, pending the official appointment, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor, Kate Calvin, was the space agency’s acting head of AI.


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