A new research paper
(PDF format) suggests that astrobiologists and geologists should work in
a virtual world that extends their senses rather than using traditional
approaches. The paper presents the argument using the Matrix films as an
analogy. As an example, they offer the idea of a human with ViA wearable
computer equipment that interfaces via neural network software to the
vision system of a Mars probe. (the software is named, appropriately,
EditOr or NEO). The human and the computer each provide the types of
image processing they're good at resulting in some interesting
views. See the Cyborg
Astrobiologist project website for more information.
It's really neat, but....there is a 6-7 minute wait for a light
speed signal to reach Mars, then you have a 6-7 minute wait for the
light speed signal to return (or is it 6-7 minutes round trip total?).
Unless someone gets quantum twin particle communications going it's
going to be hard to get a decent interactive speed going there from
Earth with something on Mars that is real time.
I personally would go insane trying to telepresence a robot on Mars
from Earth at those time delay speeds for everything you want to do.
Oh dear. Don't get me wrong, I like sci-fi movies. But to me a
computer science paper should be about computer science, not just a
promotion for a piece if fiction. Quoting scenes from sci-fi films and
including many hollywood images in a science paper just makes me feel