AI4Mars is a program to help Mars rovers get around (and especially not get stuck) on the Red Planet. By examining various datasets, you (humans) can help.
The project is known as AI4Mars, and it’s a continuation of a project started last year using images from Curiosity. That particular rover arrived on Mars in 2012 and has been making history ever since. NASA used Curiosity as the starting point when designing Perseverance. The new rover has 23 cameras, which capture a ton of visual data from Mars, but the robot has to rely on human operators to interpret most of those images. The rover has enhanced AI to help it avoid obstacles, and it will get even better if you chip in.
The AI4Mars site lets you choose between Opportunity, Curiosity, and the new Perseverance images. After selecting the kind of images you want to scope out, the site will provide you with several different marker types and explanations of what each one is. For example, the NavCam asks you to ID sand, consolidated soil (where the wheels will get good traction), bedrock, and big rocks. There are examples of all these formations, so it’s a snap to get started.
In his 1995 novel The Calcutta Chromosome, Amitav Ghosh writes about an artificial intelligence named Ava that is exactly like the Amazon Mechanical Turk application - and about the human beings who perform exactly the same kind of tasks:
Antar had met children who were like that: Why? What? When? Where? How? But children asked because they were curious; with these AVA/Iie systems it was something else - something that he could only think of as a simulated urge for self-improvement. ..
She wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew about whatever [picture] that she was playing with on her screen… Once she'd wrung the last meaningless detail out of him, she'd give the object on her screen a final spin, with a bizarrely human smugness, before propelling it into horizonless limbo of her memory.
(Read more about Ava)