Talk:Artificial intelligence, automated industry and colonizing Mars

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44 quadrillion dollars for a Mars colony?

In other words, this doesn't make any sense because we can simply just stay on Earth and die for all we care. It will cost approximetly 44 quadrillion dollars, which I cannot find. I bring up 44 quadrillion dollars because I am a part of a massive debate team and we freaking rule. Continuing on, a part in the Negitive debate paaper says that it will cost "44 Quadrillion Dollars." I HAVE LOST COUNTLESS DEBATES BY USING THAT. MY DEBATE COACH WILL NOT LET ME USE ANY OTHER TYPE OF PAPER. SO THANKS A LOT MARSPEDIA!!!!!!!!!! I FREAKING HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- The preceding comment was added to the article page by User:Wtf at 19:08 hours on the 10th of December 2011
The figure of 44 quadrillion dollars for a Mars Colony is unsupported. There have been estimates of varying amounts for a human piloted mission to Mars at various times. In April 2004 Mark Thornton gave estimates of one-hundred-seventy-billion dollars and one-trillion dollars.(Bush's Mission to Mars) A January 2004 estimate was between forty and eighty billion dollars.(Bush to announce manned mission to Mars )
I will make a moderate estimate of one-half-trillion dollars for a human piloted mission to Mars. For this one would get five people and their return vehicle to Mars. I would dispense with the return vehicle and instead assume the development of the artificial intelligence discussed in the article which would be sent along with industrial equipment to form the industrial infrastructure of a colony on Mars. Shipments of industrial equipment would precede the shipment of colonists. Sixteen shipments of industrial equipment and four shipments of fifty colonists should be enough to start a colony on an economic basis. The first shipment would be devoted to converting some of Phobos into a space based solar power station. The total cost might be about ten trillion dollars. It is impossible to make any definite cost estimates but the figure of 44 quadrillion dollars just seems excessive to me. More research into what is required and more development of the necessary technologies seems to be what is called for now. - Farred 06:52, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
What people would get for ten trillion dollars would be 45,000 thousand tons of supplies and industrial equipment; including an artificial intelligence for controlling industrial operations and including a space based solar power system of 10 Gigawatts; and 200 colonists. There have been comments made that setting up agricultural production on Mars would be easy considering all of the ice available for melting into water for agricultural use. It would not be easy. Recycling the agricultural and human wastes to produce the required fertilizer inputs would need to be demonstrated on Earth before sending a system in kit form off to Mars. Such a system has not been demonstrated on yet on Earth. The closest technologies that I can think of that have been demonstrated are the Biosphere II project that was not a complete success, municipal sewage treatment systems, and agricultural waste treatment ponds. It is a long way to developing what would be needed on Mars using only inputs available on Mars. A guess at the development cost for such a system is a billion dollars, which when added to the other costs of establishing a Mars colony results in a total cost of ten trillion dollars. This is 44,000 (4,400) (correction added) times less than estimated by [[User:Wtf]] but none the less it is a considerable sum. - Farred 04:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Those pesky decimal points can make a difference, which illustrates that my estimations are not a promise to reveal the future. Making another estimate with somewhat more optimistic assumptions I dispense with the artificial intelligence and have a crew of twelve on Mars from the start to oversee and operate the machines building the infrastructure and industrial base. In this instance I get 1,000 tons of equipment and supplies to Mars with the first 12 colonists. Later 188 more colonists arrive to fill out all operations and eat their own produce. This iteration comes to 1.4 trillion dollars or 31,000 times less than [[user:Wtf]]. - Farred 20:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)


Artificial intelligence (AI) does not exist. It would be wrong to say that it does not yet exist. It simply does not exist. There is a probability of AI to be developed in the future, but I do not think this probability is very high. I have tried it myself. I was kind of successful to a certain degree. But it occurred to me that it is not really intelligent. It will never be, at least in the way I implemented the structure. Still, it was an intriguing thing to watch. A nice toy. Real AI, however, is science fiction. -- Rfc 20:43, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

The question of whether artificial intelligence exists or not can be defined to suit either answer that you might want to get. There are expert systems used now in medical diagnosis that can be called artificial intelligence. Systems that are actually useful require a human expert to use them and are more an extension of the doctor's memory and knowledge than a primary source of diagnosis. There are also efforts to sell artificially intelligent medical diagnosis on line without a human doctor involved. I do not know how these schemes avoid criminal prosecution for practicing medicine without a license, but some people manage to avoid breaking the law on technical grounds while seeming to advertise medical services that they cannot legally provide. Artificial intelligence drives the Curiosity rover, extending the abilities of controllers on Earth. Customer support by telephone and internet is provided by artificial intelligence. I may not have found the best documentation for existing artificial intelligent capabilities, but I know there is a wide range of practical applications today. They are just not up to running the industrial operations of a Mars Colony yet. You seem to use the phrase "science fiction" in a derogatory way and I know that many people do so. However a Mars colony is as much science fiction as artificial intelligence is. I do not consider the mere fact that someone has written science fiction in which a Mars colony is accomplished and science fiction in which artificial intelligence has capabilities are advanced beyond actual current accomplishments as a reason for discarding consideration of either concept. The future capabilities of artificial intelligence are somewhat speculative. I do not present them as anything else. It is something to keep an eye on in case the most desirable plan for colonization changes because of technical developments. Farred 20:08, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

My definition of AI: Sure, there are several devices that claim to run on AI. There is no clear definition as yes. But what I mean is intelligence that is as powerful as a human being, or even more. An automatic function of the rover is far from real intelligence. My definition of SF: Science fiction describes ideas that are in conflict with scientific facts or ideas that can not yet worked out due to a profound lack of knowledge on the matter. Example: Warpdrive. A colonization of Mars, however, is not science fiction, because we know roughly how to do it. There are no scientific or technical blocking points. All it needs is engineering effort and a lot of money. -- Rfc 20:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

I see that there has been a misunderstanding of each other's definitions. I read H.G. Wells' story The Land Ironclads in a collection of science fiction stories and considered it science fiction even though there were no "ideas that are in conflict with scientific facts" presented. It seems that a plethora of science fiction that does contradict scientific fact has led to many people accepting this as a necessary part of the definition of science fiction. I guess we can accept your definition of science fiction as the more popular currently used definition. As to artificial intelligence, there is considerable current work going on in the field. Researchers do not consider that intelligence as powerful as a human being is necessary for artificial intelligence. Nowhere in the article did I suggest that an artificial intelligence running industrial operations on Mars would have an intellect as powerful as a human being. I suppose I should make it clear in the article that human equivalent intelligence in a machine is not what is needed or desired to run industry on Mars, and explicitly reject your definition of artificial intelligence. If ants had a taste for ice instead of grease, could survive on Mars, and had bodies as large as dump trucks; they would have sufficient intelligence to harvest the ice on Mars for a colony. Artificial intelligence has already been used to drive vehicles in traffic in an American city while following traffic laws. I think it would be only a matter of time and money to develop the capability of running mining and manufacturing on Mars. It would not in any way require talking in natural human language. Naturally such a machine would be able to do things that people cannot, just as computers can make calculations and simulations that people would be unable to do without computers. I think I am not suggesting anything for which there is a profound lack of knowledge on the matter. Your comments have been quite helpful. Farred 03:26, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Child Emigrants

I spoke to someone about the possibility of mass emigration from Earth into habitats in independent orbit about the sun and she said that it could not go on long because the population of Earth would grow old without its children. I explained that children would generally emigrate only as part of a complete family. Otherwise emigrants would likely be people from about 18 to 30 years of age, married couples and single people. I wondered how she could have gotten the idea that emigrants would be children. Then I recalled that my own writing referred to emigrants figuratively as children. We are all children of Earth, even if some of us are eighty years old. I will change "the children of Earth" to "emigrants from Earth" in case that was the source of the problem. - Farred 22:46, 31 October 2013 (UTC)