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AI coach and zero-gravity sex therapist: 5 jobs from the space workforce of the future

Humans have been living and working in space for decades. Ever since the first crew arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2000, we’ve accelerated toward the next era of the Space Age, in which we sustain new human activities—spanning research, exploration, and industry—in orbit, on the moon, on Mars, and beyond.

As we work toward this leap forward in the human story, it’s worth reflecting on the new kinds of jobs that might feature in this next chapter, especially since the people who will do this work are developing their talents and capabilities in primary and secondary schools right now. Here are five jobs that we see making important contributions to the space workforce of the future.

SOCIAL ARCHITECT/AI DATA COACH

Getting along in space—with long, cramped transits and smaller, shared habitats the early norms—will be essential to maintaining mental health, equity, and inclusion. Artificial intelligences will play key roles in helping emotionally tune both individuals and groups in these demanding settings. For starters, AI is already great at something many humans aren’t: listening. With this ability to sense, AIs will perceive stress, anxiety, and depression—and then help people move through those emotional states in healthy ways. AIs will also help groups maneuver conflicts and develop compromises.

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