ESA-CLARE AI Special Interest Group on Space’s first online conference

2021 September 4 @ ECML PKDD 2021

The ESA-CLAIRE AI Special Interest Group on Space has organized its first online conference on space-related use of artificial intelligence (AI) in space on 4 September 2020. Chaired by Leon Van der Torre (University of Luxembourg), Saso Dzeroski (Jozef Stefan Institute Ljubljana), Pierre-Philippe Mathieu (European Space Agency), and Cristiana Santos (University of Luxembourg), the conference was a full-day open-access event collocated with the 24th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI).

The event featured a rich and varied program, which included 5 keynote talks, 17 contributed presentations and a panel discussion with 6 distinguished panelists. It brought together speakers from different realms including experts from space agencies (including NASA and ESA), world-renowned research institutions (such as JPL, TU Munich), as well as industrial and private partnerships (SIRIUS Chair, and Frontier Development Lab).

Keynote topics included the use of machine learning in space and planetary exploration, as well as in earth observation; the use of AI and data and improved planetary stewardship; and the legal issues related to space and AI. The 17 contributed presentations covered cutting-edge topics concerning different AI methods and different areas of space technology such as imagery and EO, space exploration, astronomy and space events, among others. The event concluded with a presentation of the ESA vision and strategy on applications and AI and a panel discussion reflecting upon the “Present, Lessons Learned, and the Future of AI in Space”,  involving panelists from the EU Commission, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Euroconsult, and Pioneer Astronautics, among others.

Attended by over 200 participants from the AI and space research communities, the conference created a unique synergy of themes within AI in Space, such as space law, space policy, space exploration, and earth observation. The high level of engagement of the audience, which included a continuous and lively discussion, made the event particularly interesting and enjoyable. Recordings of the contributed presentations can be found at, and more information on the event at