During a career a scientist will typically work on all kinds of different problems. Some will have a broad impact and some will not. There are three general problems that promise to have such an impact on science as a whole that we call them the AAA problems.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Briefly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is important because we hope to some day soon build machines with human and superhuman intelligence (see Moore's Law and AI) . Once this happens, all problems that can be solved by intelligence will be solved, because we can build more and more machines that will work day and night on the problems until the answers are obtained.
Aging is an important problem to solve because eradication of aging and disease will allow humans to live forever. Once humans live forever, they will continue to learn more and more until all problems that can be solved by intelligence are solved. However, once humans live forever we will need more space to reproduce, and human life will have to expand beyond planet Earth.
Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe. The tools of astrobiology will eventually be used by the human species to understand and explore the universe, and to expand our existence beyond first our planet and then our solar system.
In the ASRG, we have the opportunity to work on the AAA problems in several ways.
1. in Artificial Intelligence (AI): through work in chemometrics and intelligent laboratory systems
2. in Aging: through work in age-related diseases like atherosclerosis and cancer, major diseases including stroke and MI
3. in Astrobiology: through work in remote sensing, planetary and interstellar hyperspectral imaging
It would be very unfortunate to go through an entire career without ever having the opportunity to work on a AAA problem. Even if you never get to work on a AAA problem, however, you should keep up with the major developments in each of these three areas.