An AI designed by Heron Systems defeated a human F-16 fighter pilot in a VR trial system. This situation seems a bit too close to The Terminator. At DARPA’s AlphaDogfight Trial, the AI was able to defeat the pilot with significant handicaps in place, like not being allowed to improve using information learned from its previous competition rounds, disabling its collision detection systems, and restricting weapons to only the aircraft’s nose cannon, as Input magazine details:
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Heron System’s AI system used what’s known as deep reinforcement learning, which allows algorithms to quickly try out problem-solving options in a virtual environment to approach something akin to understanding. We’re using the term “akin to understanding,” because really we’re too terrified to type out what it really is — that robots can pilot F-16’s now, and are more than capable at it than any of us.
“I think what we’re seeing today is the beginning of something I’m going to call human-machine symbiosis,” DARPA’s director of its Strategic Technology Office told Defense One. “Let’s think about the human sitting in the cockpit, being flown by one of these AI algorithms as truly being one weapon system, where the human is focusing on what the human does best [like higher-order strategic thinking] and the AI is doing what the AI does best.”
Image via Input magazine