Latest in Entertainment

Image credit: bbevren via Getty Images

The US Air Force is preparing a human versus AI dogfight

The battle is planned for July next year.
3507 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Three F-35 fighter jets flying over clouds in vic formation 3d render
bbevren via Getty Images

The US Air Force has long been exploring the way artificial intelligence (AI) can assist in its operations — back in 2016 we saw combat AI beat some of the Air Force’s top tactical experts, for example. Now, researchers are working on an autonomous drone designed to take down a piloted plane in air-to-air combat, with a showdown slated for July 2021.

As reported by Air Force Magazine, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has been developing an autonomous fighter jet since 2018, with plans to use machine-learning technology in less advanced planes initially — such as the F-16 — before graduating to newer models, such as the F-22 or F-35.

Of course, details are a little hazy — it’s a military project after all and therefore subject to hefty classification. In a video, however, head of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan said the AFRL is “pushing the boundaries” of AI in a military application, adding that the team is quietly confident that the “machine [will] beat the human.”

However, Shanahan also said that the Air Force would do well to heed the cautionary tales offered by other areas of autonomous innovation, noting that “There is no level four, full autonomous vehicle out on the roads today,” and that as such, not all tech advances are out-and-out success stories.

Nonetheless, whether the project achieves its objectives or not, it joins a long list of other AI innovations being explored by the Air Force. One of the most notable, perhaps, is the Skyborg wingman drone project, which aims to create an AI-powered system of support for pilots in the sky. Elsewhere, the Air Force — and indeed US military overall — is already preparing to add machine learning to all areas of operations, from maintenance to combat strategy.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
3507 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

View
Ubisoft is giving away 'Watch Dogs 2' on PC this weekend

Ubisoft is giving away 'Watch Dogs 2' on PC this weekend

View
The best laptops to use for schoolwork and gaming

The best laptops to use for schoolwork and gaming

View
Facebook is shutting down its Pinterest-like experimental app

Facebook is shutting down its Pinterest-like experimental app

View
LG's $1,300 sound bar is made to match the new GX series OLEDs

LG's $1,300 sound bar is made to match the new GX series OLEDs

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr