An artificial intelligence agent recently flew a Lockheed Martin VISTA X-62A training aircraft for over 17 hours. VISTA (which stands for Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft) normally uses software to simulate the performance characteristics of other aircraft. On this flight during a testing period in December, however, it mimicked a human pilot. US Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) Director of Research Dr. M. Christopher Cotting said in a statement, "VISTA will allow us to parallelize the development and test of cutting-edge artificial intelligence techniques with new uncrewed vehicle designs."
This is the first time AI has been engaged in such a way on a tactical aircraft, Lockheed says. It’s like they’ve never seen the 2005 box-office bomb, …
– Mat Smith
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The biggest stories you might have missed
Look at this tiny VR headset
Bigscreen's first VR unit boasts 5K displays.
Bigscreen is best known for its namesake virtual social platform – which I’ve never heard of either – but it's now getting into VR headsets. The Beyond is a PC-only wearable it claims is both the "world's smallest" VR headset and extremely light at just under six ounces with a strap. Despite that weight, it includes two 5K (5,120 x 2,560) 90Hz OLED displays and six-degrees-of-freedom tracking. But some difficult choices have been made, too: You have to scan your face using an iPhone app (sorry, Android fans) to produce a custom-fitted design and buy custom prescription lenses if you normally wear glasses. Built-in headphones are only available with an optional "audio strap," all to keep the headset as compact as possible.
Blue Origin made solar cells from simulated Moon dust
Lunar bases might not need resources from Earth.
Jeff Bezos' spaceflight company revealed it can produce solar cells and transmission wire using simulated Moon regolith. Blue Origin’s Blue Alchemist technique uses molten electrolysis to separate the lunar soil's aluminum, iron and silicon from oxygen to build solar cells, cover glass and aluminum wire using only sunlight and the reactor's silicon. While the concept of using regolith to build outposts isn't new, it’s normally focused on large-scale habitat materials rather than power supply solutions.
After one last release date change, 'Dead Island 2' will arrive a week early
"You asked for it. You got it."
After far too many delays to count, Dead Island 2 has a new release date once more. This time, however, publisher Deep Silver is pushing the game up by a week. Instead of arriving on April 28th as previously planned, the game will now hit consoles and PC on April 21st. “You asked for it, you got it. Dead Island 2 went gold and it’s coming out a week early,” the company announced.
TikTok creators might soon put some videos behind a paywall
A revamped Creator Fund could also boost pay for influencers.
A report from The Information suggests TikTok is developing a paywall feature so producers can charge $1 (or a price of their choice) for video access. While it's unclear exactly how the system would work, this would help influencers profit directly from their hottest clips. The social network is also considering a revamp of its Creator Fund amid complaints about low payouts. TikTok may require a much larger follower count (100,000 versus 10,000) but could pay eligible creators more as a result.
The best gaming mouse in 2023
Picks for your FPS, MMO and general playing needs.
A good mouse will give you greater control over your cursor; add a few more buttons and you can customize it to make your clicking and pointing more comfortable. In competitive games, the best gaming mouse won’t magically make you unstoppable, but faster response time and extra inputs should make for a more pleasurable and responsive experience.