The U.S. military has developed an AI pilot that can beat humans in combat

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Jul 4, 2016, 12:26 PM EDT

Well, if Skynet is looking for a fighter pilot, the U.S. Air Force seems happy to oblige.

According to The Verge, the U.S. military helped fund an artificial intelligence capable of consistently defeating human pilots in a training simulator. Dubbed ALPHA, the AI has been called "the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic, and credible AI I’ve seen to date" by United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee, a retired aerial combat instructor who tested the tech. High praise.

The AI was tested in a simulation that pitted teams of pilots against one another in different defense and attack scenarios. The report notes we’re not just talking about dogfighting here, but more complicated, long-range tactical missions. The human test pilot didn’t notch a single kill against the AI. Lee noted the ALPHA system was able to react and adjust on the fly to his maneuvers, which is a considerable advancement over previous flight AIs.

"Combining these strengths in a mixed manned and unmanned fighter squadron could prove to be an extremely effective fighting force," the researchers wrote in a report. "ALPHA-controlled aircraft would happily volunteer to take risky tactics and have the manned craft perform safer support roles."

We’re obviously still a long way from getting these things loaded up into actual planes, but the AI is said to be lightweight enough that it can run on a typical off-the-shelf PC. Our future robot overlords will be pleased.


(Via The Verge)