DARPA’s AlphaDogfight Trials came to an exciting end Wednesday with a simulated aerial dual that pit the winning AI-powered F-16 ‘pilot’ against a human counterpart. This event was used to determine the viability of relying on machines in a fast-paced, unpredictable air-to-air combat environment. Plus, it helped officials see just how human and machine pilots can share operational control of a fighter jet to maximize the chances of success in a real mission. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Once the new algorithms are developed, DARPA will have to find out how to solve the human-machine teaming, and the workload that must be shared in the dynamic situations of aerial combat where aircraft are getting damaged and whatnot. The ultimate goal is to seamlessly shift responsibilities back and forth so that you can have the air dominance desired.
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Before AI can find its place, really, in the cockpit in a formation, it kind of has to earn its wings first. It’s got to show that it can actually fly, that it can compete, and that it can contribute. A human pilot goes through pretty much the same thing, you know. You learn to fly, you have to demonstrate you have certain level of skill, then you can join a formation, be part of the squadron and go out and be part of the part of the team,” said DARPA Deputy Director David Honey.