The U.S. Air Force announced plans for an air combat exercise between a drone and a human pilot. According to Jack Shanahan, head of the Pentagon’s Artificial Intelligence Center, military researchers are designing an autonomous aircraft that they will test next year.
The Air Force’s idea with this exercise is to see if a drone can stand up to an experienced pilot. The research department has been working since 2018 on a project led by Steve Rogers (no, not Captain America).
The long-term goal is to insert machine learning technology into an F16, then expand it to more advanced fighter planes. The idea of Rogers and his team is that the system can make decisions immediately thanks to the millions of hours of training time.
Today’s pilots have about 2,000 hours of experience in the air, so an AI would be able to act “in a timeline that humans can’t even begin to think about,” according to Rogers. According to General Shanahan, the research team is testing the limits of artificial intelligence in military use and believes that machines will defeat humans.
The Air Force drone will engage a human in July 2021. If the exercise is successful, the military would implement more artificial intelligence solutions to its portfolio.
Someone should remember Skynet, Terminator… It’s clear that machines will eventually defeat humans, but why make it easier for them?