A team of U.S. Air Force engineers is developing an automated drone with advanced AI that is expected to help combat pilots get their best out of battle. It is reported that the researchers plan to conduct a confrontation test between humans and AI in July 2021.
The U.S. Air Force launched the AI Drone Program in 2018. The goal of the project is to deploy machine learning on non-complex fighter aircraft such as the F-16 within 18 months. If the project is successful, it will be equipped with new fighter jets such as the F-32 or F-22 in the future. After up to two years of training, the prototype is now in its infancy and can almost be tested for combat.
Dr. Steve Rogers, project leader at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), says machine learning allows AI systems to train multiple life cycles, something human pilots can’t do.
“Our human pilots, really good pilots, have thousands of hours of experience at most,” Rogers said. What happens if I can use a system with millions of hours of training time to enhance their abilities? …… How do I make myself a tactical autopilot, so in air combat, the system can help us make decisions better in flight times that humans can’t reach? “
The project is confidential, so little detail is known, but some assumptions can be made. For example, aI processes may not be fully autonomous in simulated warfare. After all, the prototype could be worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Therefore, it may be backed up remotely by the operator. Lieutenant General John Shanahan reinforced this assumption to some extent.