We’ve reported about it a few days back, remember, when the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) conducted a series of virtual dogfights to know who will face a human in a head-to-head battle for airpower supremacy? Well, the event concluded a few days back and the artificial intelligence (AI) craft bested a human in a virtual dogfight simulation, eventually showing to experts that AI will indeed have a key role in future developments in the military craft.
This comes in the conclusion of the challenge, dubbed as AlphaDogfight, which consisted of two parts. First, several firms and organizations fought one another in a virtual simulation to which Heron Systems emerged supreme. Then Heron System’s AI faced a human-operated pilot in the final round of simulations for which the former bested the latter to a score of five to zero.
According to a report by Victor Tangerman of Futurism.com, experts hail the win as an important point wherein the capabilities of AI be maximized for military flight missions.
But how did it come to this point where an AI bested an expert in their own field? Well everybody has got to start from somewhere right? Like everybody else, all of the AI systems, including the winning one, had undergone a lot of failures during their own respective testing phases. In the case of flying an aircraft, all of the AI systems took several crashes before perfecting the necessary skills for basic flight.
As with the AI’s built-in self-learning feature, they tend to grow smarter with every failure they have encountered. Heron System’s AI, the winning team, had undergone more than four billion simulations in order to perfect the system’s flying algorithm. This is roughly about 12 years of flight time as Tangermann suggests.
According to a report by David Axe on the Daily Beast, several countries are also doing research on the same technology for their own respective militaries. Countries like Japan, China, Russia, and Australia have conducted training missions with their own AI but the United States is leading the race, largely in part to military exercises like the AlphaDogfight simulations.