An AI programme managed to defeat a human F-16 pilot in a simulated dogfight, marking a huge mile storm for air combat.
The AI programme, designed by Heron Systems, went head-to-head against the human pilot in the final event of the AlphaDogfight trials organised by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
According to Heron System’s website said the programme was based on reinforced learning, which is an AI technique where behavioural psychology and how human cortexes are structured are combined with new innovations.
The human operators, known only by their callsign of “Banger” was reported to have been trained at the famous Weapons School at nevada’s Nellis Air Base.
DARPA invited eight teams, including one from Lockheed Martin, to participate in the trials.
The agency said the aim behind the trial was to “demonstrate advanced AI algorithms capable of performing simulated within-visual-range air combat manoeuvring”.
It was also said to be an attempt by DARPA to bring more AI developers to its Air Combat Evolution (ACE) programme.
ACE’s aim is to develop unmanned aerial vehicles that would be able to engage in tactics manoeuvres alongside a single human “commanding” pilot.
In effect, it would allow armed drones being able to take part in dogfights on their own, within larger human-piloted missions.
The development comes after scientists discovered material they claimed would be able to merge AI with the human body, something which was not possible before.
Bio-synthetic material was presented at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 virtual expo.
Experts claim it will pave the way to integrating electronics with the body to create “cyborg” beings.
Dr David Martin, who led the study, said: “We got the idea for this project because we were trying to interface rigid organic microelectrodes with the brain, but brains are made out of organic, salty, live materials.
“It wasn’t working well, so we thought there must be a better way.
“We started looking at organic electronic materials like conjugated polymers that were being used in non-biological devices.”
Dr Martin continued” ”We found a chemically stable example that was sold commercially as an antistatic coating for electronic displays.”