Yes, you read the title correctly.U.S. Department of Defense recently confirmed AI managed to keep an F-16-like jet flying for 17 hours straight.
How did this flight happen?
In December 2022, the jet made 12 flights over Edwards Air Force Base in Kern County, California.
The Department of Defense used an experimental aircraft called the Vista X-62A for the flight. Throughout the flight, a safety pilot is on board in case something goes wrong.
However, at any given time during the test, the jet was under the control of one of four different artificial intelligence algorithms, and everything went smoothly. These algorithms were developed and tested by the so-called Air Combat Evolution (ACE). Using it allows them to succeed in missions and training.
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What did the jet do during the experiment?
This jet does more than just soar through the skies. The Defense Department dogfighted the jet in multiple simulated combat missions and practiced takeoffs and landings.
While most aircraft today do have autopilot systems, this is the first time artificial intelligence is involved in any kind of aerial combat.
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What does this mean for the future of flight?
It’s part of a joint project between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Air Force to advance autonomous flight technology.
While no similar tests have been announced yet, this is an important stepping stone for our Armed Forces to defend this country.
AI is already proving to be the way of the future in other fields like automotive driving, so it makes sense that the military is moving in the same direction.
If further testing continues to be successful, it won’t be surprising that the military is starting to choose to use artificial intelligence in combat as a way to advance our combat strategy and further protect the lives of the men and women of our armed forces.
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What are the potential downsides of using AI in the US military?
Despite advances in artificial intelligence technology in recent years, there is always the possibility of technical issues or malfunctions during flight.
For example, if an AI system malfunctions or encounters a problem, it may not be able to make the appropriate adjustments to keep the plane flying safely.
Another potential problem is the lack of human judgment. While AI can be programmed to make decisions based on a wide range of data and information, it may not be able to replicate the nuanced decision-making capabilities of human pilots.
In an emergency or unexpected event, a human pilot may be better equipped than an AI to make the right call.
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Another downside of the military’s use of AI is security risk. The use of artificial intelligence on military aircraft raises concerns about cybersecurity and the possibility of hacking or other cyberattacks. Suppose a malicious person wants to gain control of the AI system.In that case, they could use the aircraft for harmful purposes, even against the U.S.
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We can’t talk about artificial intelligence without taking unemployment into account. The increasing use of the technology on military aircraft could put human pilots out of work.
Finally, some may have ethical concerns about the use of artificial intelligence in military operations, especially if the technology is used in autonomous weapons systems that can make life-and-death decisions without human intervention.
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As you can see, there’s a lot at stake here, and it will be interesting to see if AI eventually completely replaces military jet pilots in the future.
What do you think about our military using artificial intelligence? Let us know what you think.
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