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April 24, 2024

AI that helps protect national security “is here to stay” and the U.S. Air Force has shown how AI can dominate the airspace.

“We need to recognize that AI is here. It’s here to stay. It’s a powerful tool,” Air Force Col. Tucker Hamilton said in a video released by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Ohio-based AFRL this month detailed plans for how future autonomous drones could serve as pilots’ wingmen, including training artificial intelligence on a Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie experimental drone.

According to the Air Force, AFRL’s Office of Strategic Development, Planning and Experimentation is conducting an operational experiment to determine the scale of future efforts to train artificial intelligence to operate aircraft.

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Air Force Research Laboratory’s simulated exercise (A simulated exercise by the Air Force Research Laboratory)

“Our senior leadership has said clearly and directly that we are dealing with new technology, we are dealing with new threats. We need to quickly identify the competitive advantage of autonomous driving and how it will eventually be applied in commercial areas.” Warrior,” Experiment Chief Matthew “Rico” Niemiec said in an Air Force video about the study.

The military is currently working to “mature autonomy concepts through digital simulations” and then apply them to real-life situations.

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“It takes millions of training sessions to run these neural networks,” lead test pilot “Evil” Bill Gray says in the video. “You can’t do that in a real plane … but you can do it in a simulator.”

air force simulation

Air Force Research Laboratory’s simulated exercise (Air Force Research Laboratory)

Once experts deem the technology “adequately matured in simulation”, it will be applied to flight tests where “the pilot can effectively let go”.

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“One of the strengths of testing is that we are able to experiment and demonstrate some of these capabilities in a controlled environment. Both of these allow us to gain important data and lessons learned so that we can develop our system and reduce the risk of future development , and make sure we’re on the right track,” Lt. Col. Ben “Baja” Gilliland said.

Air Force Artificial Intelligence Experiment

Air Force Autonomous Aircraft Experiment. (A simulated exercise by the Air Force Research Laboratory)

The Air Force team explained that they counted the number of people killed in accidents or collisions over the years and are working toward a future where service members are no longer at such risk, which would be “a huge benefit to this community.” said Jessica “Sting” Peterson, Group Technical Director.

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Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall discussed the importance of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) air superiority program back in May, emphasizing that the U.S. military “will lose” its superior momentum “if we don’t move forward now” technology.

Air Force conducts artificial intelligence experiment

The Air Force Research Laboratory is conducting autonomous aircraft experiments. (A simulated exercise by the Air Force Research Laboratory)

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“NGAD will include enhanced lethality and attributes such as airspace survivability, persistence, interoperability and adaptability, all in a contested operating environment. No one does it better than the USAF, but we will lose that An advantage if we don’t move forward now,” Kendall said.

That view was reiterated by members of the Air Force who worked on the experiment, saying the technology would ultimately improve “human operator survivability.”

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“We need industry to work with academia, with the Department of Defense, to get us into a future state where we can protect our national security interests from adversaries who do not share our values,” Hamilton said.



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