Man vs. machine: Pentagon plans 2024 dogfight between human aircraft pilot and artificial intelligence (AI)

Sept. 22, 2020
AI development is central to the Pentagon’s 21st-century battle plan, as global competitors pour billions of dollars into their own AI programs.

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is planning a 2024 showdown between an F-16 piloted by a human and one controlled by artificial intelligence (AI), a man versus machine matchup that military officials believe could represent a key turning point in technological development. The Washington Times reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

22 Sept. 2020 -- Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced the 2024 contest during a speech on AI development earlier this month at the Pentagon. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, already has held numerous combat simulations between a human pilot and machines.

In the most recent dogfight between AI and a human pilot, officials said the AI-controlled system easily defeated the human.

AI development is central to the Pentagon’s 21st-century battle plan. While it may be frightening to see machines top highly trained pilots, military officials argue that China and other global competitors are pouring billions of dollars into their own AI development programs, and the U.S must keep pace.

Related: Researchers choose SoarTech to develop artificial intelligence (AI) for manned and unmanned dogfighting

Related: DARPA eyes heavier reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned aircraft in dogfighting

Related: DARPA on the right track in unmanned dogfight that demonstrates capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI)

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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