WASHINGTON: In a 5 to 0 sweep, an AI ‘pilot’ developed by Heron Systems beat one of the Air Force’s top F-16 fighter pilots in DARPA’s simulated aerial dogfight contest today.
“It’s a giant leap,” said DARPA’s Justin (call sign “Glock”) Mock, who served as a commentator on the trials.
AI still has a long way to go before the Air Force pilots would be ready to hand over the stick to an artificial intelligence during combat, DARPA officials said during today’s live broadcast of the AlphaDogfight trials. But the three-day trials show that AI systems can credibly maneuver an aircraft in a simple, one-on-one combat scenario and shoot its forward guns in a classic, WWII-style dogfight. On the other hand, they said, it was an impressive showing by an AI agent after only a year of development. (As I reported earlier this week, the program began back in September last year with eight teams developing their respective AIs.)