In this 21st century dogfight, it’ll be human versus machine.
An artificial intelligence algorithm will face off against a human F-16 fighter pilot in an aerial combat simulation Aug. 20, officials announced Friday.
But the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said the simulation — the third and final competition in its AlphaDogfight Trials — will be virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, C4ISRNET.com reported.
“We weren’t able to host the finals… in Las Vegas as we’d originally planned with fighter pilots from the Air Force Weapons School at nearby Nellis Air Force Base,” Col. Dan Javorsek, program manager in DARPA’s strategic technology office, said in a statement, the warfare tech site reported.
“We are still excited to see how the AI algorithms perform against each other as well as a Weapons School-trained human and hope that fighter pilots from across the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as military leaders and members of the AI tech community will register and watch online. It’s been amazing to see how far the teams have advanced AI for autonomous dogfighting in less than a year.”
On the first day of the competition, eight teams will fly their respective algorithms against five AI systems developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
By day three, the top four teams will face off to decide who will fly against a human pilot.
“Regardless of whether the human or machine wins the final dogfight, the AlphaDogfight Trials is all about increasing trust in AI,” Javorsek said. “If the champion AI earns the respect of an F-16 pilot, we’ll have come one step closer to achieving effective human-machine teaming in air combat.”
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