AI is getting good at fighter jets. What does that mean for humans?

Could machine learning be the new Maverick?


August 25, 2020

Weeks after GPT-3 had writers sh*tting bricks, fighter jet pilots are now on high alert.

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) recently held a tournament pitting algorithm against algorithm to see which model could become king of the sky.

Last year — according to a DARPA official — AI fighter jets could “barely prevent [themselves] from crashing.” Now, they’re making moves that look like actual aerial fighting.

Machines aren’t taking over the air just yet

But experts are examining opportunities for crewless fighter jets to play wingman.

They could fly ahead on scouting missions, or tackle low-level tasks while pilots act as “battle manager.”

A boon for the defense industry  

Per McKinsey, AI and automation has the potential to create ~$50B in value for the aerospace and defense sector.

Already, aerospace companies are hard at work developing hardware for pilotless jet-type drones.

  • Kratos makes an uncrewed aircraft dubbed the Valkyrie.
  • Boeing’s got a jet nicknamed the Loyal Wingman.

We’ll fly with that.

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