In a recent simulation, an AI fighter jet has successfully defeated a human pilot.
‘Alpha’, as this charming AI killing machine is imaginatively named, had 4 virtual jets at its disposal against 2 virtual jets. It successfully defended its virtual coastline and didn’t lose any of its virtual lives in the process. A virtual success. It may sound like the greater numbers mean there was an unfair advantage on the part of the defending side but Alpha was able to successful plot evasion courses and ‘win’ the encounter even with inferior hardware at its disposal.
A retired human pilot also had a pop and failed. The attacking planes had superior weapons systems and were still not able to defeat the AI bot. It’s almost like Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov except with a Top Gun setting instead of, well, chess.
This is, in particular, a triumph for ‘fuzzy logic’ the process by which a computer will make a decision despite there being no ‘right’ answer, as there are too many unknowns. Traditionally, this has been a particularly difficult aspect of machine behaviour to develop as there is so much uncertainty and a plethora of options. The ability to make these calculations in real-time really is impressive.
It’s unlikely we’re going to see the machines take over our aircraft entirely any time soon. For one thing, the chance of them going ‘Skynet’ on us is too much of a risk to take. The uproar that would ensue if an AI controlled war machine turned on the leafy suburbs of rural England would be huge! Also, Elon Musk would almost certainly be against it and if Elon’s not on board then we’re not allowed to play with new things.
However, if it does happen, I for one welcome our new machine overlords.
Source: BBC News