In a new example that robots can already conquer us, an AI specialized in air combat has defeated a veteran fighter pilot.
The use of robots in war is, unfortunately, increasingly accepted by the great powers, despite the warnings of all kinds of experts.
What will happen once the war becomes a thing of automated devices? Will fewer lives be lost, or will war become a dangerous game that could end humanity? We do not know yet, but we do know that the development of AI that is capable of facing the best human beings continues.
IAs that dominate the skies
And I’m not talking about playing go, like AlphaGo, Google’s AI, I’m talking about controlling the most advanced fighters and beating the most veteran pilots in the world.
The University of Cincinnati, Ohio, has developed a similar AI to test how far they are already superior to humans; He has called it Alpha, but it seems that in what they lack in originality to name things, they have more than enough ability to develop AIs.
To demonstrate that Alpha had what it takes, its creator, a college graduate, pitted his creation against other specialized AIs, using an air combat simulator that takes into account all the possibilities of real combat.
To put it mildly, Alpha completely smashed the rest of the AIsHe also defeated the human experts in flight simulators, but the real challenge was going to be facing a pilot with real experience, with one who has already lived several air battles and has survived in all of them.
Thus, the university enlisted the collaboration of retired Air Force colonel Gen Lee, currently an instructor who has trained thousands of fighter pilots in everything they need to defeat and fulfill their mission.
Lee is not strange to face non-human combatants, since he has been participating in combat simulations with AIs since the 80’s; no, this type of research is not something new, ever since there were powerful enough computers, there has been an interest in using them in combat.
How AI specialized in air combat defeated an experienced pilot
Thus, Lee had the experience and knowledge to deal with AIs to spare, but all of that did him little good once he faced Alpha, who she was the winner in all the matches. And I speak in the plural because there were several, in which Lee was involved again and again.
Even when the researchers penalized the AI by reducing the speed, turning capacity, missile capacity, and sensors of their aircraft, it always manages to win at the end.
The key to victory was in its fuzzy genetic system, which calculates possible strategies using an evolutionary system; the system is capable of calculate the right strategy 250 times faster than a human being can blink. And best of all, to do that you don’t need a supercomputer, but a simple Raspberry Pi installed on the plane is worth it.
According to Colonel Lee, the AI seemed to be aware of its intentions, and was able to instantly react to its mid-flight changes and how it managed its available missiles. Alpha was also able to switch between offensive and defensive actions as necessary, and at all times knew how to react to the colonel’s shots.
The creators of Alpha are not happy yet, and they plan to expand their capabilities; but above all, they also want to work on improving the fidelity of the flight simulator, with more realistic aerodynamic and sensor models. So this ISA specialized in air combat is not ready to dominate the skies.