AI Fighter Pilot Beats a Human, But No Need to Panic


While Google was building an artificial intelligence that could beat a grandmaster at the ancient game of Go, University of Cincinnati alum took a different tack. They designed an AI that could take on a fighter pilot.

Dubbed ALPHA, this system recently beat retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee in multiple flight simulator trials, as the researchers explain in a paperrecently published in the Journal of Defense Management.

The idea isn’t to replace human fighter pilots. According to Nicholas Ernest, a University of Cincinnati alum and the founder of Psibernetix, the company that developed ALPHA, this AI may ultimately act as a kind of digital assistant that provides real-time advice to pilots. Or it may fly unmanned aircraft that act as wingmen for planes piloted by humans. ALPHA doesn’t replace everything a human does, Ernest explains, but it can help juggle the enormous amount of data flowing from all various sensors on modern fighter planes.

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