An AI Just Killed an Expert Human Fighter Pilot in Dogfight Simulations for the First Time
Artificial intelligence has beaten humans at chess, Go, and even complex MOBA games like DoTA, but now they're moving up to real wargames—specifically, combat flight simulators against real fighter pilots. And unfortunately for us, it looks like they're devastatingly good at it.
A new AI, called ALPHA, went head-to-head against retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Gene Lee and shot him down every single time, despite the fact that he's "controlled or flown in thousands of air-to-air intercepts as mission commander or pilot" and flown against simulated AI opponents for years. After several hour-long tests, Lee didn't even get a single kill.
To put this in perspective, if life were a sci-fi movie, Colonel Gene Lee is probably the one guy in the world the Pentagon would call to blow a rogue AI-controlled fighter jet out of the sky. Instead, ALPHA bested him at every turn.
"I was surprised at how aware and reactive it was," Lee said. "It seemed to be aware of my intentions and reacting instantly to my changes in flight and my missile deployment. It knew how to defeat the shot I was taking. It moved instantly between defensive and offensive actions as needed."
Lee called it "the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible A.I. I've seen to date."
ALPHA is the brainchild of Nick Ernest, founder of the AI development and consultation company Psibernetix.
Instead of using traditional machine-learning algorithms, ALPHA uses genetic fuzzy-logic systems, which allow it to be much more flexible and dynamic when it comes to solving problems, such as how to evade danger and set up potential lines of fire in real time.
The result? The system processes problems similarly to a human, but with much faster reaction times.
If the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology can get hit with an international boycott for developing autonomous killing robots, then it seems like Psibernetix is about to get a strongly worded letter regarding the dangers of near-invincible AI-controlled jet fighters.