According to Breaking Defense’s article, “In a 5 to 0 sweep, an AI ‘pilot’ developed by Heron Systems beat one of the Air Force’s top F-16 fighter pilots in DARPA’s simulated aerial dogfight contest…It’s a giant leap.” Time and time again AI continues to surpass human abilities. Yet, every time it is still astonishing. AI possessing the capabilities to beat Air Force pilots is a major technological advancement! Now, what is AI going to accomplish next!

 Although, this doesn’t mean that pilots are going to hand over their jobs to AI just yet. “The three day trials show that AI systems can credibly maneuver an aircraft in a simple, one- on-one combat scenario and shoot forward guns in a classic, WWII- style dogfight” 

AI has made an appearance in multiple industries such as the tech industry, car industry, and even now the airplane industry. It is interesting to question what this means for the future. Eventually, will we all have self driving cars? Will we show up to the airport and have no pilot on board, instead AI will take us to our destination? As AI continues to push boundaries, what other industries could AI impact. My guess next is the medical field. 

The creators of the AI pilot are Heron,“ a small, female- and minority-owned company.” The company first had issues with their agent, which at one point couldn’t even fly, but they turned around and secured the number one spot. The team plans to publish aspects of its reinforcement learning process for AI. 

The purpose of these trials were a “risk-reduction effort for DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program to flesh out how human and machine pilots share operational control of a fighter jet to maximize its chances of mission success” The simulation demonstrated how AI is able to outsmart humans. Since AI does not have a mind like humans, they do not get distracted and make decisions based off algorithms, not human emotion or intuition. Hypothetically, if AI began to take over human roles, where error could result in death, such as the jobs of pilots, surgeons, drivers, and more, will we live in a safer world free of error?

The next steps for DARPA is to use the simulator in the trials at Nellis. This is so that more Air Force pilots can try to defeat Heron’s AI pilots. This is a smart choice, I believe in order to hand over the jobs of humans to AI, people need to ensure that AI is more reliable than humans. It will be interesting to see when humans finally feel comfortable and secure to hand over the reins over to AI once and for all. 

This goes to show that Opsani is not the only one harnessing AI’s capabilities. AI is able to complete tasks that are too complex for humans and now has the momentum to keep evolving and improving.