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Manned Fighter To Face Autonomous Drone Next Year In Sci-Fi Movie-Like Showdown

dimsum

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Ooh, I've seen this before...

The Air Force is hoping to pit an autonomous drone equipped with an artificial intelligence-driven flight control system against a fighter jet with a human pilot in a little over a year. The service has described this effort in the past as a "big moonshot" that could revolutionize air-to-air combat in ways that have so far been limited to the realm of fiction - at least as far as we know.

Air Force Lieutenant General Jack Shanahan, head of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), revealed that the Air Force had set the goal of holding the faceoff in July 2021 during a remote event that the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies held on June 4, 2020. The Pentagon established the JAIC in 2018 to serve as a central point of focus for AI developments and related activities across the U.S. military.

Shanahan did not offer any details about the design of the unmanned aircraft that is supposed to take part in this in this future aerial duel or specifics about its planned capabilities. He did say that Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Autonomy Capability Team 3 (ACT3), led by Steve Rogers, was still in charge of the effort, which Inside Defense first reported the existence of in May 2018. AFRL created ACT3 that year to focus on AI developments.

[More at link]

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33866/manned-fighter-to-face-an-autonomous-drone-next-year-in-a-sci-fi-movie-like-showdown?fbclid=IwAR03rFYn5XSqw0X5coD1PaFY1eyXKnn-YCznZemL7GuBbKIE4oyTR65h-LQ
 

Jarnhamar

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Dimsum said:
Ooh, I've seen this before...

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33866/manned-fighter-to-face-an-autonomous-drone-next-year-in-a-sci-fi-movie-like-showdown?fbclid=IwAR03rFYn5XSqw0X5coD1PaFY1eyXKnn-YCznZemL7GuBbKIE4oyTR65h-LQ

I hope they use Douglas Rain's voice for the AI computer.
 
S

stellarpanther

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I don't have the knowledge to have a conversation about specifics but I can see flight pilots, attack helicopter pilots etc being obsolete in 10 years and either replaced by drones operated by someone on the ground or even AI if it continues to make the advancements that is predicted.  It's probably too early to say infantry will be replaced but maybe battle tanks could be built with crews operating them from somewhere else like a drone. 
 

CBH99

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Elon Musk, speaking at the most recent USAF conference on future manned flight, agrees with you, re: fighter jets


And he tends to be a guy with pretty good foresight when it comes to the progression of tech
 

blacktriangle

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stellarpanther said:
I don't have the knowledge to have a conversation about specifics but I can see flight pilots, attack helicopter pilots etc being obsolete in 10 years and either replaced by drones operated by someone on the ground or even AI if it continues to make the advancements that is predicted.  It's probably too early to say infantry will be replaced but maybe battle tanks could be built with crews operating them from somewhere else like a drone.

They are already testing trucks that are mostly autonomous, but have a "teleoperator" that can take over under more demanding circumstances. However these are civilian transport trucks, not tanks or jets that are subject to enemy action (direct/indirect fire, cyber, EW etc)
 

Good2Golf

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Not just combat platforms. They’ve already tested CASEVAC UAVs conceptually and the Marines have been using helicopter UAS (based on the Kaman K-MAX) for light utility lift for many years now.
 

blacktriangle

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Is not the human body also a major limiting factor when it comes to operating in certain environments or at certain performance envelopes? We seem to be able to develop technology that enables us to explore a given environment or attain a level of performance well before we figure out how to keep a human alive in it.
 

Good2Golf

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reverse_engineer said:
Is not the human body also a major limiting factor when it comes to operating in certain environments or at certain performance envelopes? We seem to be able to develop technology that enables us to explore a given environment or attain a level of performance well before we figure out how to keep a human alive in it.

Absolutely.  It depends on the aircraft, but accommodating the human into the platform takes a proportionately significant portion of the aircraft dedicated to human control and life support.
 
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