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Digital Battlespace

DoD looks beyond AlphaDogfight

10th September 2020 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The DoD intends to conduct real-world dogfights between AI-controlled aircraft and crewed fighters in 2024.

Speaking on 9 September during the DoD Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this would be a progression from the recently concluded AlphaDogfight trials run by DARPA. These trials culminated in a combat simulation (pictured) between an AI-controlled system and a USAF fighter pilot.

‘The AI agent’s resounding victory demonstrated the ability of advanced algorithms to out-perform humans in virtual dogfights,’ Esper said. ‘These simulations will culminate in a real-world competition involving full-scale tactical aircraft in 2024.’

Esper commented that AI is meant to support human decision-makers, not replace them. He added that the DoD regards AI ‘as a tool to free up resources, time, and manpower so our people can focus on higher priority tasks, and arrive at the decision point, whether in a lab or on the battlefield, faster and more precise than the competition’.

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