Skynet 1 - Human Fighter Pilots 0, as AI Wins Dogfighting Test

By Gary Cutlack on at

A fortunately confined and non-rogue AI has just reached a new performance milestone, with a computer given control of a fighter jet in a simulation managing to outfight and defeat a human opponent. As if this hasn't been happening in After Burner for 30 years.

This military test was carried out in the US by a team at the University of Cincinnati, which developed its own fighter pilot AI and convinced retired US Air Force Colonel Gene "Geno" Lee to take it on in a battle across the simulated skies.

The AI won, with Geno saying it was "...the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I've seen to date," although we're not sure if he's played Ninja Gaiden II on the hardest setting or not.

The university's AI -- called ALPHA -- uses what they call a genetic fuzzy tree decision making process, breaking down big problems into many smaller ones to be tackled by logic algorithms, in a similar way to how us humans work. And it definitely did work, with Gino adding: "I was surprised at how aware and reactive it was. 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." [PopSci]

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