(UnitedVoice.com) – Artificial intelligence (AI) has become very popular in recent years. There are vacuum cleaners, cars, writing programs, and many other forms of technology that can operate on their own. The US military recently revealed it used AI tech to fly a fighter jet.
In mid-February, Lockheed Martin issued a press release announcing it flew its “one-of-a-kind training aircraft,” Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft (VISTA) X-62A, using an AI agent for more than 17 hours. The test flight took place in December at the US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. It was the first time the technology was “engaged on a tactical aircraft.”
The Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft (VISTA) X-62A recently completed a series of flight tests, where the aircraft was flown entirely by AI for an incredible 17+ hours! pic.twitter.com/14nBAWoIep
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) February 13, 2023
The defense contractor explained the aircraft is a “modified F-16D Block 30 Peace Marble Il aircraft upgraded with Block 40 avionics.” For decades, Lockheed Martin has used AI to “maximize performance, safety, and situational awareness” for its customers. The company believes the technology is going to be an important advancement for the Air Force in the future.
Fox News reported there were pilots on board the jet at all times throughout the flight just in case something happened. Four unique AI algorithms were in control of the jet throughout the tests. During the experiment, the Department of Defense had the aircraft practice takeoffs, landings, and multiple simulated combat missions.
The military hopes the tests will allow them to further its agenda to protect American troops. If a jet can be flown without a pilot on board, that could cut down on the number of Air Force members who are forced into direct combat during a war.
Though technological advances are always welcome in the military, this likely won’t be free of criticism. There’s an entire movement against drones, which are operated remotely. Those are relatively small unmanned aircraft that can carry deadly payloads. Imagine how much damage an unmanned fighter jet could do.
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