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A.I. Fighter Jet Destroys Top Air Force Pilot In Simulated Dogfight

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

DARPAtv live-streamed AlphaDogfight Trials Competition on Thursday (Aug. 20), which featured an AI-controlled virtual fighter jet beating a human pilot in a series of simulated dogfights.

The AI-system, developed by Heron Systems, a Maryland-based defense contractor, beat one of the Air Force’s top General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots, reported Breaking Defense.

A.I. Fighter Jet Destroys Top Air Force Pilot In Simulated Dogfight

Fully-autonomous fighter jets are years away, but the Air Force and DARPA appear to be honing in on the possibilities of integrating artificial intelligence systems into combat flying machines. The live event was streamed on several platforms, including YouTube and Zoom, which shows AI systems have the ability in 2020 to operate an aircraft with skill and in a one-on-one combat scenario, out-gunning a human pilot, even though it was in a simulation.

One of the hosts during the simulated dogfight noted the AI system has “superhuman” shooting capabilities that produced an edge over the human pilot.

Video: AlphaDogfight Trials Final Event

Timothy Grayson, director of the Strategic Technology Office at DARPA, described the simulation as successful and said it’s a victory for humans and machines to team up for combat:

 “I think what we’re seeing today is the beginning of something I’m going to call human-machine symbiosis… Let’s think about the human sitting in the cockpit, being flown by one of these AI algorithms as truly being one weapon system, where the human is focusing on what the human does best [like higher order strategic thinking] and the AI is doing what the AI does best,” Grayson said. 

While fully autonomous fighter jets conducting dogfights are years outs, if not at the end of the decade, what’s more, plausible, in the next five years, is AI integrating into the flight systems of fighter jets, especially stealth ones, to assist pilots during complex combat situations.

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Servet Köseoğlu

İsrael will rule…they will be life and death..given new purpose to protect the homeland from resistance manipulators and wanna be world power states..every actor will pay penance for their misdeeds or suffer them eternally..

johnny rotten

Nothing to do with intelligence, the term is inappropriate, it is software, or programs written by humans, with all the strengths and weaknesses of humans, AI is just the trademark.


True, but the strength would be high speed computing with many inputs and outputs going on at the same time.


Exactly! You fight against other humans who through multi tasking programs are just thinking faster and with much more alternative combinations and options than any other pilot could possibly have. I think that staff is still experimental and powered with much stronger and faster computer that any jet has….But still relevant because shows us that expire date of the fighter pilots is getting closer every day 6th generation air superiority jets will be all pilotless I suppose. Time of the reaction on Mach10-20 hyper sonic missiles and lasers will be split of second.


I can absolutely imagine the mig-31 follow up to fly in a way that a human pilot could not sustain.


I might be wrong the way I understood MIG-41 is to be 5++ generation and not 6th generation jet.

Mach-4 sounds very fast for jet but it depends how high that jet is flying to achieve that speed. Because in lower orbit (above 20km) Mach-4 is quite ordinary speed and quite achievable even by pilot. They will need special (very special) suits for flying that high and that fast only…But it will be nothing extraordinary. I find those hybrid engines more extraordinary as achievement. Of course MIG-41 will intercept everything that flies from the satellites to ballistic missiles

Even SU-57 the 5th generation is declared to become non-pilot in the future as an option ( with new better engines and even more agile with producing too much G-force for human organism)

So I suppose that MIG-41 will have similar approach.


Reading some of the details the human factor isn’t just max G but sustained G as well. One pilot said humans don’t do negative G often because of the discomfort while AI just doesn’t have the same concerns.

My thinking related to human endurance extends to the time of patrol flights at altitude in these suits. While it may be possible it would be difficult for humans to do 8+ hour patrols in those conditions regularly. From an aircraft perspective, designing without humans and human life support is also simpler.


good points Mike

viktor ziv

AI has no G limitations, AI has no “black-out” or worse “red-out”.


The Chinese have probably already got copies.

chris chuba

Chinese AI is most likely better.

Gay Jens Holm

the only pilot who can defeat the A.I. FIGHTER JET is the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-covid19.

Lazy Gamer

Damn, Russian air superiority doctrine got obsolete from both drones and AI. Those SU 4+ planes suddenly are mismatched.

Ryan Glantz

Space Force drone swarms of 9th gen aerospace fighters ;)


Not sure if anyone on this thread ever played Go. Go was always considered too difficult for computers to beat high ranking Go professionals, unlike Chess where IBMs Deep Blue beat Kasparov in 1997. The reasoning behind this thinking was the increased “branching factor”, which makes it extraordinarily more difficult to use traditional AI methods. The best AI programs for Go were only ever mediocre and never beat a professional player. That was until 2014 when AlphaGo came on the scene and crushed all other AI Go programs. In 2015 AlphaGo beat the European Champion, who was a 2nd Dan, however there was still a big jump to where the top guns hung out at 9th Dan and then some to the World Champ. There is a great documentary on the showdown between AlphaGo and the world’s best. Unfortunately, AlphaGo won the series 4 : 1 however, Lee Sedol’s 78th move in the 4th match was sublime and paved the way for his win. Hopefully, this type of human ingenuity can and will continue to undermine this AI monolith



Ivan Freely

In the end, AI will win. No question about it.


Great, we are closer to robo-girlfriends, nobody will have time for war with your robo LisaAnn at home


ROFL… US top gun defeated by a video game.. GAME OVER….


If drone strikes are considered unethical to certain extend, what is this about. Not a right direction for us humans to take. AI has no feelings, no guilt, no mercy, bad decision to use AI in military

Ivan Freely

The Powers That Be do not care about such trivial things.

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