The defence press is reporting that an AI shot down a top F16 pilot in a dog fight simulation on 20th August.
“In a 5 to 0 sweep, an AI ‘pilot’ developed by Heron Systems beat one of the Air Force’s top F-16 fighter pilots in DARPA’s simulated aerial dogfight contest today.“
I have been vaguely aware of a few “advances” such as the development of F16 drones, talk of swarming robots, etc. but I’ve not been following it much, until now.
What concerns me is that we are on the cusp of another arms race. In my opinion that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your politics. However there is one added factor that should give pause for thought – possession of nuclear weapons.
In all previous wars despite the damage and mayhem, the planetary environment remained relatively intact afterwards and healed, for example you have to look quite hard for traces of WWI, WWII and Vietnam, etc. With the advent of AI we are potentially introducing a major asymmetry. This time though, the losing player may have the option of ending human life on a very large part of the planet for a very long time.
For example, in 1944 as the Russian Army closed in on Berlin, had Germany possessed a few immobile nuclear weapons, would Hitler have decided to take Europe with him to his grave? I think so.
Diplomatic and strategic skills of a very high order are going to be needed to avoid a losing nuclear power from overturning the chess board. I don’t think any country possesses them. What sayeth SST?