Dehumanising the dogfight: the next step in the unmanned arms race

In August of this year, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm was pitted against a human pilot in simulated F-16 fighter jet dogfights. The AI pilot won, 5-0. The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) hosted the ‘AlphaDogfight’ Trials as part of the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program, which looks at future possibilities of teaming machines with humans to enhance defence capability through “complex multi-aircraft scenarios”.